This morning we looked at Romans 8:29 and what it means to live according to God’s purpose. Purpose is extremely important in life. To live without a sense of purpose or meaning is to live with a sense of boredom and frustration. There is far more to life than the going-to-work-and-coming-home-to-bed life which many of us seem to settle for. God has good plans for each one of us (Jer 29:11) and good works for us to do (Eph 2:10), but it is important to realise that His purposes involve service and sacrifice, not just our gratification.

Without God, we live in a me-centred world which sees purpose as fulfilling ourselves (often at the expense of other people.) God wants to be at the centre of our world and for us to fulfil His purpose in life. This will look different for each one of us, for He calls us to different roles and tasks in life, but at the heart of life is the unifying purpose that we are to be conformed to the image of His Son.

We are called to reflect God’s nature to the world, to be salt and light in our communities (Matt 5:13-16). Ongoing transformation and personal change in God’s service are the purpose of life (2 Cor 3:18). Our purpose, our ‘chief end’, according to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, is to ‘glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ God wants to shape our lives along the same lines as the life of His Son, which means a life of service and sacrifice, not selfishness.

The greatest commandments according to Jesus were to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others as ourselves. (Mark 12:30-31) This means denying ourselves, losing our lives in order to find them (see Mark 8:34), serving others as Jesus did as He washed the disciples’ feet. (John 13:14-17) Service and sacrifice are at the heart of living according to God’s ways and at the heart of finding God’s purpose in our lives.