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Crossroads of the Marine Corps

A Life of Purpose

8 Oct 2015 | CDR Robert J. Etheridge, CHC, USN, Command Chaplain, MCINCR, MCBQ Marine Corps Base Quantico

God is calling every one of us to a life of purpose. Having a goal, a destination, a purpose is critical for a happy and successful life. The good news is that God has a purpose for your life. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2 verse 10, “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” There is a reason you are alive. There is a plan and it is a good plan. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 29 verse 11, “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.” We can be assured of God’s intention to bless us as we are obedient to his direction.

My wife gave me a mug that reads, “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind that I will never die.” One of the benefits of discovering God’s purpose and plan for our life is that it will help us understand what we should do and what we should not do. The enemy of the best is often the good. We can be distracted from the things that we ought to do if we do not have our purpose clearly in focus.

Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Community Church and author of the book, The Purpose Driven Life, has developed a way to help us understand God’s design for us using the acronym S.H.A.P.E.. The S stands for your spiritual gifts. The H stands for your heart. The A stands for the abilities God has given you. The P stands for your personality, how you are wired. The E stands for your experiences. Understanding your S.H.A.P.E. will take you a long way to understanding your purpose, that which you were designed to do.

Perhaps the most important thing that anyone can do is to discover what they are created for and to fulfill their destiny. To me, it all comes down to relationship. The Westminster Shorter Catechism, is a book written by a pastor of one of the reformed churches in New Zealand. It is organized as a series of questions and answers to teach people to better understand the Bible and the Christian faith. The first question reads, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” This is great news. While God has an individual purpose and plan for each one of us, He also has a purpose for all of us together and that is to know Him, glorify Him, and to enjoy peace and fellowship with Him.

Have you discovered your purpose? If not, and you want to, there are Chaplains and other leaders here on Quantico to help you do just that. You will never regret putting time and energy into discovering and fulfilling the reason you exist — your purpose.
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