An Address on the Purpose of Life and Laying Aside Every Weight


The following is a direct transcript of an address and challenge I delivered to the teens in my Bible Study this past week.  The beginning draws heavily from themes found in “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper.

So if I asked you, “What were some of most impactful moments of your life?” What would you say? Were they moments that made you feel really, really big? Or were they moments that made you feel really, really small in the large scheme of things?

Picture this – you’re standing on the ledge of the Grand Canyon, looking out at its greatness. In that moment, do you feel really big or really small?

Or remember the last time you gazed up at the stars on a clear Summer night, the Heavens bowing in the sky to their Creator and Sustainer. Did you, in that moment, feel really big or really small?

As has been said, “God made you small and the universe big to say something about Himself.” Namely, He is infinite. You are not. You are small. He is big. You are weak. He is strong. You are sinful. He is holy. You are dependent. He is self-existent. You are the sustained. He is the Sustainer. You began. He was and is and will be. You make mistakes. He does not. You are limited in knowledge. He knows the very number of hairs on your head. You are bound by space and time. He transcends it. He is immortal, invisible, God only wise. He is, as the Seraphim cry in Isaiah chapter 6, “HOLY HOLY HOLY!” He is the Only True God. Jehovah. Adonai. El Shaddai. Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD of Hosts. He is the Unchanging, Unfailing, Invincible, and Supreme I AM.

That is Who He Is, and we are made to bask in His complete power and sufficiency to create, save, and sustain. We glory in our weaknesses, that this God might shine through. We have absolutely nothing to offer Him, but He chose to give us absolutely everything. Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

So here’s a curveball, what is the purpose of life? {Discussion}
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Check out the following passages:

  • Isaiah 43:6-7
  • Romans 11:36
  • 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Revelation 4:11
  • Psalm 16:11
  • Philippians 4:4
  • Revelation 21:3-4

In his groundbreaking book, Desiring God, John Piper made an interesting observation. Rather than the purpose of life being two-fold, it is one. Our purpose is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever. Our happiness and God’s glory are not two separate paths to take, they are one. You want true happiness? Seek God. You want to glorify God? Delight in Him!

So, again, why were we made? What is the ultimate purpose of life?

You know, people kill themselves because they see no purpose in life! They hurt, they weep, and they die. Why? Because they don’t know why they’re here on earth. “It’s pointless.” “It’s stupid.” “It’s worthless.” They say.

Tonight you are coming face to face with your purpose. You wonder why God allowed you to wake up this morning? You wonder why you haven’t been diagnosed with stage IV cancer yet? You wonder why you’re able to do the things you do? Because He’s not done with you on this earth yet. HE IS PREPARING YOU TO GLORIFY HIM BY ENJOYING HIM FOREVER, AND FOREVER STARTED THE MOMENT HE PICKED YOU UP OUT OF THIS WORLD AND MADE YOU HIS CHILD!

So what’s next? How do we go from living our petty, selfish lives to living radically, sold-out, holy-ambitious, joy-filled lives?

Well, first off, something has to go. Turn to Hebrews 12:1:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

So what’s getting in your way tonight? What is keeping you from following Jesus with your whole heart? What has to go?

You know, many of us would do well to smash these stupid electronic devices under our feet! They literally enslave so many of you! Why do you let it?! Why?!

Some of us need to go home and chuck the stupid television out the window! Some of us need to go burn the mind-numbing video games! Some of us need to go sever some relationships!

Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Right now, a few of you are like, “Nah, Nate, I got this under control. I’m not letting my friends influence me. I’m not letting the television control me. I control my devices, they don’t control me.”

To which I cry, “Bull.”

1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Those of you trying to mentally work around your weights and distractions right now are merely proving how enslaved you are to them. Some of you are getting defensive, and you wouldn’t be if it was merely me telling you this tonight. It is the Holy Spirit. He is convicting you, and He is pushing you to change. Do not quench Him tonight.

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