Fulfilling our Purpose Like Jesus
Aristotle theorized that the best life is achieved the more thoroughly we fulfill our purpose. So often, mankind tries to find purpose in the physical things of this life. However, blessings can never truly satisfy our desire for a purpose. That is because, our purpose is spiritual not physical. The question that remains is: What is our purpose and how do we achieve it?
Jesus defines mankind’s purpose in Mark 12:30 by saying, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” He then described a way to achieve this purpose by saying the golden rule, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[i] Two things can happen when a person tries to fulfill our spiritual purpose of love with the physical blessings of this world: he tries to equal God by thinking he knows a better way, or he replaces his love of God with his desire for the physical blessing.
In the Garden of Eden, Eve understands that God is the decider of what is good or evil and is at first confident in Him. Eve tells the serpent in Genesis 3:3, “but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent tempted her with wisdom and continued life if she partook of the fruit. By twisting God’s words, the devil convinces Eve that what was contrary to fulfilling her purpose was actually beneficial. All too often, the justifications we make become the devil in our minds and lead us further from our purpose.
In Genesis 22, Abraham displayed that spiritual love is better than physical blessings. At the beginning of the chapter, the Lord tells Abraham that he must sacrifice his only son as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. Abraham and his wife tried for many years to have a son and were way beyond the normal child bearing age when the Lord blessed them with Isaac. Isaac was Abraham’s most beloved physical blessing and he was told to sacrifice him. Instead of complaining and forsaking his relationship with God, Abraham chose to have faith. (Genesis 22:7-8) Due to Abraham’s trust, the Lord spared Isaac and fulfilled all the promises he made to him.
Philippians 2:5-7 reads, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Jesus chose to lovingly serve God with entire being by healing the sick, teaching others about Him, and spiritually saving mankind. Philippians 2:8-9 reads, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.” Jesus fulfilled His true purpose. When you meet God in Heaven, will you be able to tell Him that you did the same?
[i] The golden rule is also known by its description in Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”
By: Forrest Theiss 01/3/2023