76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Do you know why you are here? Are you aware of the purpose of your life? One of the characteristics of our present age is that many see no purpose in their lives, and no meaning regarding where they are heading. It’s been suggested that one of the reasons we are so fixed on staying busy and entertained is to keep from thinking about this.
John was given his purpose before he was born. In the second half of Zechariah’s song, John’s father turns from praising God for how He keeps His promises in general, to the specific promise God had made concerning John.
The purpose of John’s life is to prepare for the coming of the Lord. He is to teach the way of salvation through the forgiveness of sins. He is to point to the “rising sun,” the light shining in the darkness, who will bring life and peace. John would grow up knowing what he was to do and also seeing it in the big context of God’s mission of salvation for the world.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know the purpose of your life in this way?
But we do. No, we don’t have an individual mission as epic as John’s, and it hasn’t been announced to either us or our parents through an angel. But the Lord in His Word has revealed that our lives, as His children, certainly have a meaning and purpose and direction.
We are here to honor, serve, and love the Lord our God who has redeemed us. We are here to love our neighbor, as we have been loved by our Lord. We are here to live for God’s mission, that others may come to receive the redemption we have received.
In each of our lives, this purpose will be lived out differently, depending on the specific context the Lord has placed us. But this is why we are here. May God show you and lead you each day in living His purpose in your life!
Lord Jesus, show me today the ways in which You are calling me to love You, love my neighbor, and serve Your mission.
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For previous Abide devotions, go to https://stjohnslutheran.net/category/abide/