He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]-yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Amplified Bible)

God gives us purpose. Purpose gives life meaning. Clarity of purpose gives life focus. Life without clarity of purpose is empty of meaning and focus, and this is why God matters.

There are those who claim to have purpose without God, but more often than not they are mistaking a personal passion, ambition, or dream for purpose.

Purpose is different. Purpose is bigger than our individual lives or interests, than our personal passions and ambitions. Purpose transports us out of the misery of selfishness described in Ecclesiastes 4:8, so we are capable of living life for reasons that feed the soul instead of our appetites.

There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business!

Ecclesiastes 4:8 (NIV)

As Christians, we can lose our sense of purpose, and without realizing it, begin to live our lives selfishly, deceived about the misery to come. This was the plight of Demas, a leader of God’s people (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24), whose preoccupation with the world deceived him into abandoning his purpose.

for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.

2 Timothy 4:10 NIV

Additionally, in 1 John 2:15-16 (TPT), the Bible says ” [15] Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible. [16] For all that the world can offer us-the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance-none of these things come from the Father but from the world.”

Let’s not demonize Demas. He was no better or worse than any of us. We should instead learn a simple truth from him, which is that no one, no matter how spiritual, no matter how strong, no matter how well supported, is immune from the temptation to reject or abandon God’s purpose for their lives.

For this reason, we have chosen “Purpose” as the theme for our 2018 Expo. We believe that together, relying on God, loving each other, and rediscovering what is most important, each one of us can reclaim the divine gift of God’s purpose for our lives.

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