Lecture 7: Discovering Purpose and Meaning
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The Christian life involves connecting, becoming and doing. We discover meaning in life by aligning ourselves with God’s call to steward creation, evangelize the nations, and build his kingdom.
Discovering Purpose and Meaning
A. Review and introduction: We were created for joyful participation in God’s work in the world, but sin has made our existence seem futile. By his Spirit, Christ is rebuilding purpose and meaning into our lives.
B. The importance of vocation: The Christian life as connecting, becoming and doing
C. The consistent biblical pattern: Examples from the biographies of Moses, Isaiah, Jesus and Paul
D. The gift of commission (Klauss Bockmuehl)
E. Here is where we belong: Authentic Christian spirituality follows the pattern of the incarnation - it becomes flesh. Vocation is following the heart of God into the world.
F. The problem of meaninglessness
G. The human search for meaning: "He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any "how." (Victor Frank)
H. Ultimately, it's not about us (John 4:34)
I. Dimensions of purpose in life: Ways to glorify God
1. The creational mandate (Gen. 1-2)
2. The evangelistic mandate (Matt. 28)
3. Building the kingdom (Matt. 6)
J. Help beyond ourselves (Phil. 4:13, John 15)
K. Hearts in sync with the heart of God: Knowing God = participation in the divine disposition
L. Some helpful guides: Augustine of Hippo (354-430), John Bunyan (1628-88) and Rick Warren
M. Summary - The Christian life involves connecting, becoming and doing. We have begun our study of the vocational dynamic of Christian spirituality—God’s gracious solution to the apparent futility of human existence. It is an incredible gift to be called to purposeful living and to contribute to a cause greater than ourselves. We discover meaning in life by aligning ourselves with God’s call to steward creation, evangelize the nations, and build his kingdom. The spiritual life is one that is self-given to the greater movement of God’s will.
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