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January 19, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”—John 17:18 (NKJV)
Although followers of Christ face the same unpredictable twists and turns of life as everyone else, and though the precise details of their future are as uncertain, they possess something that brings clarity and illumination to every step of their journey on earth. They know their purpose!
That purpose is to follow the Lord’s lead, which He established by coming into this world and following His Father’s will His entire time here. Christ is the precursor, if you will, for every Christian. Just as the Father sent His Son into the world to direct its attention Godward, the believer in Jesus has been sent on the same mission. If you’re a Christian, your purpose is to point people to God.
Essentially, this is what Jesus is declaring in the passage above. In context, He is praying to His Father on the eve of His arrest and crucifixion. As the shadow of the cross looms over these closing moments with His disciples (minus Judas), Jesus tells His Father something significant. He states that He had prepared His followers to serve as His representatives to the world, even as He had done for the Father.
This line of succession—from the Father . . . to Jesus . . . to the disciples—remains unbroken to this day. Every believer in Christ is subsequently linked to the statement He made on that evening. They have been sent into the world for the same purpose that Christ was sent into the world: to represent and point the way to God! Again, that’s the purpose of the Christian life!
It’s important to reinforce this because if you are a Christian, you know how easily this purpose can become obscured or displaced by other priorities. We wake up in the morning and our thoughts naturally gravitate towards ourselves. The kids need to be shuttled to school, the car needs an oil change, the dog needs to be groomed, etc. All these things need to be dealt with, but they’re not the primary purpose for life.
We tend to forget we are here on earth for the same reason Jesus came here: to point people to God. But as our sense of mission is restored, it affects and directs every aspect of life. Everything that would be a distraction from our purpose is now an opportunity to advance it—the carpool, the mechanic, the groomer—they’re all a part of our purpose.
DIG: What is the Christian’s purpose in life?
DISCOVER: How was this purpose established?
DO: Consider how you can be more mindful of your purpose in life.