Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)
TITLE: The Praise of His Glory
By Jan Ross
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The Apostle Paul, after years of his own never-satisfying quest for the purposefulness of life, bears witness to the fact that in the mind of God there is indeed a divine purpose for every life ever lived. After his Damascus Road experience, and after a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and a divine transformation in his own life, Paul found his answer. The purpose of life . . . “that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:12 NIV) This time-transcending revelation far surpassed those “who were the first” by including all who were and are in Christ, all who have “heard the word of truth…” throughout the ages. (Ephesians 1:13 NIV).
What a weighty purpose for life – to be the praise of Christ’s glory!
But what exactly does that mean? We can learn from Paul as he writes using analogies easily understood by the early church. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV) In other words, through us the fragrance of Christ is spread everywhere . . . the praise of Christ’s glory!
As a religious zealot, Paul was familiar with the lingering scent of burning incense permeating the air surrounding the temple mount. As a soldier, he was well-acquainted with the sight of mighty warriors marching through the streets of Jerusalem escorted by carts of burning incense filling the air with the lingering scent of triumph as a reminder of victories won. Paul used what he thought would be the most understood imagery to describe the purpose of life for every child of God. His heart must have raced as the words of David, son of Jesse, came to mind: “Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 72:19 NIV) May the earth be filled with the weighty fragrance of Christ, the glory of Him who won the victory over death, hell, and the grave . . . the praise of His glory!
Every life is intended to be full of purpose. However, only those who find life in Christ will possess true purposefulness of life – being the praise of His glory! Those who continue to resist His call will forever find themselves on a journey looking for that which can only be found in Christ, for to know Christ is to know the purpose of life!
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