Life Verses — Purpose and Meaning

So I had been meaning to write about life purpose for months, then I saw this one-word prompt from The Daily Post:

Expect

Immediately, I was reminded of a message I recently gave at a leadership course, where I showed this picture:

coffin-lecture.jpg
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Momun Gemora)

The image drives home a point:

You, me, and every single person on this planet can expect, without any doubt, to have the same end. 

The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more. (Psalm 103:15-16)

We all need to muster the courage to admit it: Your life in this world as well as mine can end at any time, and every day brings us closer to the finish line. A morbid thought, some would say. Nevertheless, inevitable.

No pushing it out of our minds can change this fact, and every moment spent in denial or refusal to contemplate it is a moment wasted, truth to tell.

And so the psalmist says,

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

How does a clear view of our mortality change the way we live? How does the realization that our days are numbered make a difference in how we spend each one of them?

Would you dare do it? See yourself in that coffin? Take a look at that photo again. What will you have done with your life by the time your remains are placed in that box? What kind of person will you have been — what kind of son/daughter, spouse, parent, sibling, friend, worker, leader, community member? What thoughts would be running in the minds of the people at your funeral? And what would be awaiting you beyond this earthly life?

In an old post I shared what I learned from Stephen Covey about proceeding with life with the end in mind. In a nutshell, the 2nd of Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People talks about beginning today with the image of the end of your life as your frame of reference or the criterion by which everything else is examined. As you do this, each part of your life — today’s behavior, tomorrow’s behavior, next week’s behavior, next month’s behavior — can be examined and lived out in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to you.

I professed to make Jesus Lord of my life more than 18 years ago, but it was only in the last few years that my eyes have truly been opened to the supreme value of anchoring my entire life’s purpose and meaning on my relationship with Him, my Savior:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I could not save myself from the penalty of my sin, so Jesus came to save me.

Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

And His love compels me to live for Him!

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

No longer I, but Christ in me. This is the exchanged life.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Here then, is the chief purpose and meaning of my life: To glorify God in all that I think, say and do, in all my relationships, interactions and decisions.

I made a list of how this is to be concretely manifested in my everyday life — how I will have lived by the time I end my brief stay in this world.

What would your list look like?

Would you make Jesus the anchor of your life’s purpose and meaning, too?

 

8 thoughts on “Life Verses — Purpose and Meaning

  1. Thank you for appreciating the post, Esther, and for sharing this story about a man who lived and finished well, by God’s grace.
    Truly, all of us need to be reminded and re-focused constantly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My list has been so beneficial to me! When I’m feeling out of sorts I look at it to help me re-focus on the things that matter the most. Blessings on making one! 🙂

    Like

  3. What a beautiful post Pia! I remember a few years ago I attended the funeral of a dear friend’s father. He had died very suddenly and unexpectedly. During the entire service I was overwhelmed with conviction as testimony after testimony was given sharing how he had lived his life to glorify God. People from his work, his friends and especially his family spoke so highly of him – but it wasn’t the usual funeral stuff. It seemed so genuine and it was so obvious that his faith completely consumed his life. I walked away thinking, I want to finish like he did, and the only way to do that is to live it every day because he had no idea he was so near the end!
    Thanks for the reminder – that was a few years ago, and it always helps to refocus on these sorts of things again and again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, too! I’ve seen too many people do so much albeit without knowing what for, running around in circles or simply going through the motions of everyday existence. Christ is more than enough and more than able to change all that.

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  5. We are often afraid to think of death but you’re right, everyone is headed that way. We need to use our lives meaningfully while we have it and that entails living as God ordained us to. Thanks for the admonition.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a problem in our society today – shallow living. Many of us go through the motions of daily life without a purpose. We merely exist. We belong to God. We find our purpose in Him. Until we understand this, life is meaningless.

    Liked by 1 person

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