What did God make Christians for? Wouldn’t we all like to know! Most of us are well drilled in what we’re not supposed to do, but we’re at loose ends when it comes to how God intends us to fill in our days.
Happily, God tells us what we’re for, in more than 2,000 verses of the Bible, many of which are extraordinarily practical:
- If a neighbor’s — or enemy’s — donkey falls under its load, we are to help them raise it up. (Deut. 22:4, Exodus 23:5) That could apply to roadside assistance, but since the donkey was such a basic business tool, it could even refer in today’s context to the wonderful IT guys and gals who come to the rescue when the system crashes.
- If we build a home with a flat roof, we’re to put a rail around it so no one will fall. (Deut. 22:8) Yes, that is in the Bible! Everyone in building codes enforcement, your work is commissioned by God.
- Keep sanitary systems at a distance from residences. (Deut. 23:12 — in the original, be sure to dig latrines away from where you are encamped.) Plumbers and those who plan and manage waste water treatment systems are doing work that God has specifically required be done.
The Bible is full of treasures like this that inform my thinking about our purpose in God’s world.
I’m driven by my favorite scripture, Ephesians 2:8-10. In it, we learn that
- We are rescued out of darkness by God, not by our own good works (so we can’t take any credit for getting out of this pickle).
- God re-creates us through Christ into what God had in mind all along, God’s own good works of excellent artistry and artisanship.
- God re-created us in Christ to do good works, which God has laid out in advance, so all we have to do is walk right into them. If we’re looking, we can hardly avoid them. They’re right in front of us: the opportunity to do what God designed each and every one of us to do.
Welcome into this Scriptural exploration of purpose in Christ. God bless us, each and every one!
Copyright © 2010-25 Carlene Hill Byron
As editor of The New England Christian and New England Church Life, Carlene Hill Byron got to see God at work across some 60 denominations and associations in six New England states. During two decades in North Carolina, she celebrated God with Anglo- and African-Americans, plus immigrants from some 60 countries. She currently worships in a Lutheran church of about 60 people on a Sunday. There, she enjoys liturgy, lots of hearty singing, and the new cross-cultural experience of being surrounded by Norwegians and Swedes, who argue about how to pronounce “smorgasbord” but are happily agreed in providing more than enough for everyone.