Purpose #1 – “God-Up”
God loves you deeply and desires that you love Him in return. The Bible states, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6, NLT). Can you feel God’s passion to have a relationship with you? He wants you to know Him more than anything. So, it’s no surprise your first and primary purpose in life is to know and love God.
Consider the following illustration: Suppose you had a child who never spoke to you, spent any time with you, or invested any time in getting to know you. Wouldn’t that break your heart? Of course, it would. You love your child deeply and desperately want him or her to know, love, and have a relationship with you. This is exactly how God feels about you!
The greatest commandment in the Bible is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37-38, NIV). This means God wants to have an intimate relationship with you. He desires to be involved in every aspect of your life. He longs for you to know Him, enjoy Him, love Him, and spend time with Him. Stated differently, aside from wanting to become your Father, Lord, and Savior, God also wants to be your best friend.
Now, let’s get real; we are talking about a BIG relationship here! But let us not forget, God created you for His purpose and pleasure (to know, love, and worship Him).
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8a, ESV).
“For the LORD takes pleasure in his people” (Psalm 149:4a, ESV).
Serious Relationships Take Time
As with any serious relationship, our intimacy with God takes time, love, honesty, trust, and sacrifice. It also requires a “wedding ring” level commitment, constant communication, and understanding God’s core values (what’s important to Him, what brings Him pleasure, what He likes and dislikes, etc.).
Because we were all made with free wills, seeking a relationship with God is a personal choice. We can choose to accept God or to reject Him. And friends, this is the proverbial fork-in-the-road. You must decide. Will it be the “Me-focused” or “God-focused” pathway? To fulfill your first purpose in life and obtain that deep and lasting joy, peace, and fulfillment, the choice must be the God-focused way.
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6a, NLT).
Background Information about You and God (a/k/a the “Disease”)
Before we continue, let’s take a minute to discuss some important background information about you and God. First, you (and everyone else) were created by God. The Bible states, “I am your Creator.” (Isaiah 44:2a, CEV). Secondly, due to a generational and life-threatening “disease” called sin (thanks to Adam & Eve!) you (and everyone else) are born sinners and separated from God (God is holy and cannot associate with sin). “But your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2a, NIV). “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12, NIV).
Did you know that this sin disease is easy to diagnose? All one needs to do is look to God’s law, the Ten Commandments. Why? Because God’s law reveals our symptoms as sin is breaking God’s law. In other words, anytime we tell a lie, steal, use God’s name in vain, disobey our parents, hate someone, lust over someone, become greedy, etc., we have sinned. [So, ask yourself: Have I ever told a lie? Have I ever stolen anything, even if small? Have I ever coveted something or someone?] And since it only takes one sin to break God’s law, it means we are all sinners and possess this devastating disease. To make matters worse, the Bible states the ultimate outcome of sin is death, which means eternal separation from God in a horrible and tormenting place called hell. This eternal sentencing will be determined on Judgment Day, which is where every person will have a divine appointment with our Creator. This may seem harsh, but it’s biblical truth. But keep reading, as God has provided a miraculous cure!
“For all have sinned” (Romans 3:23a, NIV).
“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a, NIV).
“And they will go away into eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46a, NLT).
“And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgement” (Hebrews 9:27, NLT).
There is Good News (a/k/a the “Cure”)
But there is good news! God loves us and does not want anyone to perish (in hell for eternity), so He sent His Son Jesus to become the “cure” and save us. Specifically, the cure represents Jesus’ sinless blood that was shed when He died on a cross approximately 2,000 years ago. The Bible states that sinless blood must be shed as the payment for sin – “life for a life” (Hebrews 9:22). After Jesus died, He was buried, and three days after He rose from the dead. If you believe in Jesus and His sacrifice for your sins, confess Him as your Lord and Savior, and choose to repent (turn from “your” ways to “God’s” ways), you will be forgiven (healed from your sin disease), reconciled to God, and live eternally in heaven. Praise God for this incredible gift and invitation!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19, NLT).
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18, NIV).
Body, Soul, and Spirit
To further illustrate the above discussion, it’s important to realize we are all created with a body, soul, and spirit. Your body is self-evident – your flesh, bones, organs, etc. Your soul consists of your mind, will, emotions – collectively, your personality. And your spirit consists of your connection with God. In summary, we are a spirit with a soul living in a body. Unfortunately, due to our generational sin disease we are all born spiritually dead. However, when a person receives God’s divine cure by repenting and placing their faith in Jesus, they receive a new spirit, which is alive and righteous. The Bible refers to a person’s new and regenerated spirit as being “born again.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3, NIV).
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV).
“May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23b, NIV).
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, NIV).
God’s Family Benefits
The moment we repent, put our faith in Jesus, and confess Him as our personal Lord and Savior, we become “children” of God. In other words, we are officially “adopted” into God’s family! “Dear friends, now we are children of God” (1 John 3:2, NIV).
- Eternity in Heaven!!! (clearly the #1 benefit)
- Joy (divine “joy,” which is deep and lasting and not based on circumstances)
- Peace (divine “peace,” which is deep and lasting and not based on circumstances)
- Love (divine “love” that is selfless, unconditional, and never-ending)
- God’s Presence (via the Holy Spirit indwelling us)
- God’s Power
- God’s Protection
- God’s Provisions
- God’s Promises
- God’s Mercy and Blessing
- Divine Healing and Deliverance
“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Proverbs 103:1-5, NIV).
We Possess a Ticket to Heaven
Did you notice that having a “trouble-free” life is not one of God’s family benefits?
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NLT).
The verse above says, we live in a broken, cursed, and sinful world. Consequently, all the people in it are still exposed to trials, troubles, pain, and suffering. However, knowing we possess a ticket to heaven, having God’s presence and power inside us, as well as the divine joy and peace He gives us, we can persevere through life’s storms more calmly, confidently, and courageously.
God is the Filling
Once we are adopted into God’s family, our relationship with God begins! Again, this needs to become your BIGGEST relationship. It will take time and effort, so be patient and continuously seek to know and love God. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8a, ESV). God wants you to talk to Him just as you would to a best friend or family member. Talk to Him throughout the day, even while you are performing your routine activities (work, school, hobbies, errands, etc.). In other words, God wants to “do life” with you! He doesn’t want only a “slice” of your life. He wants to be the “filling” of your life, meaning He desires to be involved in all the areas and details of your life. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).
Making God the “filling” of your life also means centering your life around him. We can center our lives around many things such as career, money, family, fitness, sport, hobby, or having fun. These are all good things; however, they do not belong at the center of your life.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).
Surrender to God
Finally, and as alluded to above, part of having a relationship with God involves surrendering to Him. This means offering yourself fully to God and giving Him control of your life. Submitting to God is a daily choice. As contrary as it may sound, surrendering to God doesn’t weaken you; it strengthens you. It doesn’t bring you defeat; it brings you victory. And finally, it doesn’t bring you bondage; it brings you freedom.
The below infographic summarizes the key aspects of your first purpose in life.