Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #49 --- Purpose

Quotations on Purpose

No greater strength can come into a man's life than the consciousness that God has a place for him. Such a consciousness coupled with a desire to be used for Divine ends, makes good men out of bad men, strong men out of weak men, great men out of little men.

—J.A. Hill, Amarillo Times, Amarillo, Texas, Feb. 18, 1949.

The importance of purpose can hardly be overestimated. It precedes action, though we may often be only dimly aware of it. ... Moral purpose shapes our conduct. ... Mere "wishes" and "hopes" amount to nothing if there is no definite purpose to see that they are fulfilled.

—Mattie M. Boteler, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 18, 1920.

Men will do the impossible when their minds are permeated with the purposes of God, who will guide them in using their powers to build rather than to destroy.

—John Branscomb, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., May 25, 1942.

Fixedness of purpose. Have iron in the blood, a deathless grip on the real virtues of life. There are thousands of men and women who would die before they would do wrong. Stand by the right to death's point. ... Hold to God and truth and work out your own characters in the light of His word.

—J.T. Griswold, ChiIdress Index, Childress, Texas, May 28, 1913.

Every one of us has ambition and should have an honorable purpose to leave this world better for our having lived in it. You should have a definite, accurate goal. Aspirations of life should be intelligent. ... If you have no fixed purpose in life you are placed at the mercy of appetites and temptations. Man with a purpose is a man; without one he is not a man. He lacks a certain instinct that makes life worth living.

—E.F. Hayward, The Monroe News-Star, Monroe, La., May 31, 1937.

Resolution of purpose is a sure sign of strength. The man who has no fixed purposes in his heart, that is not certain on some issues of life, is the vagabond along the highway of life, and if he gets through life at all, it must be by the help of his fellows who take pity on him.

—Adiel Jarrett Moncrief, Jr., Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 20, 1927.

Do you ever check up on your purposes? Just what is the use of your living, your going on, your sticking to your job? Just what is the use of anything? What is your purpose? Just as a day to day routine life is hardly worthwhile. It will always contain as much grief as joy. For many people it will contain much more sorrow than happiness. Life is made worthwhile only as we live it thoughtfully. It is made worth the living only as we form elves definite purposes which seem to our best judgment to have value. Do a little figuring once in a while. What are the important things you hope to accomplish? Are they sound, worth accomplishing, will they make for contentment and satisfaction? Are they entirely and continually worth the effort?

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 8, 1930.

One must enter the strait gate of vision and purpose and follow the narrow way of sterling character. It is folly, of course, to leave such an important thing as living to chance or to the turn of fortune's wheel. Most people who get nowhere didn't start anywhere; only they are satisfied with a low plane of living and achieving who have had no vision of the higher. Purpose and vision must be reinforced and accompanied by genuine character, for which there is no substitute. This is a narrow way from which there are many alluring and glamorous turnings, but it is strait and narrow enough to see the light of victory at the end for all who will follow it.

—John L. Hill, The Baptist Training Union Magazine, Nashville, Tenn., March 1947.

No achievement is possible without a purpose. No person ever climbed to the heights of fame without effort and without work. It is therefore necessary that you find a purpose in life, and success will surely come to all who build upon it with perseverance. What is grander than the unfold possible development without faith, and this faith must be in the Christian God. You must be in God and in Christ Jesus, and you must also believe in mankind.

There must be faith in truth, and there must be faith in us before we can appreciate it in others. You must have faith in yourselves. Don't be a coward and don't be a hypocrite. No coward ever achieved greatness. Belief in yourself will make you self-reliant and self-reliance will make you brave. You can be all of this if you are a Christian, and success in life will await you.

—J.W. Hill, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 2, 1903.

Happy is the man who pays tribute to a high purpose. Without a commanding purpose he is like a mariner without a compass, a plane without a beam, a train without a track. No life can know direction or organization without a dominating purpose. All of its ways will be ways of confession and futile groping without the control supplied by a lofty purpose great enough to elicit and focus the best in it. ...

We know quality is there when a wholesome purpose asserts itself. ... Every true purpose assert[s] ... itself--eventuate[s] into action. ...

Don't argue about the inspiration of the Bible; prove it by using it. Don't philosophize about prayer; prove it by praying. ...

The gifts of God are not to be accepted as excuses for idleness or laziness. ... If we desire to keep ourselves in ignorance of everything else because we fear our own faith, we are in a pitiful state of mind. ... The individual who will study nothing but that which pampers his own opinions, who would destroy every book which advances an idea contrary to his own conventional thinking, is woefully warped in mind and doubtless body and soul as well.

—E.D. Head, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, May 27, 1948 .

Two things are needed if life is to be happy and well adjusted. The first thing needed is a proper goal for life. Unless there is a clear-cut purpose for life, living becomes monotonous and meaningless. One who does not know why he is here or where he is going is filled with frustration and unhappiness. When there is no goal or overall purpose, people generally concentrate on motion, even though that motion may be leading to nowhere. When people have no ultimate destiny, they can never say that they are making any progress. If there is no fixed goal, they can never know whether they are moving forward or backward. The story is told of a sculptor, who after hacking and cutting away at a block of marble all day, was asked, "What are you making?" He replied, "I really don't know. I haven't seen the plans." The tragedy is that many people live their entire lives without a plan, uncertain of where they are, where they are going, or even why.

But it is not enough to merely have some goal in life. There is a second thing needed. In order to live on the highest possible level, man's goal must be a spiritual goal that transcends the fleeting, transient things of the world. The fact that man was created in the "image of God" means that he is essentially a spiritual being rather than a material being. This, in turn, means that material concerns cannot ultimately satisfy him. Sooner or later the spirit of man discovers that houses, lands, possessions, and earthly honors and achievements all fade in significance. Ultimately, he must have a purpose that goes beyond earth and time. That purpose is fulfilled only when he centers his life in Jesus Christ. It is important that man have a central goal in his life; it is even more important that his goal be worthy of his divine nature.

—David Holland, Beauregard Daily News, DeRidder, La., March 30, 1990.

The purpose is always bigger than the performance, the man than the plan. It is always true that it is the purpose which forms the man, and not the man who performs the purpose, which really counts. The purpose may never find expression in the form in which it is pictured in the soul, but it will tone, and color, and vitalize every word and act of the life. He who has a lofty ideal within his soul worships within the sacred precincts of a temple. He may never build the temple into stone, but he can never build ignobly. Who can estimate the protecting power of a pure purpose?

Here indeed is the character of a man. Here is the secret of every man's influence--it is his heart power. A man is not what he does, but he is the purpose back of the deed. We are often surprised at the weakness of some words and deeds, which, in themselves, should have force. It is the weakness of the purpose back of them on the other hand, some simply unobtrusive lives, not foremost prominent in active life, have a moral vitality and a spiritual potency which is a constant surprise. The answer is, there is a temple in the heart, and in it he worships day and night. Thus one's simple words and deeds come fresh from the holy of holies.

—M. Ashby Jones, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 17, 1923.

You who are only starting on the journey of life have bright prospects before you. Make the most of them. Start with a determination to succeed, to make your lives a shining mark, and if you are armed with patience, industry, good principles and a good heart, you will be able to overcome every obstacle and subdue every enemy to your progress. It should be the desire of every young man and woman to be of so much benefit to mankind upon this earth, the world will be better for their having lived. They may not be able to do a great work, to perform some heroic deed, but each one is able to make some noble sacrifices or do some good deeds, which will conduce to the happiness of others, and which will be acknowledged, if not by men, by angels. No intelligent man or woman who lives has not in them power to do some good, and the greatest happiness we can enjoy is the consciousness of having done good. In this world we all fill some niche. We are a part of the great economy of nature, and whether we will fill a large or a small niche we are an important part of a great structure. Each has a work to perform, and having found out what our work is let us give all our time, strength and thought to performing it well. It matters now whether the work is high or humble; let us give it our best efforts, for no matter how insignificant it may be it deserves the best we can do. It is by attending to details that we build a firm foundation for our future success, and there is a satisfaction attending the well performing of duties, which is a recompense for the time and strength devoted to them. This life is a school in which we all acquire a degree of knowledge, and it is not always the one who possesses the most talent who acquires the greater knowledge, but those who do what their hands find to do, cheerfully, and with no thought of the reward it may bring, are often those who reap the greater benefits.

—Mattie B. Hansen, The Journal, Logan, Utah, May 17, 1893.

If we are professing to seek the truth we must needs examine ourselves as to motive and life.

Motive is what we mean to do and be if it is possible. Life, or conduct, is the outward expression of the inward purpose. If, therefore, we are honestly seeking for truth we need to shape the motive and conduct accordingly, for when some time along life's pathway truth meets us face to face it will mean unconditional surrender for us, or else we have not been honest in our search. ...

To seek and accept the truth may not require of some the complete transfer of life's activities to other lines of service, nor the avowal of an entirely different purpose, but only a more consistent expression of their purpose.

For some it must mean a complete change in life's plan. The question then for each one to settle as they profess to seek the truth both for inward satisfaction and outward expression is "Does it pay?"

This question can be answered only as the individual is satisfied with absolute assurance, or a mere inference.

—George P. Magill, The Register and Leader, Des Moines, Iowa, Feb. 14, 1910.

Supremacy of conscience is not a mushroom growth in the life of man. It is a definite, fixed purpose of life that grows and matures along with our growth in years. ...

The supremacy of an overmastering purpose: ... Duty is the watchword of every great soul, conscience is its master, but an ennobling purpose to do our duty, to obey conscience, must impart its quickening power.

The supremacy of an all-conquerable faith ... help[s] [us] to turn every talent, both native and acquired, into a sanctified channel. So many Christians think they are only one-talent Christians and therefore they can never do much. They have no faith in God, no faith in themselves, and no faith in their fellowmen, hence their lives, to a large degree, are failures.

If the three fundamental principles of a great character control our lives, we will not fail. Success is assured.

—J.D. Leslie, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, July 24, 1922.

One pit of sinking sand is a life of purposelessness--if you please, the sin of nothingness. No sand is more sinking than the belief that life is a sheer accident--at best, a set of contradictory circumstances without any design, purpose, or plan. Man has no right to come into God's ordered world and go through it just marking off his days. Of all the freedoms that accrue to his account, this is not one of them. ...

There are countless millions in our nation whose propelling purpose is merely to get by, to seek out creature comforts, to extract what they can without putting much (if anything) back into it. ...

How can a person live in this kind of world with all its wondrous opportunities for creative enlightenment, its unchartered horizons, its locked-up freedoms, its aggravatingly alluring designs, its magnetic poles of consuming thought, its rarefied virtues highly esteemed but rarely exemplified, its beckoning vistas, its alluring challenges--how can one live in this kind of world and remain solidly neutral? Such is a compounded mystery. The sin of nothingness is sinking sand.

—Roy O. McClain, The Beam, Fort Worth, Texas, April 1958 .

It is not all of life to live; it is not all of death to die. In this life with its trials and tribulations, we spend too much time considering the things that are personal and selfish. It is not in what circle you live that counts; it is how you live in the circle in which you are moving. It makes a world of difference as to how we appreciate our talents; how we spend our time and to what purpose.

We should have a purpose in life. Success is nothing more than purpose obeyed. Achievement is nothing save purpose bearing fruit. We discover that character is nothing save purpose crystallized. None of us should live without some clear intention in life. Life means to do something and count for something in this world. The great need of man today is a great purpose in his heart.

—Marion S. Monk, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Aug. 8, 1927.

The sense of purpose is what gives zest and vibrancy to life. ... Purpose gives us the power to see problems as opportunities. ... Purpose gives us the power to rise above the fear of criticism. ...

Purpose gives us the power to make decisions. How are you at decision-making? Some people have a terrible time because they have not made that essential, ultimate decision about the purpose of their lives. Once you decide who you are, where you are going and what matters to you, then other decisions fall more easily into place.

Purpose gives us the power to live meaningfully. Toward the end of his life, Dr. William Barclay, the noted Scottish teacher and writer said: "I have lived a long time and over the years I have realized that in my life, there are very few things that really matter, but those few things matter intensely!" What are those few things that matter intensely to you? Once you decide what you values are and what your purpose is, then life takes on meaning.

Purpose gives us the power to see the routine, mundane and commonplace as sacred. Remember how Jesus appreciated the little things, like brooms, candles, water, leaven, old cloth, flowers, birds, seeds, soil, sunsets, wind, the faces of little children, the grass of the fields. All were holy to Jesus.

They spoke to Him of the Father and reminded Him of the sacredness of His task. Having a clearly defined and well-thought-out purpose enables us to "celebrate the present" and to see all of life, even the routine and commonplace, as sacred.

The truth is that there are few things in life as powerful as a purpose.

—Jim Moore, Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, La., June 5, 1982.

It is true that no individual soul can ever find life worth living until he has discovered a cause for which to stand, has found a purpose which so dominates his life that in the light of this purpose everything else fades into insignificance.

Jesus had found this worthwhile purpose in life and stood dauntless before His friends and enemies in carrying out the motive of His life. Each of us, too, can find life worth living if we will only follow the example of Jesus and select for ourselves a cause worth standing for; select a worthwhile purpose in life that will so dominate our lives that everything else fades into insignificance before it.

It is our selection of purpose in life that determines whether we will become stumbling blocks or stepping stones. The real worth of man is not in himself alone; it is in what he has selected as his purpose to govern and control his life's interest.

—Frank Robinson, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., July 27, 1936.

A purposeless man is a pulpy man. He has not backbone, nor spinal column. He does not walk erect and straightforward. He wobbles through life and should be classed among the invertebrates. He is so pulpy that he runs into the molds that circumstances make for him, instead of turning grandly on his central self and molding circumstances into plans and achievements for God.

—Wilbur P. Thirkield, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 17, 1897.

Many so-called convictions are only opinions. There is a difference between a heart purpose and a head purpose, between being minded to do a thing and hearted to do it. "Out of the heart are the issues of life." The Bible is full of the word heart, but the word brain does not occur once. ... It is written of Daniel that he had "visions of the head on his bed," but it was this purpose of the heart that shaped his destiny. ...

Great character is often revealed in small deeds. With many the breakdown comes in departure from life's high purpose in some trivial detail. Now, behind this smallness, as you say it, there is a great principle.

—John E. White, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 25, 1901.

One of the essentials, or we might say, the essential to success lies in the power of purpose. The man or woman who wants to attain must have a fixed purpose. ... Purpose of profession, of business, of education, of morals and ethics, of religion, of anything must be planned as having already achieved. The heart that is set on fire with a purpose has already attained. It cannot be deviated. Its bounds are set. Its plans must materialize. Do we appreciate the power of a mind that is capable of forming resolutions? With the mind men plan world conquests, great industrial schemes, social reforms, beneficent institutions, etc. It is a God-given power. ...

Men can accomplish wonders in a given direction. The impulse is there, the ability to attain is his, now what is his purpose? In almost breathless suspense we await his decision. So much depends on his answer. If made in the right direction, what a power for good; if misguided or misconceived, what a loss!

—R.A. Zahn, The Gospel Herald, Cordell, Okla., March 6, 1913.

A great deal of the unhappiness and much of the vice of the world is owing to weakness and indecision of purpose; in other words, to lack of courage. Man may know what is right and yet fail to exercise the courage to do it; they may understand the duty they have to do, but will not summon up the requisite resolution to perform it.

—Robert Carrol, Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, Feb. 3, 1913.

When a man learns the real value of principle, and has a purpose to obey it, there is no power that can stay that purpose or thwart that life.

What the world needs today, above all things, is men with a purpose. A man without a purpose is like flotsam and jetsam on the ocean of time, but the man with a resolute determination to do the right in spite of custom or formality, is like a magnificent steamship plowing its way through the roughness of the water, and is destined to reach the port. There must be a fixed purpose in the heart of every man who achieves success in any trade, profession or avocation in life. A vacillating or wavering man never made a success in anything. It is always the man who has a purpose and is determined to carry it out, regardless of opposition or popularity, that reaches the goal in life.

—Otis E. Carter, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, Dec. 3, 1906.

The most important purposes are the enlargements of one's soul.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Sept. 3, 1930.

You cannot put a great purpose into a selfish soul.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 1, 1936.

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