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Listen while you read: "I Know Whom I Have Believed"1 (Lyrics)

Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Victor Frankl said, "Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for."

He was referring to what I call "the crisis of purpose". I think that it's a huge part of the general malaise and apathy which can seep into so many people's minds these days.

One straightforward way to fight against this cultural landslide is to go out of our way to serve and help other people.

For three years, I've written a daily devotional called "Up!". As a part of that, I asked subscribers to reply to this question: "How has serving or helping others given you a stronger sense of purpose?" Here are a few of the responses:

  • When I serve or help others, I realize that I am alive for a reason.
  • The ways I help and pitch in are often things other people don't want to do. But that's what makes it important. It's behind-the-scenes. But it builds up the hospital and my church for God's glory.
  • I try to make the day better for complete strangers. I go out of my way to offer help, buy them food, or just listen to someone who doesn't have anyone to talk to.
  • I advocate for people who have been abused. They are God's children too, but often fly under the radar because they don't want to draw attention to their situation.
  • I coach sports for the kids. Winning is nice, but it's really about building our young people into men and women of character, who will make our world a better place down the line.


The bottom line is this: Service gives purpose. Since God hasn't given up on the world, neither should we. So, when you go out of your way to serve and help others on a daily basis, it breathes greater purpose into your life.

Philippians 2:7 – [Christ Jesus] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)

God became flesh in Jesus, which is an incredible confirmation not only that God loves His world, but also that it has value and is worth redeeming and fighting for.

"Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for." But that's not you. Do you want your days to escape the general malaise and apathy of our time?

Service gives purpose.

Prayer: Lord, make us servants, walking in the footsteps of our Servant Saviour. Amen.

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About the author:

Matthew Ruttan <>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Wise words for today, Matthew.

    Absolutely well spoken. Thank you.

    May God bless Miracles #2 today!

    100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} true! Ephesians 2:10.

    Many small, flckering lights put together can make a powerful blaze that can light up the world.

    Thank you, Matthew, for serving us through this devotional reminder of the value of all kinds of service. Blessings.

    Good one. I am also enjoying Up! You are a busy writer. Thank you. I’ve passed your site to another today as we visited after church.

    You have some good messages, Matthew. I listened to your church service on Miracles last week, very interesting. I look forward to part two.

    Dear Matthew:
    Is it possible to receive your daily words of wisdom in UP.
    Let me know, if possible.

    This has to be one of the most important concepts in life – that serving others give purpose to our lives, as well as a sense of well-being and self-worth – such as no other activity can do. Thank you for putting it
    into words so easy to understand and remember.

    What a wonderful perspective. It is definitely a guideline to follow as we determine what our actions will be for the day.
    Thank you, Matthew.

    Good one. I am also enjoying Up! You are a busy writer. Thank you.
    Thank you so much for today’s devotional on Purpose, Matt.
    I believe everyone needs something to love – something to do – and something to hope for.
    You said it all so very well! God bless.

    Greetings Matthew,
    Thanks for this meaningful morning devotional. So true that service to others gives a rewarding sense of satisfaction especially when you see positive results in the one you have helped. Also knowing you are doing what the Lord is directing you to do adds to the fulfillment of the purpose.
    Have been enjoying your “UP” a.m. devotionals too.

    Thank you for this reminder. It is so important for everyone to do. I keep myself busy volunteering at church and other things, both here in Canada, and in winter as a snowbird in the US. It gives me so much gratitude to serve others.
    My church in Fl has a new focus to serve. Whenever there are 5 Sunday’s in a month, the fifth Sunday is devoted to service and as a congregation, following a short service of prayer, we go out into the community and nursing homes to serve others spreading our love. Sometimes it is just a project at the church like making response kits, crocheting sleeping mats for homeless or making a meal to share.
    I really think it’s a wonderful way to serve which I had never done before.

    I just got my purpose back two weeks ago teaching piano again. Your message is spot on!!
    Thank you.

    Hi Matthew,
    A very good devotional. You are so right, it is so important to have a purpose to get up, and there is indeed a lot of apathy in the world today. I pray almost daily that a change will come about.
    Thank you for writing.

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