Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is the world a better place because of me?
Everyone asks these questions at some point. The answers hinge on your worldview. Some believe that there is no significant reason that humans exist, that we are a product of chance mutations that became intelligent life. Some believe our purpose is to enjoy life and create an identity of our choosing—we decide what is good and right for us. Still others spend their lives searching for significance, doing good works and constantly improving themselves only to sink into despair when the pain of life leaves them empty. None of these options will answer humanity’s deepest need, and none provide hope. As Christ followers, we can learn from the words of Jesus why we are here.
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Two thousand years ago, Jesus spoke these words to his disciples; today, he is speaking those same words to anyone who claims the name of Jesus as their salvation. We, as Christ followers, were put on this earth to be a light. We are here to introduce others to a saving faith in Christ. The world is a very dark place where values are being redefined, people are confused, and what is right and wrong is treated as only being relative. But Christ has placed us, his followers, in this dark world. Think of this: You were chosen to be born into the world at this point in history. God placed you here today to make a difference. As in the Old Testament story of Esther, we are here for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Dr. Calvin Sweeney’s bottom line this past weekend was “God has given the gift of PURPOSE so that you can give the gift of HOPE.” Our purpose is a gift from God. He is choosing to use us to reflect his glory and share his grace, to a dark and sinful world. You have the choice to embrace that gift, that light, and make a difference, or you can deny it and hide it. Either way, you will leave an impact on the world around you. If you accept his calling to use your light to change the world, God will use you. You will see things happen in ways you never imagined. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Why do you think most people struggle to find their purpose?
Do you believe that you can be a light in your world? Are you afraid to let those around you see the light of Christ in your life? Why?
Make a list of ways you can shine the light of Christ on the path of others in your home, your school, your workplace, and your community. The next time you feel tempted to hide your light, say “I am the light of the world.” Believe it and watch how God uses you to make a difference.
Complete GrowthTrack, an experience designed to help you to begin discovering your purpose. GrowthTrack takes place every weekend at any of our campuses. There is also an online experience available.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me a purpose. Thank you for using me to draw a hurting world toward abundant life in you. Give me the courage to shine my light in the dark places I encounter daily. I pray that others are drawn to you through the ways I live, love, act, and speak. I pray that I will embrace my place on this Earth at this time for your glory. Amen.
This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.
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