The Power Of Purpose

When the church in Jerusalem heard that people in Antioch had turned to the Lord, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. The Bible says that when Barnabas had arrived and had seen the grace of God, he was glad “and exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23 KJV). Notice that phrase “with purpose of heart.” What an important quality it is!

Purpose of heart has always been a key element in the lives of great servants of God. The Lord Himself said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34 NASB). Paul could say, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 ESV). Notice they were both saying they had a purpose to accomplish.

Purpose of heart can be a source of power in our lives, too. For one thing, purpose will put us to work. When one has his heart set on something, he will do his very best to reach his goal. Paul once used the illustration of a runner in the games to show that those of us who seek an incorruptible crown ought to run with purpose (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

In the next place, purpose will simplify things for us. We all run the risk of being sidetracked so that we don’t accomplish anything. Purpose, however, gives us some priorities. Jesus told Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things, but only one thing is necessary….” (Luke 10:41-42 NASB).

Also, purpose will cause us to sacrifice. For example, Paul was willing to suffer the loss of all things and to count them as refuse so that he could gain Christ and be found in Him (Philippians 3:8-9 ASV). No opposition, no disappointment, and no cost could keep him from his purpose. Purpose of heart gives us the direction and the perseverance we need in Christian living. It is an essential quality, both in our individual lives and in our work as a congregation. Bill McFarland

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets