The subject of purpose for living touches every person. It is approached in many different ways depending on the philosophy of life or religious persuasion a person may hold. In this third article on the series, I approach this subject Bible-style. So if you are a Christian or someone who has an interest in understanding the Christian viewpoint with regards to finding purpose in life, then you’ve landed on the right web page.
God’s will – His purpose for our lives – has three different aspects to it: God’s permissive will (relating to our free will), God’s written will, and God’s secret will. It is God’s written will that I want to talk about today. If you are yearning for a sense of significance in life, know that you are already significant to God. He loves you personally and wants you to learn how to relate to Him. That’s why He inspired people to write the Bible (II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 2:20,21). Most everything we need to know about the meaning of life can be found right there.
God’s Written Will Includes The 3 Basic Principles
I discussed these three principles of our purpose for living in part one. I’m bringing them up again because we find them written in the Bible – thus God’s written will.
We are taught in the Bible to 1) give God credit for all that we do, 2) obey His commandments, and 3) be good representatives for Him in the world we live in on a daily basis. I had said that when we are living by those principles, we are already fulfilling our purpose in life. That is not to be taken lightly. Living life is first about God.
God’s Written Will is for us to do good works
In large part, we are fulfilling God’s written will when we are applying those three basic principles. But I want to expand a little bit on how we do that.
The second greatest commandment taught in the New Testament is for us to love our neighbors as ourselves. What does that mean? How do we do that? That is what good works is all about. What is my definition of good works? Love in action. I think we get paranoid about our ability to love others. It’s not about feelings folks. It’s about how we treat people. That’s what God’s love is all about. That’s what “good works” is all about.
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. – I John 3:18, EMTV
The phrase “good works” is interchangeable with “good deeds”. That is the phrase we are most familiar with. You might help an elderly woman put her groceries in her car and put the cart away for her. Then you’ll say to yourself, “I did my good deed for the day.” That is actually an important part of living with purpose. We are supposed to go through each day with an attitude ready to do good works (deeds) to the people that we come in contact with.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10, ESV
Thus let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and they may glorify your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16, EMTV
Notice the last verse. When we are doing good works, we are also being good representatives of God, fulfilling yet another one of the three primary principles of God’s will.
And when we realize that “we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, EMTV), we will give God the credit for all the good deeds that we do.
When we are doing our best to live by the written will of God, specifically by doing good works to the people we come in contact with every day, our purpose for living is being achieved.
In future articles we will also look at what the Bible says about our talents and gifts that also give us a sense of purpose, but the next article (or 4) will be about the third aspect of God’s will – God’s secret will.