A quick internet or dictionary search for a definition of the word purpose yields this result: “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” Purpose provides motive, cause, reason, and justification for our actions. Purpose gives us the answer to the great question, “Why?” Why do we do the things we do? Why do we believe what we believe?
The biggest event in the life of Israel is the Passover/Exodus experience. This experience helped clarify purpose for the people of Israel. Every year when Jewish people celebrate Passover, a child asks, “Why is this night different from every other night?” In other words, “What is the purpose of this celebration?”
The Passover experience tells the story of God’s people being freed from bondage so they can walk unencumbered with him. Micah 6:8 famously states, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Walking humbly with God fulfills our very purpose for being.
Later, in the New Testament, Jesus teaches in Matthew 22:34-38 that the greatest commandments are to love God radically and love others radically. A Christian child might ask, “How is this love different from every other love?”
What is our purpose, motivation, and reason as Christians to walk in love? 1 John 3:16 states, “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for another.” Our purpose, our motive, cause, reason, and justification for everything we do is rooted in God’s first action. God first created us to walk with him. Jesus first loved us by laying down his life in love for us. This is our purpose, our reason, for loving others. Our purpose is rooted in God’s action; our response is to love God and others because he first loved us.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What does this idea of walking with God look like in your context? How does God’s first action demonstrate how we are to love? Does our purpose change in different seasons of life or only our application of love?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, teach us to trust and understand your purpose for our lives. Help us to walk humbly with you by loving you and others. Teach us to love you and others as you first loved us. Show us the difficult ways of love so that we might truly reflect your purpose for our lives to the world you created. Amen.