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How to Find a Sense of Purpose

Youth in search of a meaningful life may come up empty if they look in the wrong places. What should they consider when thinking about their future?


How to Find a Sense of Purpose

Bro. Joe Velasquez: It’s often said that the youth are the future. Every aspect of their growth and development from infancy to childhood to adolescence, and finally, adulthood, should ideally prepare them for successful integration as productive members of society. But having the best intentions doesn’t always end with the best results. And for the youth, finding a sense of purpose can be even more difficult when faced with the challenges and pitfalls that modern society presents.

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Brother Joe Velasquez

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Joe: Hi, I’m Brother Joe Velasquez, and with me here in our studios in San Francisco is Brother Richie Juatco. Hi, Brother Richie.

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Brother Richie Juatco

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Richie Juatco: Hey, Brother Joe. You know, young people nowadays may have experienced being told by older adults, like their parents, that they have things easier today. For example, there’s widespread access to technology and information, more opportunities to acquire an education, better jobs, and so forth. Hence, there may be a misconception among young people that their path to success and a bright future is well paved and they don’t need to put forth such great effort or strengthen their sense of purpose for attaining them. 

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How to Find a Sense of Purpose

Bro. Richie: Their peers might also be influencing them to “just take it easy, don’t sweat it,” or “not work so hard; just maybe look for the easy way out.”

Helping young adults find their way

Bro. Joe: That’s right, Brother Richie. It’s true that our peers exert a great influence [on] our decision-making. But what does God teach the young people that should be their mindset so that they will have a bright future?

Bro. Richie: Brother Joe, let’s turn to what’s recorded here in Proverbs 23:19:17-18. This is what is recorded:

Listen, my child, be wise and give serious thought to the way you live. Don’t be envious of sinful people; let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life. If it is, you have a bright future.

[Proverbs 23:19,17-18 Good News Translation]

Bro. Richie: Brother Joe and dear friends who are listening with us, notice that it’s God. He is the one that is advising children or young people to be wise. And this advice from God is also helping young adults find their way. But how can we identify young people who, as the Bible says, are wise? According to what we’ve read, they “give serious thought to the way that they live.” So they don’t live their lives carelessly but mindfully. 

Even more important, what do they make a priority in their life? The Bible says, “Let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life.” So they may be going to school. They may be involved in extracurricular activities like sports. They may have a job in their downtime. They might play video games or watch movies, but they still make their worship of God their number one priority. Hence, what kind of future does God guarantee the young people who have this mature mindset? The Bible says that they have a bright future.

Bro. Joe: Well, you know, probably everyone wants to have a bright future, right, Brother Richie?

Bro. Richie: That’s right, Brother Joe.

Bro. Joe: And especially young people will have their whole lives ahead of them. Now, there are, in fact, many teens with a purpose. They have hopeful dreams of graduating from school, getting a good job, buying their own car, owning their own home; maybe even getting married, and starting a family. In other words, being happy and successful in their life.

Bro. Richie: Now, Brother Joe, we read what we should do. So what should young people not do so that they can have a bright future?

Bro. Joe: Brother Richie, this is what the Bible says in the Book of Job 7:6. And this is what is stated here:

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope.

[Job 7:6 New King James Version]

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Brother Joe Velasquez

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Joe: And so young people who want to have a bright future should know how to find a sense of purpose and not spend their present days living without hope. But who are the youth that live like that? Well, there may be those who, for example, waste their days on nonproductive activities that do nothing to bring them closer to that bright future they’re hoping for. Now, what are some things that might be causing them to squander the precious time that they have? Well, procrastinating, excessive gaming or use of social media, hanging out with bad influences, [and] having a vice or addiction, among many others.

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Brother Richie Juatco

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Richie: Now, according to the Pew Research Center, teens ages 15 to 17 have on average more than five and a half hours of leisure time a day, more than 3 hours of which are spent on gaming, surfing the Internet, watching videos and TV. That’s a lot of time that could be spent productively and put to good use.

Bro. Joe: That’s right, Brother Richie. But should anyone, even young people, think that they have all the time in the world to get it together and straighten out their priorities? Well, what happened to anyone who had mistakenly assumed this?

Bro. Richie:

Brother Joe, let’s get the response of the Bible. Here in Ecclesiastes 6:12. It says: 

For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

[Ecclesiastes 6:12 Revised Standard Version]

Bro. Richie: Brother Joe and to those that are watching, according to the Bible, our life in this world passes us like a shadow. We only have a few days, so no one, not even young people, should put off till tomorrow the work and effort that should be put in today for the sake of their future. Those who do so, won’t end up living the life that they’re dreaming about. It will just be a dream that never materializes because they live their lives—as the Bible says—“they live their lives in vain.”

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How to Find a Sense of Purpose

Bro. Joe: And you know,  Brother Richie, perhaps there are those who may say, “All that—I am working hard.” They might say that they get good grades in school. They have a stellar academic record. They have a goal for their life and even a plan on how to attain it.

Bro. Richie: That’s right, Brother Joe. There are indeed many people like that. But even if they have a solid plan and a great work ethic, what might still derail the hopes of a young person in obtaining that bright future that we’re discussing?

Bro. Joe: Well, Brother Richie, this is what the Bible teaches us. In 1 Timothy 5:6 and this is what is stated here:

But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

[1 Timothy 5:6 New King James Version]

Bro. Joe: Now, why is it that there are young people who start off strong and they look like they have great potential, but they still end up in failure and disappointment? Where do they go wrong? Well, they were overcome by the sinful pleasures of this life.

Bro. Richie: Brother Joe, how bad is that? How bad is it to live in the pleasures of this life, in the sight of God?

Bro. Joe: Brother Richie and dear viewers, one who does so may be alive physically, but they’re already spiritually dead.

Bro. Richie: And to our viewers, one who is spiritually dead can’t hope for God’s blessings in obtaining a bright future. Right, Brother Joe?

Bro. Joe: That’s right. And so, how can we avoid getting caught up in the sinful pleasures of this life?

Bro. Richie: Well, the Bible gives us the guidance that we need here in Proverbs 28:19. And it says this:

He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless people and pursuits will have poverty enough.

[Proverbs 28:19 Amplified Bible]

Bro. Richie: Those, according to the Bible who follow worthless people and similarly, worthless pursuits, will not end up with a bright future. Instead, they will only end up in disappointment and frustration.

Bro. Joe: That’s right, Brother Richie. And so young people should be very careful in choosing their friends and acquaintances. It might be that the people they are hanging out with are not a wholesome influence on them, but rather the kind of people that the Bible describes as being worthless.

Bro. Richie: Now, Brother Joe, it’s obvious to understand we don’t want to follow worthless people, but whom does the Bible consider as worthless people? How does the Bible describe them?

Bro. Joe: Well, the Bible gives us the answer, Brother Richie and dear viewers, here, in Proverbs 6:12. And this is what is stated:

A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth;

[Proverbs 6:12 New King James Version]

Bro. Joe: Now, worthless people, dear viewers, are those who are wicked in the sight of God. Having such companions won’t help the youth in search of a meaningful life.

Bro. Richie: And how could it be when wicked people are those who break God’s commands? Associating with wicked people will only put a young person’s future at risk. There are many instances when young people whose futures were destroyed because they fell with the wrong crowd. For example, some became involved in sexual immorality and became parents when they weren’t ready to be parents. Others were influenced to shoplift, then they moved to grand theft, even stealing from the helpless. And others joined gangs, allegedly for companionship and protection. But then they actually became involved in violent crimes, Brother Joe.

Bro. Joe: So, Brother Richie, whom else should the youth avoid so that they won’t jeopardize their future?

Bro. Richie: So let’s continue. We’ll read from Proverbs 23:20-21. And here we can read:

Don’t hang out with those who get drunk on wine or those who eat too much meat, because drunks and gluttons will be impoverished; their stupor will clothe them in rags.

[Proverbs 23:20-21 Common English Bible]

Bro. Richie: The Bible teaches us that we shouldn’t hang out with those who get drunk on wine, or in other words, will get intoxicated. Now, they might seem to be the life of the party, but the reality is that they also will end up in failure.

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Brother Joe Velasquez

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Joe: Now, it’s not just wine or alcoholic drinks that can get people intoxicated or put them under the influence. People also get high on various drugs, whether they are illegal or prescription, and sadly, it’s all people who are under the influence that commit acts that can have a lasting negative impact on their lives. For example, after a wild night of drinking or doing drugs, some get involved in fatal accidents or get into violent altercations, or even overdose. And so what may have started out as a youth with bright aspirations became just another heart-wrenching statistic. And it could very well start with just accepting an invitation to hang out with someone who was fond of getting intoxicated.

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Brother Richie Juatco

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Richie: Now, getting high or drunk might just be the start, but sadly it doesn’t always end there.

Bro. Joe: That’s true, Brother Richie. After all, alcohol and drugs aren’t free, and with growing addiction, of course, would come the growing need to satisfy that addiction.

Bro. Richie: Now, Brother Joe, what depths have some people stooped so low just to fuel the addictions that they get?

Bro. Joe: Well, let’s see here, Brother Richie, the answer in the Holy Bible and Proverbs 28:24. And this is what is stated here:

Anyone who steals from his parents and says, “It’s not wrong,” is just like a man who destroys.

[Proverbs 28:24 New International Reader’s Version]

Bro. Joe: So, dear viewers, there are those who shamefully resort to stealing from their own parents or home, perhaps to satisfy their vices, and instead of feeling remorse at doing what is wrong, some even convince themselves that they haven’t done anything bad.

Bro. Richie: These are the kinds of children and youth that really break their parents’ hearts. The youth who could have been the pride and joy of their loved ones, but threw away their futures along with their relationships with their families, because of bad influences.

Bro. Joe: And, you know, Brother Richie, you know, some young people might reason out that the reason they follow and listen to certain influencers, especially on social media, is that while they can see them becoming successful, getting everything that they want, living large, enjoying life, even if their values are not in line with God’s teachings. So they envy them. They want to be like them. But should young people become envious or jealous of such people, Brother Richie?

Bro. Richie: Brother Joe, let’s get more guidance from the Holy Scriptures, here in Proverbs 24:19-20. It says:

Don’t envy evil people, and don’t be jealous of the wicked. An evil person has nothing to hope for; the wicked will die like a flame that is put out.

[Proverbs 24:19 New Century Version]

Bro. Richie: The answer of the Bible—very clear—is don’t envy evil people and don’t be jealous of the wicked. Why not? The Bible declares that an “evil person has nothing to hope for. The wicked will die like a flame that is put out.” So there’s no good end awaiting those who do evil. And with the wicked, even if it may seem as if they are living it up without a care today.

Bro. Joe: Very true, Brother Richie. That’s why, instead of trying to imitate the lives of those whose success is certain to be problematic and even short-lived, well, young people should allow their lives to be shaped by what the Bible teaches, regarding the attainment of true success.

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How to Find a Sense of Purpose

Bro. Richie: That is very correct, Brother Joe. What principles should guide the youth in their everyday living so that they can attain that true success?

Bro. Joe: Well, Brother Richie, this is what we can read in the Book of Proverbs 20:13. And this is what is stated here:

If you love to sleep, you will become poor. Use your time working and you will have plenty to eat.

[Proverbs 20:13 Easy-to-Read Version]

Bro. Joe: Dear viewers, those who want to be prosperous and truly successful should make use of their time productively by working hard, maybe for their education or their job, or even both.

Bro. Richie: So young people shouldn’t be lazy. Neither should they procrastinate. They should realize that they won’t be young forever and that each minute, hour, and day that passes is taking them farther away from their youth and deeper into their future whether they are prepared for it or not, Brother Joe.

Bro. Joe: That’s right. Now, of course, those who don’t prepare, for example, those who don’t take their studies seriously or who don’t work hard or who always want to take the easy way out, well, they’re going to find themselves in poverty, struggling to just get by while those who do prepare, for example, those who are willing to stay up late, put in extra hours for work or study or who don’t avoid challenges, or they’re the ones who will have plenty in life. But what does the Bible advise us to do so that we can have that bright future, Brother Richie?

Bro. Richie: Let’s turn to what’s recorded in Proverbs. We’ll read 23:12 and this is the answer. It says:

Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.

[Proverbs 23:12 New King James Version]

Bro. Richie: The Bible teaches us that we should apply our hearts to instruction and open our ears to words of knowledge. So we should be eager. We should be eager to learn. And that is whether we are young or old.

Bro. Joe: That’s true. And for the youth, they may be required to go through many textbooks on the way to obtaining a solid education.

Bro. Richie: Now, that’s true, Brother Joe, but textbooks are not the most vital source of instruction and knowledge. We can read in 2 Timothy 3:15-16 that it is the Holy Scriptures that are able to make us wise for salvation, and that they are given by inspiration of God and that they are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.

Bro. Joe: So then, Brother Richie and dear viewers, if we dedicate ourselves in our study of worldly knowledge in order for us to gain a bright future, well, we should all the more dedicate ourselves to learning God’s teachings, because these are what will guide us in every aspect of our life, and most importantly, in obtaining the everlasting life.

Bro. Richie: So we ask, what does the Bible guarantee? What will we benefit if we will show our reverence for God by means of listening well to His teachings?

Bro. Joe: Well, let’s find out the answer, Brother Richie. Again in the Holy Scriptures in Proverbs 23:12, 17-18:

Pay attention to your teacher and learn all you can. Don’t be envious of sinful people. Let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life. If it is, you have a bright future.

[Proverbs 23:12, 17-18 Good News Translation]

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Brother Joe Velasquez

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Joe: And so, dear viewers, according to the Holy Bible, those who pay close attention to God’s teachings and learn all they can, proving their reverence for him well, will certainly have a bright future.

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Brother Richie Juatco

Minister of the Gospel

Bro. Richie: And Brother Joe, isn’t that what we all want? Especially with the present condition of the world, that many people are struggling to pay their bills and provide for the needs of their families, young people, in particular, are very much affected by hardship, since many of them, they’re not yet able to earn a living.

Bro. Joe: That’s very true, Brother Richie. You know, young people are especially vulnerable because they are impressionable, and sometimes easily influenced through peer pressure to do things that go against the teachings of our Almighty God.

Bro. Richie: And that’s why, here inside the Church Of Christ, all members, even the youth, are continually taught God’s words, whether it be in the worship services, our Bible studies, our evangelical missions or meetings in the various Christian Family Organizations. But Brother Joe, we’ll pose this to those watching as well. How can young people truly benefit from the words of God that they are taught?

Bro. Joe: Well, let’s read here the answer of the Holy Scriptures again. In the Book of Psalms 119:9-11, this is what is recorded:

How can young people keep their lives pure? By obeying your commands. With all my heart I try to serve you; keep me from disobeying your commandments. I keep your law in my heart, so that I will not sin against you.

Psalm 119:9-11 Good News Translation

Bro. Joe: Dear viewers, according to the Holy Bible, young people can truly benefit from the words of God being taught to them by obeying God’s commands.

Bro. Richie: But Brother Joe, how should they obey the commands? Are there just particular commands that they should obey? Can they obey even if they don’t—if they don’t really want to obey, but they still are. Is that okay? Is there a “good enough?” Can they—half-hearted? Are they able to do that?

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How to Find a Sense of Purpose

Bro. Joe: Well, you know, Brother Richie, according to the Holy Bible, they should obey with all their heart. And what would be the good result of the obedience? Well, they will be able to keep their lives pure. You know, these are the youth who can be certain that God will bless them with a bright future, even in the midst of hardships in this life. Because they live their lives in accordance with His teachings.

Bro. Richie: For our dear viewers who have joined us today and are just beginning your studies with us, we invite you to keep listening to the true teachings of God being taught here in the Church Of Christ, so that you can learn how to be counted among his chosen ones whom he guaranteed will have a bright future.

Bro. Joe: And for our fellow members of the Church Of Christ, let us remember that God expects us to possess the qualities of His true servants, who live their lives in accordance with His teachings, so that we can prove our reverence to Him and be worthy of receiving thesuccess in life that we are all hoping for.

Bro. Richie: On behalf of all of us here at The Message, we thank you for joining us in the study of God’s words in the Bible.


Bro. Joe: Please do continue to watch this and other programs of the Iglesia Ni Cristo or Church Of Christ. But before we go, please do join us in a closing prayer.

Bro. Joe: Dear God, most beloved and Almighty Father in Heaven. We thank You from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to receive Your pure teachings and commands. Yes, these are the foundation of our life. And these we know will guide us towards the attainment of a bright future not only here in this world, but most importantly, the salvation that we are hoping for. We know that there are many people in this world today who are looking to have a good future in this life, but they may have lost their sense of purpose. They may have lost their way. May it be that through these teachings that they have heard, they will find the purpose that they are seeking in this world, that they may be able to obtain that good future that they’re longing for. 

Most importantly, that they may do so in accordance with Your holy will. May it be, dear God, that we will not allow ourselves to be influenced by the evil things in this world, by those who might take us away from our love of You. But help us that by following Your teachings and Your commands, we will have a clear understanding of the path that lies ahead of us, what is Your will for us to follow in our lives, so that we may be confident and certain of receiving the blessings that we need in this world. And we may do so in a manner that is pleasing and worthy before You. 

Jesus Christ, our Lord, we call upon You, help us whenever we are approaching our Father. May it be, dear Lord, we can receive the blessings that we need in this life, and that on that day of Your return, we will all enter into that Holy City that the Father is preparing for all of us.

Dear God, maintain always our firm connection with Your Church Administration. It is through them that we receive Your teachings and Your commands that guide us in the proper way that we should live in this world. We always remain united with them in everything that we do. We may bring glory unto Your holy name. Is our confidence or God that You have heard our prayers. You will forgive us for any sins that we may have done. You have blessed each and every one of our viewers. We ask all of these things in the name of Your Son, our Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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How to Find a Sense of Purpose