What is our purpose for living? That is a question most of us have asked ourselves at some point in our lives. What’s my purpose? What significance do I have? What is the meaning of life?
Life can be confusing, frustrating, and even hurtful. Depending on the circumstances of our lives, these important questions surface at different times for different people. Whether because we wonder if anybody cares about us enough for us to care ourselves – or because we are trying to figure out what our personal purpose is, it is essential that we approach this subject Bible-style.
Depending on what kind of families and friends we have, we may struggle with the feeling that nobody cares about us, but we all have significance to God. Considering that, we also should be asking the following questions. Is God significant to me? What is God’s will for my life? Discovering our significance is directly tied to the reality that God created us. It is God who set the standard for the meaning of our lives.
O Lord, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and for Your will they are and were created. – Revelation 4:11, MKJV
There are three primary principles that define our purpose for living that come before all else. If we can live by these standards, we will already be doing God’s will. We will already be living with great purpose.
Give God the credit and the thanks for all that we do
God wants us all to remember that he made us. He knows every single one of us by name and gave us the abilities to be who we are in every aspect of our lives. So one of His primary purposes for us is to give Him the credit and thanksgiving for all the positive things that we do.
“As Scripture says, ‘Whoever brags must brag about what the Lord has done.’” (I Corinthians 1:31, GW). That is, we aren’t supposed to brag about ourselves when we succeed or when we have done good things to others, but rather, give God the credit as the One who gave us the ability and guidance to do so.
Going along with that principle, we are also to give God thanks for all the positive things that we accomplish because it was His creative power inside of us at work in all that we do.
And whatever you may do in word or deed, do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17, EMTV
Obey God’s commandments
The second primary purpose for living is for us to obey the commandments that God has revealed in the Bible for us. God revealed to the writers of the Bible the guidelines that He wanted us to follow. The Bible is the manual for our meaning of life. To obey God’s commandments is to obey God’s will.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man. – Ecclesiastes 12:13, MKJV
Wow, the whole duty of man is to keep His commandments. That’s our purpose for living. If you have a conscience for God – if God is significant to you – and you are reading the Bible and practicing what God has taught, you are living with true meaning in your life.
The New Testament began the standard of living for Christians in this time period of God’s life-plan. Just like God used “the ten commandments” to lay the groundwork for the laws of the Old Testament, Jesus gave two commandments to lay the groundwork for the New Testament.
Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40, EMTV
Every commandment of the New Testament is connected to those two original commandments. We prove our love for God and fulfil our purpose when we obey Him. That’s why Jesus told His disciples, “if you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, EMTV). Any of us who are obeying God’s commandments and treating people with loving actions are living according to God’s will for our lives.
Be a good representative of God to others
A third primary purpose for our lives is to be a representative of God’s will to others in the world. In any way we can, we should be living and speaking in ways that will point other people toward a relationship with God. He created everything and everyone. He wants all of humanity to recognize their significance in Him. We can help God get the message out.
God wants us to “proclaim the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15, EMTV). Some of us are definitely better evangelists than others. But if we have come to believe in Jesus for ourselves, we all should be doing our part in representing God in some way. We have different personalities and gifts. The way we live and what other people see in us can make all the difference. That can open up opportunities for us to speak more clearly to someone about God.
I advise you to study the Bible for yourselves though. You will never learn all you need to just by listening to the sermon on Sunday morning. The more you read for yourselves, the better you will be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1Peter 3:15, ESV).
If you are trying to figure out your purpose for living, start with those primary principles. Remember that God created you for His will. Give Him the credit and thanksgiving for everything you do. Live as best as you can by the commandments He’s laid out for us in the New Testament, and be a good representative of God to others. If you are doing these things, you are fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.
If you are interested in learning more about purpose for living Bible-style, learn what the Bible says about free will in the next article. Available now.