Gen 12: 1-9


What is your purpose in life? Do you have a purpose? Do you have something you feel your were created for, that grounds you in all things, that sets your on a course and gives you a mission for life?

In an article from Psychology Today dated June 13, 2019, Dr. Charles Johnston said this:

Modern realities frequently leave people feeling at best confused, at worst cynical and hopeless. In part, this is a reaction to specific concerns—job loss with globalization, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, and the erosion of familiar moral assumptions to name just a few. But we also confront something more fundamental. More and more often today people describe themselves as feeling rudderless, adrift in an increasingly uncertain, contradictory and often absurd-seeming world. It is possible that the aimlessness that people feel is transitory, that if reflects but a blip in history. But I suspect it reflects something more basic—and important. I speak of this as our modern Crisis of Purpose.

I think of humanity’s Crisis of Purpose as our time’s most defining challenge. A good argument can be made that it plays a major role in many more specific crises—such as today’s drug and obesity epidemics, the frequency of mass shootings, growing suicide rates, and people’s diminishing faith in modern institutions. David Brooks put the situation this way in his New York Times column. Today “many [people] feel lost and overwhelmed. They feel a hunger to live meaningfully, but they don’t know the right questions to ask, the right vocabulary to use, the right place to look or even if there are ultimate answers at all.” (David Brooks, “What Is Your Purpose?” New York Times, May 5, 2015.) 

There is no doubt a crisis of purpose today. Old sayings that if you don't know where you are going, any road will do. It is a confusing world we live in, and you may be confused, feeling rudderless and lost. What is your purpose in life? Make money. Make a billion dollars. 

God has a purpose for us, and when we understand that, it gives shape, meaning,joy to the unpredictable world we live in. What is that purpose?


  1. What is the chief end of man?
    Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
  2. What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?
    The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

Mission. a specific task with which a person or a group is charged.

God’s word speaks to our purpose. If you want to know how, then look to the mandate or mission he gave to his people. 

Our chief concern is not making more money or getting bigger houses. It is helping others know Jesus as Savior. The passage we read today shows us how what God has done is to shape and define how we think of ourselves in a confused and wandering world.

God’s Calling

This passage takes us back to the second millennium bc. Two thousand years before Jesus comes. This is the beginning of redemptive history. And it centers on a man named Abram. 

Abram grew up in a confusing time as well. His father was an idol worshiper. He grew up in a land of many different people. And God calls him to go to the promiseland. He will live there with people of different faiths and religions. He could very easily be adrift and rudderless in the world. But God spoke to him and called Abram to follow him.  

["Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 

God has a purpose for Abram. He tells him to leave everything he has ever known and go to the land that he will show him. That is a very specific calling. He is from the land of Ur (gen 11:28) and his father was going to Canaan but they got to Haran and settled there. Abram is now called to finish this. He leaves his country, his family, and his fathers house. God calls him to leave it, and he leaves it

He leaves his people. He leaves their gods. 

[Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.” Joshua 24:2

This is more than showing up to the lunch room and not knowing anyone. It is a new land and he looks, talks, and acts differently than everyone else there. 

The greatest thing in your life is the thing you are willing to give up everything else for. Many give up God because they don't want to give up their careers or money or opportunity. 

Abram is also 75. Probably not the game plan he had to pack up and move to the otherside of the world. Playing a young mans game. All he had ever known. 

But one of the key aspects of this is that God is going to bless Abram. Why would you leave all you know? Because you believe there is something greater to live for. 

[2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 

God calls Abram and says he is going to do something in and through him. 

God promises to bless Abram in every way. Bless. Bless is to empower someone. Horst, “Blessing brings power for life, the enhancement of life, and the increase of life.” Waltke, Genesis, 205. Everyone wants God’s blessings. Its more amazing than most imagine, but it is also not what most people hope for. 

Make your name great. A great name would certainly have financial connotations, but in Hebrew it also revealed something about their character. An upstart millionaire whose finances grew faster than his character is not in the ballpark here. Great name is to be a great person. Great in character and in dignity. Remember that if you read the rest of Abram’s story because you are going to see him being stretched and tested, and in each trying experience he is learning to rely on God. 

People. God promises to make this 75 year old man with no children into a great nation. He will have a people. He will be a leader. His people will be defined by this promise. They will be a small minority in the world that will slowly but surely grow in their influence. They will be strangers in the world but continually looking to the Lord and his word for their direction. 

Land. God is providing a place for his people. They had a place in the garden but were removed from there for disobedience. A new place is being mentioned. This promised land will play a central role in the unfolding of God’s plan. It will be fulfilled in the new heavens and new earth when all the earth is God’s kingdom. 

If God has spoken those things to Abram then he is right to leave everything and do what God is calling him to be and do. 

Abram will be a conduit of blessing. God is blessing him so that he will be a blessing. What God does for them will also be for all the nations and families of the earth. All that Abram has will be channeled to others. Every family on earth will be touched by what God does with Abram. ***Conduit, not a holding pond.***

Gen 15 God makes a covenant with Abram to bless him. He has him sacrifice bulls and cut them in half. When people made promises to others they would sacrifice an animal, cut it in half, and walk between the pieces. It was a way of saying if I do not do what I said I would do then I will become like one of these. What is amazing is Abram does that and then he sees has a vision of a smoking pot pass through the pieces. Remember God led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud and pillar of fire. It is God passing through the pieces, and the message is if God doesn't do what he said, may he be like one of those. It is an expression of God’s commitment to his promises.  I will… seven times. 

This promises will define God’s people for ages to come. The anticipate entering and receiving the promised land, of arranging their lives around God and his promises and being a blessing to all other nations, and those who oppose him and what he is doing will be cursed. 

Abram is called to instruct his family. Gen 18:19. This is a crucial issue today. Abram is to pass his faith on to his kids. They are to know the promise God made to him to redeem the world. They are to know about Adam and Eve and their fall from the garden. 

[For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him." Gen 18:19

Many people will benefit from what God promised to Abram, but the promise will reach greater clarity and expectations in a descendant of Abrahm, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the chosen one of God who comes to destroy the curse and bless God’s people in the highest way. He will secure their future, their land, their people.  The problem of sin had to be taken away for people to enter into the promised land. So Jesus dies, sacrifices himself, so that God’s people may be fully restored. 

The new testament makes clear that this promise is fulfilled in a descendant of Abram, Jesus Christ. He is a descendant of Abram and the one who God’s promises are fully realized in. All families on earth will be blessed through Jesus. Jesus opens the floodgates of blessing for God’s people. 

[Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, (Eph 1:3 ESV)

Just as God’s promise to Abram guided him, gave purpose and hope to all he did, so also God’s promise to us in Jesus. It is an anchor, a rudder, a rock. God made a promise for us in Jesus Christ, and he calls us to leave everything and follow Jesus. He gives us a very specific purpose. We are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all I have commanded. Matt 28:18-19

[18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Four Key Blessing. 

  • Blessed with an Identity- Saved

He is with us. He is in power and control. We know everything is going to be OK. 

God made a promise to us. If he did that then we stand in it. If his promises are true then we are to leave all we have for what God offers to us. 

Blessed in Christ. Whatever adversity I go through it cannot hinder me from Christ. 

The world will try to pull us away from that. It’s the only thing that is secure. When life is falling apart, it is typically because we are trusting in other things. 

What God says matters most to us. Doesnt matter what Johnny and Jimmy and Judy think about you. If God approves it doesnt matter. If God disapproves it doesn’t matter who else approves. 

The battle is already one for you in Christ, and you are fighting these battles not from a place of defeat or failure but from one victory, and you are not fighting for blessing but as one who is blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ 

Look to him and dont turn back. 

  • Blessed with Purpose- Love

Not just to move to another land. God’s mission involves people. Want to do something of significance. Lead people to a deeper relationship with God. Most significant thing you can do. Help them find the blessing he has for them in Christ. 

[1 John 4:10-11.  10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

God calls us to reach people. Are you investing your life and resources into that mission? 

Frames how you think about leading your own family and what is important. Read the word. Be a spiritual leader. 

Love that leads people to God. Teach them all that he has commanded. That is the most significant thing we can do. 

Love others with the love of Jesus. 

-Hello. and shake hands. It can be uncomfortable.

-Hospitality. God has blessed me and I want to share it with others. 


-Help. Didn’t expect this to happen. 

Most people function as blackholes constantly wanting more and more and more. WE can give because of what God has done for us. 

  • Blessed with a People- Church

God’s promise would define Abram. It would define his nation. A nation of people with a distinctive way of living and thinking. The people had a place. The kingdom goes beyond the ethnic line of Israel. It is now the church that is the people of God. He is working distinctively through the church. But real people who care enough to change their schedules and actually meet with others. That means something. 

[Eph 3:10 “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,”

What is Jesus doing in the world today? He is building his church. The church will prevail against the gates of hell. People reject God call to be in church, and then languish the fact they have no purpose and connection. 

What is the bullseye of God’s purpose for you? The church. The Church is a community of people seeking to make Jesus known, proclaiming his word, and teaching what it means to follow him. Basic duty of the Christian life. Questioned and minimized.  

People pay a lot of money for their kids to get a Christian education and then ignore or belittle the most important place of living out the faith. This is where the rubber meets the road in living out your faith. They live isolated, unaware of the needs of others, and they keep all their fears and worries and needs bottled up inside to weigh them down. 

Guy who turned down job opportunities to be more involved in his church. If this is what Jesus is doing then I want to be a part of it. 

The enemy wants you to think it isnt important. Insignificant. Something better for you. Most Christians have the world's view of the church, a drag, boring, unimportant, focused on the right thing. That is not my experience of church. I see it as my people coming together to celebrate what God has done for them, a place to hear how he is working, a place to see that the gospel is going forward and lives are being changed, a place I can go lay my burdens down and find help. I want to give myself to it. I want my kids to see the importance of it and when they move out their first goal is to find a church. 

Don’t walk in like you walk into a restaurant. EVerybody take care of me. Walk in eager to learn and grow, help others, and to be shaped by God. 

Spurgeon, “. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”

Connecting with people and seeking to build our lives on the rock of God’s word. God will impact you through ordinary people. 

People are breaking addictions, restoring marriages, dodging bullets the enemy is shooting at them, finding support. I dont know any other organization like the church. I have been in a lot of business, houses, attractions. Nothing like the church. I love it. Its why i gave up a career in other fields. Lets be that kind of church. Loving others. Holding out the word of God for others to know and hear. Being patient with people as they get their life together.  

Bullseye. Are your life choices and priorities bringing you into the life God has for you in the church, or are your life choices taking you away from it. 

  • Blessed with Provision-Finances.

Blessing others. Giving is a reflection of faith and confidence and devotion to God.  

Finances show what is important to you. There is a balance we need to strike. Finances are not the most important thing at church. We need it but we don’t need it, right. But finances reveal what is most important to you. It reveals what is most important to your family. I remember early in our marriage being convicted that whenever there was an opportunity to give a little bit more I would need to pray about it, but when it came time to go out to eat or order cable it was a no brainer. 

If the gospel is true, if Jesus died for our sins and we can find forgiveness and belonging in him, then how can we not give ourselves to that. How can we think about standing before God and say that we knew this truth, but we didn't invest in it. I have a relative who in 1996 almost bought a lot of stock in a startup book company called Amazon. They regret not doing it. How much more so the kingdom of God. 

Might have to slow down your pace to make time for God’s kingdom. Julio and Mya. 

CS Lewis quote. “I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. If our giving habits do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we want to do but cannot do because our giving expenditures exclude them.” – C.S. Lewis

Live in perpetual guilt of not being able to do what others have done. More important things that just money. We say it, but do we live it. Home depot, buying a new car, reminder, i have something way more important than this. I want to invest in God’s kingdom. I want to see others come to know him. Up and downs but he will see me through it all. 


In Christ we have a solid rock to build our lives and live for the most significant purpose imaginable. 

Give yourself to it. Its where life is at. 

Turn from the world.

Give yourself to ministry. Reaching others. Impacting the world.