A WORTHWHILE PURPOSE
What are the characteristics of a person with a worthwhile purpose? Perhaps you’re thinking of someone with enthusiasm, conviction, and tenacity. We know that having a worthwhile purpose gives verve and meaning to life. What is your purpose in life? The Apostle Paul reveals his purpose in his letter to the Colossians. His desire was to see people realize their full maturity in Christ. He reveals his strategy in the following verse:
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)
Paul’s emphasis was to proclaim Christ. He accomplished this by first, “admonishing every man.” The word “admonish” conveys the idea instructing, teaching, or warning. Admonishment seeks to correct the mind, to put right what is wrong, and to improve one’s spiritual attitude. Proclamation also involves instruction. Admonishment emphasizes a moral component whereas teaching emphasizes a doctrinal component.
The word “complete” has the meaning of helping one become whole or fully mature. Paul repeats the phrase “every man” three times in this verse. He was concerned with each individual. Imagine sitting before you are 100 beverage bottles, and your job is to fill them up with water. What is the most effective way? You could take a garden hose and spray over the bottles and some of the water would get in. But if you put the hose at the neck of each bottle and filled them one at time, it would be more effective.
Richard Baxter writes, “I have found by experience, that some ignorant persons, who have been so long unprofitable hearers, have got more knowledge and remorse of conscience in half an hour’s close discourse, than they did from ten years’ public preaching” (The Reformed Pastor, p. 181). That’s a picture of intentional discipleship.
Paul’ purpose in life was to see people experience spiritual maturity in their lives. That goal is what gave him passion for life,
For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Colossians 1:29)
This ministry involved hard work, but Paul was willing to pay the price to see the purpose fulfilled. The word “striving” was used to describe an athletic contest and we derive our English word “agony” from this word. It’s been said you’re not ready to live unless you have something worth dying for. Paul was effective because it was God’s power flowing through His life.
God has made you for a purpose and that purpose involves making disciples of all nations. Who is someone in your life that you could come alongside and encourage toward spiritual maturity? Steve Jobs had a meeting with John Sculley, a high ranking Pepsi executive, and he wanted to lure him to work at Apple. Jobs asked Sculley, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
Are you ready to follow Jesus and change the world?