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Discovering Your Purpose

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.
–Matthew 28:19-20

When we look at choosing purpose over aimlessness, it’s important to clarify the difference between a purpose, objectives, and goals in your life. Let’s look, first of all, at purpose. A purpose statement answers the question: “Why do I exist?” It doesn’t have to be a long treatise; it can be a simple statement about your unique purpose in life. Why did God create you? Why are you occupying real estate on planet earth?

Most organizations have purpose statements. For example, the General Motors Corporation might say that their purpose, their reason for existing, is to generate a healthy profit by manufacturing the finest automobiles in the world. And that statement gives the company direction. Suppose the vice president of GM goes in to the CEO and says. “I think there’s a lot of money to be made in pharmaceuticals.” The CEO, if he’s worth his weight in salt, would say, “That’s a great idea, but that’s not the purpose of our company. Our company exists to make money by manufacturing fine automobiles.”

Churches should have a clearly defined purpose as well. In our church, we believe the great commission Jesus gave in Mathew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” And from that great commission First Baptist Dallas has developed a mission statement: “Our purpose is to transform the world with God’s Word one life at a time.” And that means everything we do as a church is directed toward either winning people to Christ; baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; or developing them into disciples, teaching them to observe all things Christ has commanded us. Anything that doesn’t contribute to evangelism or discipleship may be a good thing to do, but it’s not what we are called to do.

Somebody might say, “I think it would be helpful if our church held a seminar on real estate investing for our people.” That may be a nice thing, but that’s not our purpose. Or somebody else might say, “Wouldn’t it be a nice ministry for our church to run a hospital?” That’s a nice thing to do as well, but that’s not what we’re called to do. Or somebody else might say, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Monday night bingo at our church?” There is nothing wrong with bingo, but that’s not what our church is called to do. A purpose statement gives us as a church direction. And what’s true about organizations, businesses, and churches is true about individuals as well.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Purpose over Aimlessness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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