Monday, April 23, 2012

Purpose Driven by Martin Wiles

I admit confusion. I purchased it in good faith but it’s not fulfilling its purpose.

Even though the salesman promised it would take me to work, grocery stores, doctor appointments, restaurants, church, and on vacations, it idles under the carport. My vehicle is made to do all those things and more but only will if I connect the machine with its purpose. It’s one thing the salesman didn’t mention but probably assumed I knew to do: crank it up.

My life and connection to the church are similar. Christ died for both giving them inherent purpose but purpose only realized when I understand their significance: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)

I’m more than a warm body occupying a pew as the old children’s rhyme seems to imply: “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.” I belong to a living organism delivering an unchanging, life altering message.

Not everyone understood Jesus’ work in establishing the church. He quickly incurred wrath and rejection from those expecting a conquering King not a suffering servant. And many still misunderstand. When asked, “What do you think of Jesus,” answers such as “He was a good man…a good teacher…a miracle worker…or a great prophet” are common.  

But misunderstanding Jesus has present and eternal implications. It leads to rejecting his offer of forgiveness and also affects our view of the church. Jesus’ role is not simply to satisfy or please but to accomplish his work through us.

Understanding our purpose builds our life and the church on a rock of success. We are handed the “keys to the kingdom.” Confessing and sharing the gospel fulfills my life’s purpose and opens the Kingdom to all likeminded seekers.

It’s the personal responsibility of individual believers and the corporate responsibility of the church to make disciples of all nations. Success ultimately depends on God’s presence and power but is affected by our efforts. Ask God how you can be more purpose driven?

Prayer: Mighty Spirit, when our aim is undirected, draw us back to our God ordained purpose.