The Purpose

“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.  And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:3-4

Knowing, and keeping in mind, the objective or goal is often the most important single thing a person can do if they are going to be successful.

Because I’m a preacher I’m most familiar with the application of this statement as regarding preaching.

Early in my training in the art and skill of preaching I was told that the one thing that set preaching apart from just talking about spiritual things is that a sermon always asks the listener to make a decision regarding their relationship with God. As preachers we call this part of the sermon “the appeal” and I was taught that a preacher should begin his, or her, sermon preparation with the appeal. This way everything that’s included serves to help lead the listener to make the decision called for in the appeal.

I could easily imagine that it’s equally important in business to keep in mind the objective you have if that business, and all the people and other parts of it, are to best work together to achieve success for the business. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what product or service your business is trying to provide it can be very difficult to stay focused on providing what you’ve set out to provide. And success becomes illusive when you don’t know your purpose.

The apostle John is an old man as he’s writing his letter to the Christian Church. Scholars believe that he may be about ninety years old. Six or seven decades have passed since he became a disciple and witness for Jesus. In his lifetime he’s seen the church grow and extend its reach far into Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the beginning it was the disciples, those that had known Jesus, that had led the churches. But now most of that generation are gone. John is among the last that remain and he knows that he won’t live many more years.

As he writes his letter, and I believe his gospel as well, John’s sets as his objective the task of reminding Christians that their purpose is to call people to accept a relationship with God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Church. This relationship isn’t something that will come at some distant point in the future. This is a genuine relationship that God is offering us right now.

John knows that Jesus is yearning for us to accept the fellowship he’s offering and at the beginning of his letter you can hear him making this call to a relationship with God, “Come have fellowship with us. Truly our fellowship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.”

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