I want to introduce to you the three “P’s”. Purpose, Passion, and Perseverance. These three words represent three keys to a successful life. I see each word as a leg on a stool and if one is missing the stool will fall. Without any of the three “P”s” life will always be less than hoped for, will always fall short of the measure, and will never produce personal satisfaction. The first “P” that we are going to explore is Purpose.

Webster defines Purpose as: the reason why something is done or used; the aim or intention of something; the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something; the aim or goal of a person: what a person is trying to do. Then purpose is tied to our vision. Our vision is what we see in the future, or that we wish to be in the future for our lives. It is an ability to see in the long term the outcome of our efforts. In Proverbs we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) If we have no vision as to where we are going, then we have no purpose to go there. If we have no purpose, then we become stagnant and end up going every which a way ending up nowhere.

Our purpose is not our vocation in life. Our purpose is not what we do to live in this world but purpose is what causes us to live. Our vocation supports our purpose. Some who are most fortunate combine their purpose into their vocation but for most our purpose demands a greater cause than just supporting the maintenance of our life. It is the grander plan that is intended to achieve the meaning of our life. The vision for our purpose may have been in the earlier years to fashion our self in the image of our parents. As we grew older it may have become entertainment personalities or popular sports figures. There is nothing wrong with that in our youth but soon we learn we cannot be someone else as we are unique to our own attributes. Still all through life we tend to fashion our life in the model of those whom we look up to. These people place, either by advice or by observance, their vision into our thinking. Again in Proverbs we read, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs23:7) People must be careful as to who influences their life, who they look up to, who they fashion their lives after, and who they try to imitate. So many in this world fall into bad company and our led astray. If we are to have a model to work from them we should choose the best model there is. What that model feeds into our mind, into our heart, is what will appear in the way we live our life. “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18) If our purpose is to be of the greatest benefit, then we want to choose the one with the greatest purpose and who knows the way to lead us to accomplishment. No one who has any grasp on history will argue against that Jesus Christ was the greatest man who has ever lived. He is, “the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

Jesus came into the world with the greatest purpose, He “came to seek and to save that which was lost,” (Luke 19:10) and “to testify to the truth.” (John 18:37) I ask, what greater purpose can one have in life? What greater effect can one have for the betterment of humanity than the purpose of Jesus? Many in this world, maybe perhaps one who is reading this lesson, reject the message of love from Jesus, they reject the truth of Jesus, and they will be lost in an eternity without love, without hope, and in eternal peril. Yet as a follower of Jesus our purpose is to plant the seeds of His truth in the hearts of all who will hear. We are to pray that God will open their hearts to that truth and cause the seed of truth to grow in their lives that they might repent from this world and point towards the Kingdom of God. What greater purpose can anyone have in their life than to testify to the truth and seek to save those who are lost and need to be redeemed by an Almighty loving God.

For those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus and to walk as He leads us down that dusty King’s Highway to the Promised Land we have a purpose that is a benefit to all humanity. We have been commanded by our Lord to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) We live in a passing world filled with blinded neighbors who are wandering aimlessly in the wilderness searching their reality for some form of truth. What they find is the twisted truth of deception from the farther of lies the adversary of all mankind, Satan. They fall into his snare and must pay the wage for their rebellion against God’s Word. Death hangs over them as a darkening shadow and each day they move closer to that appointed time to pay their wages. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) The Christian is the light that shines in this darkness and the one who prays that men will be drawn to it. The Christian is striving in passion to persevere in the purpose set before us by the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, the Savior. For that moment of departure comes as a thief, as all one day must face the righteous judge. Let us not fail to purpose ourselves that not one should be lost and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:17-19)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, March 2, 2014

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