Why Jesus Was Born. Why You Were Born.
Contrary to the wonderful “spirit of the season” that rolls around every December it is important to remember that Jesus did not come so that we would celebrate His birth, decorate our homes to the hilt, exchange gifts, and sing holiday songs. Christ’s purpose for coming to our world was not to activate a world-famous celebration but to accomplish a world-transforming cause.
In His Own Words
So we might ask exactly why Christ did come to earth. It would be best to let Him answer in His own words. As you read, notice His specific declaration of His purpose on earth:
- “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
- “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:42-44).
- “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
- “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
- “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
- “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
We would do well this season to not let the celebration of His birth overshadow the purpose of His life.
Why Your Birth?
But, the purpose of Christ’s birth also raises a question for each of us: “Why was I born?” It’s been said that “the great tragedy in life is not death, but life without reason.”
It’s apparent in our world today that many people live without meaning. They have no idea why they are here. Until we understand our purpose, life really makes no sense. The fact is that God wants us to live a life of significance. We are all on this earth for a reason. The Amplified Bible describes this as a “a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Proverbs 16:4 explains, “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (ESV).
Surprisingly, the Bible even says God has a purpose for people who do not obey Him. “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth’” (Romans 9:17). Trying to get your head around that idea may be challenging. However, getting your head around the fact that He has a purpose to use you in this life for His glory is the great need of the moment.
The Bible describes David’s life in these words: “After he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, (he) fell asleep and was laid among his fathers” (Acts 13:36). God offers you an opportunity to live a life that, when it is over, you can look back on and know that you lived well.
I’ve heard it said many times that, “You’re not really ready to live until you know what you want written on your tombstone.” If you were to die today, would those who know you be able to say, “This is why he or she lived.” Is it clear to you why you are here? When this life comes to an end, will you look back and conclude that you have lived well and significantly?
A meaningful life requires purpose. This is true of groups, societies, churches, families, relationships, and individuals. “History shows,” voiced one observer, “that the value of life decreases and the quality of existence diminishes when a generation loses its sense of destiny and purpose.” [i]
A Powerful, Personal, Purposeful Renewal
Over the years my life has been transformed by a daily renewal in the truth of God’s purpose for my life. He graciously gave me the desire and insight to write out a personal, biblical mission statement. On the days when I exercise the discipline to remember it, rehearse it, and renew my mind with it – the journey is meaningful and rewarding. On the days that I forget, I tend to meander and struggle. Now, I love helping fellow believers discover their personal purpose for life on this earth.
Changed by the Right Reason
Most of us have seen some version of Scrooge in the story, A Christmas Carol. Perhaps the most significant event in this memorable tale was the transformation of Mr. Scrooge’s perspective on life. After investing his days in greed and self-centered living, he received a vision of how his life might end. He saw himself kneeling before a neglected grave, and after reading the gravestone that bore his name, he was jolted by the realization that there were far more important things in life than the petty focus that had always consumed him. From that moment on, Ebenezer Scrooge devoted his energies toward a new mission in life. What changed him? He realized that he was living for the wrong reason. When he came to terms with the possible outcome of his lifelong course, his whole purpose for living changed. So can yours.
I’ve heard it said that “a person will give their life for a noble cause but not for 100,000 dollars a year.” We all need a real cause in this life. Our obligation is not to make a living but to make a life. This Christmas, as we remember the manger, let’s embrace the message of the cross and the cause behind it all. And let’s ask Him to reveal to us His purpose for our birth– and our life on this earth.
Copyright © 2015 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.
[i] Miles Monroe, In Pursuit of Purpose (Shippensburg, Penn.: Destiny Image Publishers, 1992), vii.