Divine Encounter Retreat
Session #1: GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE
Human beings are not some evolutionary accident, whose existence is without meaning and purpose. God created people for a purpose and He expects them to live according to the purpose for which they were designed. In order to become a Christian, a person needs to know the true purpose for his existence and seek to fulfill that purpose in his life.
The Bible says:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: For this is the whole duty of man.”
I. WHAT IS MAN?
A. General Identification of Man
1. All people who make up the human race
2. Human Beings—the most intelligent of all living creatures
B. False Views of Man
1. Evolution—A “smart animal” who is the highest level of evolutionary development.
2. Humanism—A “god” who is most important and master of his own life & destiny.
3. Reincarnation—A pre-existing soul who has attained a higher level of embodiment.
C. Biblical View of Man
Man is a very special living creature, created in God’s image, created by God and created for God’s glory.
1. Man is the last and highest form of life created by God on the sixth day of creation (Genesis 1:24-27).
2. Man is an intelligent creature who is fearfully and wonderfully made from the elements of the earth by the miraculous workings of God. (Gen.2:7; Psalm 32:9; 139:14-16)
3. Man is insignificantly small in comparison to God and the vastness of His creation, but he is very important & significant to the God who made him. (Psalm 8:1-4; Matt.10:29-31)
4. Man was made a little lower than the angels, but was crowned with glory & honor and made to have dominion over the rest of God’s creation.
(Psalm 8:5-8; Gen.1:28; I Corth.11:7)
5. Man is made up of three parts: Body, Soul &, Spirit (I Thess. 5:23)
a. Body—Physical part of man needed to function in this physical world
b. Soul—Psychological part of man that thinks, feels, and makes decisions
c. Spirit—Spiritual part of man needed to have a spiritual relationship with God
6. Unlike all other creatures, Man was created in the exact image and likeness of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)
a. Not in the physical sense, for God is an immaterial spirit being (John 4:24).
b. Partially in the psychological sense, for man’s intellectual and emotional makeup are patterned after God’s, only on a more simplified and finite level.
c. Fully in the spiritual sense, for man was created with an ability to know and fellowship with God on a spiritual level, and to make right moral decisions.
This brings us to the Question:
II. WHY DOES MAN EXIST?
A. Man’s existence is not some meaningless phenomenon of happenstance over millions of years of evolution—It happened on purpose for a purpose! (Gen. 1)
B. Man’s present existence & future destiny is not ultimately determined by human efforts or natural forces in the universe— It is determined by
1) God’s providence &
2) His purpose! (Eph. 1:11)
C. We need to understand the true purpose for His existence and live accordingly, otherwise this life becomes empty, vain, and meaningless (Ecc.1:2ff; John 18:38).
D. Over the centuries, philosophers have searched for the meaning of life and the purpose for human existence. They have asked three key philosophical questions about man’s existence:
1) Where did I come from?
2) Why am I here?
3) Where am I going?
E. The Bible is the only authoritative book on the subject of life that can give the answer to these philosophical questions about man’s existence:
A. THE BIBLICAL PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE “WHERE DID I COME FROM?”
MAN CAME FROM GOD BY CREATION! (Eccl. 12:1)
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
1) Man did not evolve from some lower life form, but was created by a direct act of God.
2) Adam and Eve were the first human beings - parents of the entire human race. (Gen.2:7-25; Matt.19:4; Rom.5:12-14)
3) All people are the genetic offspring of their parents, but ultimately they are all the offspring of God Himself. (Luke 3:23-28; Acts 17:28)
B. WHY AM I HERE? (My Story in USAF)
MAN IS HERE TO LIVE FOR GOD IN HOLY DEVOTION AND SERVICE! (Eccl. 12:13)
1) Man was created for God ”the LORD hath made all things for himself” (Prov. 16:4)
2) Man is not here to live for himself—he is here to live for the God who made him.
3) The God who made man is worthy of his worship and praise (Rev. 4:11).
4) Man’s fundamental duty in life is to live in reverential devotion & obedient service to God (Eccl. 12:13; Deut. 10:12 & 13)
5) Man was also created morally upright and his devotion & service to God must be holy. (Eccl. 7:29; Rom. 12:1; Eph. 2:8-10)
C. WHERE AM I GOING?
MAN IS GOING TO GOD FOR JUDGMENT! (Eccl. 12:14)
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
- The body of man dies & returns to dust, but his spirit returns to God—Eccl.3:21; 12:7
- Man was created with an eternal, immortal soul, that continues in conscious existence after death.—Luke 16:19-23; II Corth. 5:1-8; Rev. 6:9-11
- After death, all human beings must stand before God to be judged concerning their relationship with God, the thoughts of their hearts, and their actions in life. (Eccl. 11:9-10; 12:14; Matt.7:21-23; Rom. 2:3-16; 14:12; II Corth. 5:10, Rev 20:10-15)
III. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MAN?
A. Ecclesiastes is a record of Solomon's search for purpose, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life.
i. He sought after knowledge, pleasures, riches, and great works, but nothing satisfied.
ii. Finally, at the end of his life he realized that the only true purpose for living is found in God.
B. God wants us to enjoy the many blessings of life that He has richly provided for us, but we are not to allow the pursuit & personal enjoyment of these pleasures to become our focus in life. (Gen.2:8 & 9; Eccl.2:24; 5:12,18-20; 9:9; cf. Matt.6:33; I Corth.15:32; II Tim.3:4)
C. God made us for Himself and designed us that we might function according to the purpose for which He made us.
i. When we fail to function according to that purpose, we feel empty and unfulfilled because we are not doing what we were designed by God to do (Jer.2:13).
ii. St. Augustine said:
"Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that you thwart the proud. But still, because he is part of your creation, he wishes to praise you. The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you."
IV. THE BIBLICAL PURPOSE OF MAN
Man was created for fellowship with God and to bring Him Glory.
Man is to...
1. Know God Personally with Right Understanding
A. Man must first know the True God if he is to live for Him and please Him (Heb.11:6).
B. God is delighted in those who know and understand His person and works (Jer.9:23 &24).
2. Submit to God in Obedience to His Will
A. Man must then submit to God & live according to the purpose for which he was made.
B. Our duty is simply to obey God's commandments and do His will (Eccl.12:13; Acts 9:6).
3. Live Right for God in Holy Devotion and Moral Conduct
A. Man must also be holy before God and do what is morally right (Gen.2:16-17; 6:5-7).
B. God's 1st commandment to us-Exalt & love God supremely (Ex.20:3; Mark 12:29-30)
C. God requires us to do justly, fear God, & walk in all His ways (Mic.6:8; Deut.10:12).
4. Walk with God in Spiritual Fellowship
A. Man was created in God's image to live in spiritual fellowship with God (Gen.1:27; 3:8,9).
B. Man is required to walk humbly with God, which pleases Him (Mic.6:8; Gen.5:24; Heb.11:5).
C. It is God's will that we live joyfully in prayerful communion with God (II Thess.5:16-18).
5. Work for God in Benevolent Service
A. Man exists to work for God in this world for His pleasure & benefit (Matt.25:14-46).
B. Man was made to have dominion over the world & to keep it (Gen.1:26; 2:8,15; Psa. 8:6).
C. We are required to show mercy and always abound in the Lord’s work (Mic. 6:8; I Cor. 15:58)
6. Worship God for His Glory and Honor
A. Man's ultimate purpose is to bring glory and honor to God (Rom.1:18-25; 11:36; Heb.13:21).
B. We were created and exist to worship and glorify God in all that we are and in all that we do. (Isa. 43:7; Eph. 1:11; John 15:8; Phil. 1:11; I Cor. 10:31; Rev. 4:11; 5:11-14)
V. HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES?
SEEK TO LIVE FOR GOD IN HOLY DEVOTION AND SERVICE !
A. What does it mean to seek to live for God in holy devotion and service?
1. Making real sincere effort to live for God & accomplish His purpose for your life.
2. Trying to live a life of true religious devotion to God, in every aspect of life.
3. Pursuing a life that is pleasing and acceptable to God in holiness & righteousness.
4. Serving the Lord in a life of obedience & work for the benefit of God and man.
5. Ultimately endeavoring to live your life for the good pleasure and glory of God
B. Why should we seek to live for God in holy devotion and service?
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11)
1. God created us and did so for His own purpose, pleasure, and praise-for this reason it is only right and proper that we should live for Him accordingly. (Psa.95:4-6; 148:5; Isa.29:16; 43:7)
2. God is great & glorious and thus worthy of our highest devotion, worship, & service. (Psa. 145:1-3; 148:13; Rev.15:4)
3. God is so good & merciful to us-thus we should serve Him out gratitude & debt. (Psa.100:1-5; 103:1-5; II Corth.5:14-15)
4. Living according to God's purpose brings personal blessing, happiness, & satisfaction. (Deut.10:12-13; Psa.128:1-2; 146:5; Matt.11:28-30)
5. Jesus said: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Matt.4:10 cf. Deut.6:13)
6. Jesus lived for God in this way. He prayed:"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:4)
7. God commands all people submit themselves to Him in reverential devotion & worship. The angel proclaims to all people of the earth: "Fear God, and give glory to him...and worship him that made heaven and earth" (Rev.14:7)
C. How do we seek to live for God in holy devotion and service?
1. Remember (think serious about) your Creator in the days of your youth (Eccl.12:1)
2. Stop living for yourself and start living for God (II Corth.5:15; Heb.11:24-27)
3. Repent & submit to God's will for your life in reverential fear (Acts 9:6; Rev.14:6,7)
4. Must be saved in order to truly please & glorify God (Eph.1:11-14; Heb.13:20-21)
5. Whatever you do in life, do all to the glory of God (I Corth.10:31)
Is your purpose in life the same as God's purpose for you?
Are you seeking to live for the Lord in devotion & service, that He might be pleased & glorified!
Take a firm stand in your heart & mind to do so, and be willing to confess your purpose to do so.
YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSE
Confess your desire to live in conformity to God's purpose for your life and seek to live for Him in devotion and service, that He might be pleased and glorified?