1. In these verses the apostle Paul revealed his purpose for living, and he calls upon us to follow his example. 2. As our bulletin article suggests, living life with purpose will help us appreciate good times, and it will help us as we go through times of difficulty. 3. As we study passages that teach about "living life with purpose" in our lesson, we are following the pattern given in Hebrews 12:1-2. a. We will look at several characters from the Old Testament who lived their lives with purpose. b. We will consider our responsibilities to lives our lives with purpose as we run the Christian race. c. We will see how Jesus lived His life with purpose as He fulfilled His ministry. Discussion: I. LIVING LIFE WITH PURPOSE INVOLVES HAVING A SENSE OF PURPOSE
A. From the Old Testament, Ezra had a sense of purpose. 1. He led a group of Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem, and he led his people in making reforms so they could be in good standing with God. 2. He is described as "a ready scribe in the Law of Moses" (Ezra 7:6). 3. We read about his mission in Ezra 7:10. B. As we run the Christian race, we must have a sense of purpose. 1. We mentioned this earlier from Paul's example in Philippians 3. 2. Additional passages include Ecclesiastes 12:13; Galatians 6:7-10. C. As Jesus fulfilled His ministry He had a sense of purpose (Luke 19:10). II. LIVING LIFE WITH PURPOSE INVOLVES TRUSTING GOD COMPLETELY
A. From the Old Testament, Nehemiah trusted God completely as he lived his life with purpose. 1. He led the Jews in rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. 2. He demonstrated his trust in God in: a. his prayers (Nehemiah 1:4; 2:4) b. his responses to the enemies of the Jews (Nehemiah 2:20; 4:4; 6:9). B. As we endeavor to run the Christian race with purpose we must trust God completely (Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Timothy 4:8-10). C. As Jesus fulfilled His ministry He trusted the Father (John 8:28-29). III. LIVING LIFE WITH PURPOSE WILL HELP US FACE AND OVERCOME OBSTACLES
A. From the Old Testament, David faced and overcame many obstacles as he lived his life with purpose (Psalm 40:1-5). B. As we endeavor to run the Christian race with purpose we will be able to face and overcome obstacles (2 Corinthians 4:7-10). C. By fulfilling His ministry with purpose Jesus faced and overcame many obstacles (John 16:33). Conclusion:
1. Living life with purpose is a great blessing. 2. Let us receive encouragement from Old Testament characters and from the Lord to live our lives with purpose. 3. We are given a new purpose when we get into Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). 4. We are shown in Romans 6:3-4 how we get into Christ so we can walk in newness of life.