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What is your purpose in life?

(The following is the June 2 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Acts 20 and pay close attention to verses 17-24.)

What is your purpose in life? Can you state it clearly? As beings made in God’s image, we exist for a reason. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever,” but how does that translate into specifics for us? Natural follow-up questions are, “How do I glorify God? What does that look like with my unique passions, abilities, gifts, and opportunities?”

Paul told the Ephesian elders, “My purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace” (v. 24). Paul was laser-focused on that purpose. It shaped his daily goals and actions. Our lives won’t look identical to his, but we share one aspect of our purpose in common with Paul – to finish our course and whatever ministry we have received from the Lord Jesus.

God can use our unique spiritual gifts to fulfill our purpose, especially through serving his church. Understanding our gifts and using them for God’s glory can only happen if we have a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, continually learn and obey his Word, and ask him to open doors of opportunity. Without those elements central to our existence as disciples, we’ll never understand and fulfill our reason for living.

How we fulfill our purpose may shift over time. We can expect some of life’s chapters to end and new ones to begin, but there should still be consistency and intentionality in living out our God-given purpose as we understand it. We are not placed on this Earth to randomly do whatever we please until we die. We exist to glorify God, so we must discern how we best do that at each stage of life.

Next Step:

Write down in one or two sentences your purpose for living. If you are unsure, spend time in earnest prayer and his Word, asking God to clarify it for you.

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