“Today,” Stan began, “I want to talk about a farewell message.”
“Farewell message?” I responded. “You’re not leaving are you?”
“Not that I know of!” Stan replied with a smile. “God will let me know when it’s time to head to the train station, and He hasn’t told me that yet.”
“Well, then,” I said, “what kind of farewell message are you talking about?”
“The kind of farewell message the apostle Paul gave to the church in Ephesus,” Stan replied.
“What was that?”
“Paul was in Ephesus,” Stan said, “talking with the elders of the church. He was leaving and wouldn’t be back so he was recounting to them what he had done. I don’t think he was patting himself on the back; he was encouraging the elders to carry on in the same way he had done.”
“What same way?”
“To declare the whole purpose of God,” Stan replied. “That’s how Paul put it. I think I’m to have the same farewell message when it’s time for me to leave.”
“Whole purpose of God?” I responded. “That’s a really big subject isn’t it?”
“Not so much,” Stan replied. “While I think it’s to take an entire lifetime to declare God’s whole purpose, I also think it’s real simple to state what that purpose is all about.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“To reconcile the whole world to Him,” Stan replied. “I think that’s the declaration of God’s whole purpose. It’s why the Father gave His Son so that all who believe can have life eternally with Him when it is time.”
Continuing, he added, “It’s also why He allows us to have the eternal life of knowing Him more deeply while He keeps us on this side of eternity.”
“So,” I responded, “it’s a simple as that? That’s God’s whole purpose?”
“I think so,” Stan replied. “As simple, and as complicated, as that.”
“And,” he concluded, “I want to be able to have the same farewell message as Paul did; that when it’s time for me to leave, I will be able to say that I did what I could to declare God’s whole purpose!”
Bible verses to consider:
For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Acts of the Apostles 20:27.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious gift of life in your eternal presence when it’s time for me to step into eternity. Thank you, too, for the opportunity to draw ever closer to you in a deepening relationship while you keep me here. Your whole purpose is to reconcile me and the world to you through Jesus Christ. That’s the message of your whole purpose. I confess that too often I do not declare that purpose as you intend. I do not tell others and I do not live a life that declares your whole purpose. Please help me to do so in order that others may come to realize and accept all you have for them on both sides of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you agree that the whole purpose of God is to reconcile the world to Him through Jesus Christ? Why or why not? Have you accepted His provision of life eternally with Him when it’s time? If not, why? If you have accepted God’s provision of salvation for eternity, do you think you are living a life that declares His whole purpose? Why or why not? What would God have to say about that? If you would like to live a life that will have the kind of farewell message reflected by the apostle Paul, do you know how to do that?