ODJ: Purpose

May 10, 2016 

READ: Galatians 4:1-20 

I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing (v.11).

The Purpose Driven Life has been on the New York Times advice book bestseller list for one of the longest periods in history. With more than 30 million copies sold, it’s obvious many readers have turned to it as a source for living with meaning.

A quest for purpose isn’t something found only in the 21st century. Long before our time, men and women sought to live in purposeful ways.

Even the apostle Paul longed to know that his investments in the lives of others revealed true purpose. Following Paul’s conversion from a chief persecutor of Christians to an apostle of Christ, he devoted his life to spreading the gospel. He wanted all people to know God who “has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba Father’ ” (Galatians 4:6). He wanted them to grasp that they were “no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir” (v.7).

Paul explains what it means to possess real purpose in Jesus. He wanted the Galatians to understand that without Christ, they were slaves to “so-called gods that do not even exist” (v.8). He was troubled that many of them were beginning to know God but then reverting to useless spiritual principles of the world. They were trying to earn favour with God rather than experience a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ (vv.9-10).

“I fear for you,” Paul said. “Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing” (v.11). The apostle deeply wanted those he had taught and discipled to know that true purpose was found in Jesus alone. We all long for it and are invited to find it in all its fullness through Him—the One who fills our lives with meaning and purpose.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Job 38:1-41

Read John 15:16 and consider what Jesus reveals as His purpose for believers. 
How does the apostle Paul’s life demonstrate God’s purpose to you? What things can hinder you from living out your purpose in Jesus? How can you overcome these things by God’s power?