June 30, 2014

Our Life’s Purpose: Part of God’s Story

Jeremiah 29:4-14

I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “. . . plans to give you hope and a future.
—Jeremiah 29:11


Things happen for a reason, people say. But many in our world disagree. Instead, they claim that our lives are just a series of random events and we have no real purpose beyond trying to keep our species alive.

Something in the human heart, though, bristles at that notion. How can our lives be random and without purpose? We all want to excel at some role we may be destined for. And if we fall in love, we want to know that our relationship is “meant to be.” Surprisingly, even agnostics (who doubt there is a God) will often buy into the idea that things happen for a reason, even if they can’t figure out just who might have arranged it all.

What does the Bible say? Scrip­ture makes clear that the God who planned out the world has also laid out the days we spend in it. Our life stories often turn out much differently than we might have expected, but that doesn’t mean our stories happen randomly. It simply shows how little we know of the story ahead of time. That often happens with good stories.

In the Bible, God helps us discover our life story. More than anything else the Bible is a story­book, telling how God shapes our lives. God not only made us (and with purpose); he also pursues us in spite of our sin. God calls us to him and each other, that we might love him forever. And he gives us his Spirit, so that we might live into the purpose he gives us.

The great story God gives us in his Word, the Bible, is amazing!

God, please tell us the story that you have for our lives. We’re listening. In your name, Amen.​

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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