Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
God created us to live purposeful and meaningful lives. In the Scripture above, God created the prophet Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations; that is why he was born. We too have been created for work that is pleasing to God. Sadly, most people live and die and never discover why they were born or what their lives are all about.
The word "purpose" means the original intent or plan for which something exists or for which it has been done or made. A life without purpose causes inner emptiness, frustration, discouragement, and disappointment. Purpose is a motivator. It gives us hope and a sense of direction for our lives. It gives us an answer to that why question for our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."
Now, as is often the case, we trip and stumble through life sometimes. If you have made decisions that have hindered the fulfillment of God's purpose for your life, He has a rescue plan to restore you and get you back on track. Perhaps a review of some examples from Scripture of how God rescued others will be helpful here.
Remember Gideon (see Judges 6-8). He was a coward. He was a young man with no vision, but later God revealed His purpose and plan for his life through an angel. Ultimately, Gideon became a mighty leader with God later calling him a "mighty man of valor" (Judges 6:12b). Then there was Moses (see Exodus 3). He was guilty of murder, but he ended up being a great deliverer. What God can do with a life only God knows. As we have just seen, He can use the most unlikely people to accomplish His purposes. The same is true for us. We may have blown it big time, but God is always there to pick up the pieces.
And while we're at it, let's not forget Saul—later called Paul—of Tarsus (see Acts 8-9, 13). As you may remember, he violently persecuted early followers of Jesus, attempting, if at all possible, to exterminate them and extinguish the faith they held so faithfully. Saul persecuted the church, dragging off "men and women and committed them to prison" (Acts 8:3b). But God had greater plans—much greater—for this strident Pharisee. God was going to make him an apostle to the Gentiles, so God's Word could go forth to all the world.
God transformed Paul's life, and Paul used whatever talents he already had in the service of God and others. Glorifying God and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, Paul understood—by the grace of God—the newfound purpose and direction of his life.
If God can do these kinds of wondrous works in the lives of others, why can't He do them in yours?
The answer: He can.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it's easy to see the larger-than-life figures of the Bible and forget that You can do these and even greater things in our lives through Your Son Jesus. Help us understand Your will for our lives. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From the Bible study "You Cannot Escape Yourself," by Rev. Leroy Johnson
1. Do you feel like your life has a purpose?
2. If God knows us in the womb before we're born, what does that say concerning His interest in the rest of our lives?
3. Does knowing that God is in tune with your life impact it in your day-to-day living?
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