Share This Episode
Turning Point  David Jeremiah Logo

Living Your Life on Purpose - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2021 12:24 pm

Living Your Life on Purpose - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 312 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 6, 2021 12:24 pm

Support the show:

See for privacy information.

Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
The Verdict
John Munro
Sound of Faith
Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green
Truth Matters
Dr. Cheryl Davis
Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman

This podcast is made available by Vision Christian Media, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Your donation today means great podcasts like this remain available to help people look to God daily.

Please make your donation today at Whether or not you've verbalized it, there's a question that's been on your heart for your entire life that only God can answer. Why am I here? Today on Turning Point, Dr David Jeremiah looks at the lives of people in both the Old and New Testaments to find life's true purpose. From The Life That God Blesses, David introduces his message, Living Your Life on Purpose, after a word of introduction.

And thank you so much for joining us here on Turning Point. We are getting started in this new year with a series of messages entitled The Life God Blesses. And today we're going to talk about living your life on purpose. When you know why you're doing what you're doing, it's a lot easier to do it.

When you know there's a purpose behind it all, that there's a goal, that God has something that he intends to happen because you're doing what you're doing. And we're going to look at the lives of Daniel, Ezra, Paul, and the Lord Jesus Christ. And we're going to examine how they live their lives on purpose. And hopefully God will enable us to do the same.

Let's find out how to live our lives on purpose. I read recently about a pilot who was practicing high speed maneuvers in a jet fighter. She turned the controls for what she thought was a steep ascent and flew straight into the ground.

She was unaware that she had been flying upside down. This is a parable of human experience. And not exactly that everyone is crashing, but there is enough of that. And most of us as individuals and the world as a society as a whole live at such a high speed. Often with no clue as to whether we're flying upside down or right side up. We're haunted by the suspicion that there may be no difference. Or at least if there is a difference, we don't know what it is or it's irrelevant to our lives. I am convinced that far too many of us are pushed along by the days and the months and the years.

And when we do not put up any resistance, the force of the years just takes over. I want us to think about allowing God to grab hold of our lives and change us from a passive, lethargic existence to a powerful and purposeful life. In a recent national survey, a question was asked, if you could ask God any one question, what would it be?

That's a good thought, isn't it? If you could ask God any one question and get an immediate answer, what would it be? And when they tallied all the results of the survey, the question most often asked was not how can I get rich, or why do bad things happen to good people, or any of the other things you and I might think would be asked. The number one question people said they would ask God if they could ask Him anything was, why am I here? Why am I here? What is my purpose for life? What am I supposed to be doing with the days and the hours and the months and the years that have been given to me?

Do you ever wonder about that? Do you ever ask that question, Lord God, why am I here? When I was ordained many years ago, my father, who was then living and was the pastor who was in charge of the ordination, preached a message at my ordination service from Acts chapter 13, verse 36. And this is what that verse says. David served his own generation by the will of God. And my father gave that verse to me as sort of a challenge for my life and ministry, that I would take that as from the Lord and that I would serve my generation by the will of God. And I remember my father saying, you can't serve the generation before you because you weren't there. You'll never be able to serve the generation that's after you because you won't be there. You have to serve the generation in which you live and you must do it by the will of God.

And I've never forgotten those words. And then my father reminded me that there's only one thing God can ever ask of us. And that is that we do what he tells us to do and we live our lives on purpose for him. George Bernard Shaw, not writing certainly from an evangelical perspective, but nevertheless with great wisdom wrote these words. He said, this is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you were thrown on the scrap heap and being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

Did you hear what he said? The true joy of life is being used for a purpose. And for those of us who are Christians, that purpose is the purpose we gain from knowing God. William Paul Sell observed, it is unlikely that we will deepen our relationship with God in a casual or haphazard manner. There will be a need for some intentional commitment and some reorganization in our own lives. But there is nothing that will enrich our lives more than a deeper and clearer perception of God's presence in the routine of daily living.

For a few moments, I want to lead us on a quest to get purposeful about life. I hope you'll join me in this process as we explore just a few thoughts from the scripture and then try to make it apply to our own lives. Now, there are a number of people in the Bible who live such a life. I want to introduce you to four of them, two from the Old Testament and two from the New. These people are known to you, some of them more than others. But in each of their lives, they lived on purpose. And because of that, God used them to make an incredible impact on the people around them and on the generations that follow. We read about them, we learn about them and study about them because their lives were so purposeful we can't get away from them. The first one is the man Daniel. And in the life of Daniel, we discover the power of purpose.

Now, I need to tell you these stories very quickly and I'm going to assume some knowledge on your part of the stories because they're not unfamiliar to most of us. The story of Daniel actually is a story of three of his friends and himself who were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar who was the king of Babylon. They were singled out by this wicked Babylonian king to represent him to his Jewish captives. So Nebuchadnezzar brought them to Babylon and he did everything he could do to brainwash them into looking Babylonian on the inside even though they were Jewish on the outside. His method was if I can get these young Jewish boys to represent me to their people and I can change them on the inside so that they're really Babylonian in their thinking, they will be a useful tool to keeping peace among the people that we have in captivity. So he brought Daniel and his three friends into his palace and he began to train them.

He taught them the Babylonian culture. He changed all of their names from Jewish names to Babylonian names. Daniel's name, for instance, which was God is Judge, Dan Yale.

The God is my judge is what that word means. They changed Daniel's name to Belteshazzar, which was in honor of the God Baal. And Daniel, who was a wonderful, godly, Jewish young man, was thrust into the midst of this pressure cooker where they were trying to squeeze all of his godliness out of him and turn him into simply an outward Jew with an inward Babylonian heart. And Daniel's first test came when he was brought into the king's own palace and offered food from the king's table.

Now, are you remembering the story? And the food from the king's table was a major problem for Daniel, who was a wonderful, godly Jew, because certainly it would not be kosher. And to eat it would have involved Daniel in the violation of the law.

The drink that he was offered, according to the text, was wine from the king's table. And Daniel knew that before any Babylonian king drank any wine, it was, first of all, offered to the pagan gods that they served. So for Daniel to eat the food from the king's table would violate his covenant. And for him to drink the wine from the king's kitchen would violate the covenant. And so the Bible says Daniel had to make a decision. And we come now to Daniel chapter 1 and verse 8. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank.

Therefore, he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. And I want you to go back to the beginning of the verse where it says Daniel purposed in his heart. He made a decision. He decided that he would not eat the king's meat or drink the king's wine. He made up his mind.

He laid it up in his heart is what the text means. He refused and all the might of Babylon and all the policy of Nebuchadnezzar and all the worldly wisdom said he should comply with this powerful king. But Daniel purposed in his heart. He began to live his life from that moment on at least on purpose. He was young, but he purposed in his heart.

So don't let anyone tell you young people that you're too young for this message. He was in the minority. All of the rest apparently complied, but he purposed in his heart. He was away from home, away from all of the underpinnings of his culture, yet he purposed in his heart. If he disobeyed, he knew he could be killed, but he purposed in his heart. The eating and the drinking of the king's wine and food would have been a capitulation on the part of Daniel to the lifestyle of the world, and it would have been in direct disobedience to God and his word. So Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not and he did not. And I need to tell you because you don't have time to go with me through the rest of the book of Daniel, that that moment in that young man's life who perhaps was somewhere between 14 and 18 years of age, that moment in his life set him up for all the rest of his life. Read the book of Daniel and you will see that because of his commitment to God and putting God first in everything, he rose to the top of at least three different administrations and he was a man who came to be known as Daniel the dearly beloved. He played a huge role in God's plan for his people and it all began in his heart when he decided to live on purpose. He made up his mind what to do and he sets himself apart from so many others.

I was reading in the Old Testament and I read about a king by the name of Rehoboam and it kind of struck me because it says in 2 Chronicles 12, 14 that he did evil. Now watch this, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord. There is a point in time in all of our lives as Christians where we have to step back and decide, the Christian life isn't going to just come to me.

It's not just going to float over me like the atmosphere. If I am going to be honoring to God and make a difference in my world, in my family, in my church, in my culture, I have got to make purpose the center of my thinking. What have I decided to do?

What purpose is in my heart? Daniel shows us the power of purpose. I wish I could tell you the rest of the story because it is a glorious story, but I need to hasten on to the next person. And this person from the Old Testament is a man by the name of Ezra, sometimes referred to as Ezra the scribe. Now Ezra is usually given credit for writing the book which bears his name, the book of Ezra, for giving details concerning the book of Nehemiah, and perhaps even the chronicles of the Old Testament.

Some of them are attributed to him. Whatever we know about Ezra, he was a great man, a man greatly used of God, and he illustrates the preparation of purpose. You see, God had used Ezra the scribe to bring reform to his people who had returned from captivity to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. Using the written word of God, Ezra led the people in a revival.

What had happened was, while they had been away for 70 years, they had forgotten many of their traditions and many of their commitments. They came back to rebuild the walls and rebuild the temple, and while there was some excitement at the beginning, it wasn't long before the Jewish people began to descend to the depths of living, much of which they had learned in the Babylonian culture, but much of which was just their own decadent lives. And while God sent Nehemiah back to build up the walls of the city, he primarily sent Ezra back to teach the people from the word of God so that they could be renewed and they could begin again to worship Jehovah God as they had been called upon to worship him in the beginning. And Ezra came back, and the Bible tells us that he instituted reforms and he began to lead revivals. And after the completion of the wall, Ezra and Nehemiah gathered the people together. And if you want to read a great chapter in the Bible sometime, read Nehemiah, for there you will see what happens when God's word is given freedom to have an impact on the life of a culture. For seven days, now watch this, from early in the morning until noon, everybody came together and they listened to the word of God as Ezra stood on a platform and he read the word of God and he told them what the word of God meant. Now this wasn't your normal morning service.

It started at daybreak, probably around six, and it lasted until noon, and they stood up for the whole service. And the only attraction for that gathering was God's holy word and a man by the name of Ezra who knew the word of God and could interpret it and explain it to the people. And you say, how in the world did he get into such a position of leadership and strength and influence so that he literally turned the course of a nation through the teaching and preaching of the word of God?

Well, I want to give you the key. It's in Ezra chapter 7 and verse 10, and this is what it says. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. Look at the front of the verse. Once again, he prepared his heart.

Say it out loud. He prepared his heart. You don't really do anything for God that's going to make a difference unless there is an on-time intentional purposeful decision that this is going to happen. I don't know anybody that just floats into greatness, do you?

I don't know anybody that just sort of goes with the flow and makes a difference in their culture. Somewhere along the way, you have to drive a stake in the ground and say, this is what I'm committed to. And for Ezra, it was the commitment to prepare his heart to seek the law. It's going to be like a young man today coming forward in a service and saying, I believe that God has called me to the ministry and I am going to go to seminary and learn to teach the Word of God so that I can make a difference in the generation to come.

That's what Ezra did. He began to live his life on purpose so that everything about him had to do with his focus on the Word of God and what a dramatic change took place because of his influence. So we have Ezra in the Old Testament and we have the opportunity to see what God did in his life and we have Daniel in the Old Testament, just two illustrations of people who lived their lives on purpose.

Now let's come to the New Testament because some of you say, well, give me something more recent. And I want to share with you, first of all, the life of Paul, who under any gaze has been listed as perhaps the most influential man who lived upon the face of this earth apart from Jesus Christ. To him we owe 13 of the epistles of the New Testament according to most people, if you include Hebrews. To him we owe the foundation principles of the church.

To him we owe the missionary strategy of outreach. To him we owe the power of a testimony from a transformed life, and you can go on and on. Paul was and is even to this day considered one of the greatest men who ever lived.

But as we turn in our Bibles to Philippians chapter 3, we learn his secret. According to verse 11 of the third chapter, Paul's passion and his goal in life was to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. And in order to do that, Paul made a decision in his life. He decided to live on purpose, and listen to this statement, which is one of my favorite passages in the New Testament.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, say that out loud, one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Paul had as his all-consuming goal to know Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering, but he didn't just have a high moment in his thought process. The Bible says he made a decision. He made a decision to make that the very core of his existence.

He didn't say, these many things I dabble in. He said, this one thing I do, and he focused himself on that decision and determined to live his life on purpose. And you know what the result of it was? At the end of his life, and we have the record of this in 2 Timothy, which was his swan song, the last letter that he wrote. In the swan song that Paul wrote in 2 Timothy, he writes these words, for I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure or my death is at hand. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only, but also to all who love his appearing. Paul got to the end of his life because of the purpose he had made at the beginning of his life, and he said, looking back on my life, I can say I finished my course. I did what I was supposed to do.

I fought the fight, and I'm excited about the future because there's a crown waiting for me. You say, can anybody live like that? I mean, maybe if you thought about that in your own life right now, and you thought, boy, this is my day of departure, what would your thoughts be? For many of us, I'm sure it would be all the things we can get done, all the things we wanted to do for God or we were gonna do for God someday, but we never quite got to it. Well, you don't have to live your life that way. You can live your life on purpose.

You can understand what God wants you to do and set out to do it with purpose in mind. We'll have a lot more about this tomorrow on the Friday edition of Turning Point, and I hope you'll be with us then. I'm David Jeremiah. My joy and privilege to be with you every day right here on this good radio station.

So have a good day. We'll see you next time. Our message today originated from Shadow Mountain Community Church and we'll see you next time. We'll see you next time. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 10:33:15 / 2024-01-07 10:41:49 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime