Why We Do What We Do - Pt. 3 (For The Sake of The Kingdom)
In 2002, Pastor Rick Warren published the book The Purpose Driven Life. It went on to sell 30 million copies by 2007, and has spawned additional books, studies and videos for people in every stage in life. It is one of the best selling books of all time.
The first sentence of the book sums up Warren’s thoughts on your ultimate purpose. He wrote, “It’s not about you.” It seems kind of counter-intuitive to open a book about your ultimate purpose and read that first line, doesn't it?
And yet, that’s exactly what it’s all about: not you.
I think that most Christians today have lost the plot of what it means to actually be a Christian. We’ve gotten bogged down in culture wars, debates over interpretation of Scripture, and politics. I get emails from Christian organizations every day expressing anxiety over what will happen to Christians if certain people get elected President.
The purpose of Jesus was to declare the coming kingdom of God, and then to demonstrate what it looked like when the kingdom of God was here on earth. His ministry, death, burial and resurrection were all part of that plan—a plan initiated by God to show the world what love truly looks like.
So what is the “kingdom of God?” Well, it’s a state of existence where all of Creation is as it should be. There is no room for war in the kingdom of God. There is no room for hate, violence, bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism in the kingdom of God. There is no room for poverty, hunger, disease and strife.
And we are moving closer to the kingdom of God every moment. It is, as Jesus taught, both “coming” and “now.” We get glimpses of the world made right and we feel our chest fill with hope that it’s possible.
But in order for us to for more fully embody the kingdom of God to the world around us, we have to follow Jesus exhortation to seek it first, above all things… even our own self-interests. In Matthew 6:33 we have these words from Jesus:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his covenant justice; and all these things [everything else you are worrying about] will be provided.” - Matthew 6:33
What Jesus was saying was this: “You want to know your purpose—why you do what you do? Then give up trying to figure out your purpose and your needs and just strive for the things that matter, that are eternal. Desire the things that God desires regarding the kingdom of God here on earth, and you will find your purpose.
May you embrace the notion that finding your true purpose is not about you. May you find the strength to strive each day to bring a little bit of the kingdom of God to earth all around you. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.