Lessons - Devotional - "Purpose"

(only had a couple hours to prepare this so the rough draft below was the only version)

What do you want to do with your life?
Do you want to become a professional athlete, doctor, successful business owner?
How many people do you think have always wished to spend their life working every day, watching TV every evening, and being in debt all their life?
Yet which is the more common lifestyle?
Those who have achieved the life they wanted, did so with a clear set purpose.

Our Savior had a purpose to the things he did:
Luke 4:43 - but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
John 12:27 - “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
Lk 19:10 - for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The apostle Paul describes his life’s goal & purpose like this:
I Cor 9:24 - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Ph 3:13-14 - Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

If your primary goal in life is to get to heaven, then anything that helps you get there should be embraced… and anything that distracts you should be rejected.

So, why are we so easily distracted and tempted then?
Perhaps it is because our real goal isn’t what we say it is?
Is our real purpose “to get to heaven”, or “to get to heaven while living the way we want to live”?!

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Heb 12:1)
Lk 9:23 - Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

We’re not going to reach our goal and win the race, staying in our comfort zone!

In a physical race, you must undergo physical training, and overcome physical obstacles.
In a spiritual race, you must undergo spiritual training, and overcome spiritual obstacles.
You can only do this through a daily devotion to prayer & Bible study!

Lk 13:24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

If you need to respond to tonight’s invitation, please do so as we stand and sing.