A Reason to Live (1)
Sunday, October 15, 2017
We live in an age of unrest, discontentment, disillusionment, intolerance, and extremes. Many wander aimlessly through life trying to find fulfillment through wealth, drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, etc. They go through life seeking but never finding. Relativism and permissiveness have left the individual, the nation, and the world without an anchor; they have no purpose, no guide, no faith, and no hope (Eph. 2:12).
Jesus had none of the things which the world considers important and yet He lived the most meaningful life ever lived. Why is this true? How did He accomplish this feat? If we can learn the answer to these questions, if we learn what He had, and live as He lived, we can find happiness and a reason to live.
Jesus had something for which to live; He had a purpose, and that purpose was His divine mission. Restlessness is only natural when there is no aim or goal to act as a magnet to draw us on. “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2). ”I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). The normal goals of health, comfort, wealth, prestige, fame, wine pleasure, possessions, etc. have all been tried and found wanting (Ecc. 2). When we try to find an escape through drugs and/or alcohol, that is not a goal, but simply an attempt to avoid setting a goal.
Christ’s purpose transcended self and any type of selfish gain. Thus His purpose could not be hindered by personal discomfort, desires, etc. Notice how He expressed His mission or purpose. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30b). And don’t forget the abundant life that He came to provide (John 10:10). Not only did Jesus have a purpose, but He realized that there was an appointed time to perform it. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).
In order to give life, He had to lose His life. When faced with the decision, He prayed, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). John 12:27 shows the reason He prayed as He did in Gethsemane. “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”
Jesus had a reason to live; it was His divine mission.
Paul M. Wilmoth