I read a fascinating article in The Oregonian. The following sentences captured my attention.
Having a sense of purpose in life seems to provide a shield against illness—particularly in old age . . . Those with the highest sense of purpose were half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with the lowest sense of purpose during seven years of follow-up . . . In an earlier study, the same group [Rush University Medical Center in Chicago] found that the risk of dying from any cause was nearly cut in half among women and men with a greater sense of purpose.*
Esther 10:3—Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, famous among the Jews, and highly popular with many of his relatives. He continued to seek good for his people and to speak for the welfare of all his kindred.
Between 486-465 B.C. a large population of Jews lived in Persia under the reign of King Ahasuerus I. The most prominent leader under the king was Mordecai. Throughout Mordecai’s life he did all he could to help his people. When his cousin, Esther, lost her parents, he took her in his own home and raised her as his daughter. When he overheard a plot to assassinate the king, he intervened through Esther to save Ahasuerus’ life. Whether by discernment or by religious conviction he refused to bow before Haman, the second highest official in the land. Later, putting Esther’s life at risk, Mordecai insisted she alert the king to Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. His tenacious leadership led to Haman’s hanging and saved the Jews from slaughter.
Mordecai was a leader with a clearly defined purpose—all his life he sought to promote the welfare of his people. His life poses a question you and I ought to ask ourselves. What is my purpose in life? I would contend that the Rush University study reveals a key principle. Those who do not have a sense of purpose are far less likely to live well. I would further contend that what we choose as our primary purpose is even more vital.
If my primary purpose is to be a great athlete, what happens when I no longer can compete with those younger and stronger? Ask Michael Jordan how fulfilled he feels these days. What are the consequences if my primary purpose becomes pleasing myself? Ask Tiger Woods. If my primary purpose is to be rich when is enough, enough? If my primary purpose is to obtain power or popularity, how do I handle sickness and mortality? Could it be that every purpose under the sun eventually leads to despair except one—the purpose to please God?
Mordecai’s intention to help his people tied into a deeper purpose of honoring and serving God. So what is your primary purpose? If you live to worship God, your life will radiate joy. This joy is impervious to the pain, sin, heartache, sorrow and loss that come from living in a fallen world. When we purpose to live for God we learn by grace that our worth is not determined by age, energy level, mental capacity or social-economic status. Our worth is eternally priceless through Jesus the Savior who gave His life to make us matter. Purpose focused on pleasing God renders a hallelujah vocabulary in a hell o yuck society. It honors the very God whose purpose is to bless us with an eternal relationship with Him in a future world where awesome will be a weak adjective. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Just imagine what it would be like to say to yourself, “I have decided that my overriding purpose in life is to be worthy of Christ and to remember whom I represent.”—Stuart Briscoe in Spiritual Stamina
*Joe Rojas-Burke in“Antidote for illness comes with life goals” The Oregonian Thursday March 11, 2010.
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)