February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”—Psalm 86:15 (NIV)
One of the most fundamental needs of the human heart is a sense of purpose. Regardless of how much or little we know about the universe we occupy, we all know deep down that our lives are meant to have meaning. We may not verbally articulate this inner awareness, but through our actions, we signal our quest for connecting to a greater agenda and plan than ourselves.
With this essential necessity in mind, we now come to the newfound life that God gives us “in Christ.” It’s an exchange of the old self-led existence for the new way of being, one where He is leading the way and providing all that we consciously and unconsciously needed . . . including purpose!
The moment someone places their faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior, they’re infused with a purpose that will last the length of their earthly lifetime. That purpose is to share what they’ve been shown concerning Christ. They now live as witnesses to who He is and what He’s done for those who don’t yet know.
But our need for purpose is matched by a need for motivation. It’s not just about what we’re to do, but why we’re to do it. What is the motivation behind our purpose? Why are we to devote ourselves as witness bearers of Christ? Why do we live to share what we’ve been shown?
A lot of different answers can be listed here, and there are a lot of secondary motives for fulfilling our purpose: “I want to see someone I deeply love in heaven one day. My marriage would be so much better if my spouse knew Jesus like I do. I can’t stand the thought of someone suffering in eternity for the consequences of their sin.” But there’s one motivation that’s even greater than these, and it’s tied to nothing less than God’s own heart.
The passage above is a window into the innermost part of God’s character. It’s His declaration of who He is to us and who we are to Him. Here’s what we see through this window: He’s compassionate, meaning He chooses to respond and react towards people with mercy and the tenderest of love. He’s gracious, which is to say He’s always attentive to our needs and meets us on our area of lack with overflowing benevolence. He’s slow to anger, choosing to be patient even when punishment is deserved and overflowing with love and faithfulness instead of judgment.
This is God’s heart for humanity. It’s what motivated Him to sacrifice His one and only Son, Jesus, so our sins could be forgiven and so we could enter into an eternal relationship with Him. Knowing this was God’s motivation towards us serves as our motivation towards others. It’s His heart for people that moves our heart, as well. Because the closer we draw to Him, the more we reflect and resemble Him. His purpose becomes our purpose, and what moves Him moves us.
Pause: What does this passage reveal to you about God and how should this effect your life?
Practice: Consider the ways you’re moved by the things that move God? How is your life’s purpose affected?
Pray: Dear God, we want the what You’ve purposed for our lives to match the why. Help us to see and understand more and more Your heart for others. Enable us to enter into that same space of compassion and love that moves You, so we may also be moved. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.