Jump Start # 2757
Philippians 2:2 “make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”
Our verse today is packed full of ideas and actions: be of the same mind, maintain the same love, united, intent. Those actions spring from a heart and a mind that purposely wants to follow the Lord. These things do not happen by chance. These things are the result of determined and planned actions. There was a specific path to follow and a specific attitude that accompanied those steps. Same mind, same love, united are all actions and attitudes towards others. This is how we get along in a congregation. This is how a congregation becomes a family. This is how our differences strengthen us rather than pull us apart. This is how a church endures through the years. This must be the attitude of the leaders. This must be manifested in the teaching and preaching.
I want to focus upon that last expression, “intent on one purpose.” Intent—focused, determined, seeking after, longing for. And, that one purpose? That’s pleasing the Lord. That’s being in Heaven. That’s living the way God wants us to. Here is a group of people that had that desire. They wanted to please the Lord. Paul told the Corinthians that we make it our ambition to please the Lord. That’s the thought here. Intent on one purpose.
Sadly, some people never know what their purpose in life is. They move about following the latest fad, doing what everyone else is doing. And, without a purpose, life becomes confusing, depressing, unfulfilling and even monotonous. Others let their circumstances determine and define their purpose. They are in the backseat of life just going along and someone else is at the wheel. With such thoughts, their purpose changes. A Paul preaching on Mars’ Hill would not have the same purpose as a Paul in a Roman prison. But, that’s not what we find in Scriptures. Paul’s purpose didn’t change from city to city, or from decade to decade. As a freeman or as a prisoner, his purpose was to glorify and honor the God he loved.
And, once a person knows their purpose, then they can wrap their life around that. They can become intent upon that purpose.
- Knowing your purpose will determine what is important in life
- Knowing your purpose shapes the choices in your life
- Knowing your purpose clarifies what marriage is about, your role in the family and what it means to belong to a church
- Knowing your purpose allows you to contribute to life
- Knowing your purpose gives you a place in eternity
The Philippians did more than know their purpose. They were intent upon that purpose. That purpose is what they were looking at. By being intent, they would not neglect the very things that kept that purpose before them. By being intent they would not let the fire go out in their hearts for the Lord.
There are a lot of folks who want to go to Heaven. However, with many of them, they are not very intent about that. Their desire for Heaven is more wishful thinking than deliberate actions and steps on their part. Sure they’d love to be in Heaven, but not enough to get down to the church house to worship God, give up sinful practices or develop a godly character. They are simply not intent upon those things.
One sees “intention” in other areas of life. A student who pours hours and hours into studying to pass a major exam. They are intent. A person that works days and goes to school at night so they can better their career. An athlete that continues to work on his game, long after practice is over. These folks are intent. They want to do better. They are not satisfied with where they are or what is average or normal. That doesn’t cut it with these people. They have a purpose and they are intent on that purpose.
And, all of this leads back to you and I. How hard are we trying? How serious are we about our faith? How easily do we allow other things to interrupt us and get us off the path that we are on? How often do we allow things around us to wreck our attitudes and our spirit? How often do we find ourselves getting caught up in things that do not matter? How intent are we?
Would you be willing to drive 30 minutes one way to be part of a growing, active congregation? Some would rather stay at a dying church than make that drive. Would you be willing to give up an evening a week to have an intense Bible study with one of the shepherds or preachers in the congregation? Many would rather just sit in a chair and stare at the TV. Would you be willing to use a vacation to attend a Gospel Meeting or lectureship in another community?
Intent. Focused. Determined. Unwavering. Intent on one purpose. How would you define that as you look at your life?