By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
When were you born? That’s a question I hear more today than I’ve ever heard in my life. The reason is that so many business establishments have gone to the birth date as the key to a person’s identity. I was recently at a hospital, a bank, and a chain store, and instead of asking for my driver’s license, they asked me when I was born. They entered that into the computer and immediately came up with my records.
When I was born is important. More important is – why I was born! We need to know why we are here. We only have one life, and it must count. God has a plan and purpose for each of us. Jeremiah says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jer. 29:11). Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10). Life is not a merry go round of meaningless activity. Life is not a series of things that help fill up the day. Temporary busy-ness can be the greatest enemy of eternal business.
When the people of France put Louis XVI and his queen to death, they set a new course of action for France. A little boy was left behind who would have been Louis XVII if the monarchy had stood. The people wanted to break the spirit and the future of the little boy by placing him in a prison with deplorable conditions.
They intentionally placed vile, vicious and vulgar men in his presence. Their intent was to infiltrate his mind with vulgar thoughts so that it would translate into vulgar actions and words. They wanted to teach him bad habits – especially with his language.
But the plans of those men never worked out because that young boy knew why he was born. When they tried to get him to do something wrong or say a bad word, the boy would simply reply, “No, I will not say it, I will not do it. I was born to be a king.” Born to be a king – that was his expectation, and it motivated him to fulfill that purpose.
One of the great women of the Old Testament was Esther. When the king of Media-Persia, a huge empire with 120 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia, was looking for a queen, he was introduced to Esther. She was beautiful and gifted. He didn’t realize she was a Jewess. He made her his queen.
When an evil man constructed a plot to eliminate the Jewish people, Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, came to her and said she needed to go to the king and divulge the sinister plot in order to save her people. She reminded him that anyone entering the king’s chamber without an invitation would be executed. That included the queen.
Her cousin continued to plead with her for the sake of her people. He reminded her, “And who knows but that you have attained your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) She then realized why she was the queen. When she discovered why she had been born, Esther knew what she had to do. She saved her people.
One of the great men of the Old Testament was Nehemiah. What gave him the purpose and expectation of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem? Everyone considered that to be an impossible task. There were a lot of evil people who did everything they could to stop his progress (Neh. 6:2).
One day he faced the temptation of giving up this task God had given him. Some people tried to discourage him. They told him to come down from the wall. His comment was that he was doing such a great work that he could not come down. He knew why God had put him in that place at that time. When our life is driven by a great purpose, we can’t stop what we are doing.
Expectant, purposeful living produces the greatest joy, satisfaction, and meaningfulness in life!
Why are you here? What is your PQ – Purpose Quotient?
John Ed’s devotional blog posts appear in my For His Glory blog each week.1
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