2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
1 Cor. 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
God’s grace, His unmerited favor in our lives, surpasses everything that makes any sense, to anyone who is in the world.
If your not a born again Christian, saved by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, you might not understand the things that I’m about to tell you.
God has used the last couple of weeks and my recent circumstances to help me to understand some very basic, very simple truths, that we must all learn to apply to our lives.
God has a call and a unique purpose for everyone’s life.
Not just some of you, but ALL of you…
God wants us to breakout of mediocrity and to step up to a life with purpose and vision, to fulfill that task God has for you.
I want to tell you what we can do, to bring that to pass with some concrete and practical steps,
Let me outline these for you.
To fulfill God’s destiny in your life you need to be certain that:
You are a believer: and that you are part of a bible believing faith building church.
Our purpose and life is directly linked to our relationship with Jesus Christ. You cannot, and will not find your purpose outside of a committed life to Christ.
Acts 2:42 says,
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The NIV says, “They devoted themselves”
Being committed is being sold out; it’s not hap hazardly living for God, it’s serving him with all your heart mind soul and strength.
Carrying out his will without regard for your own life!!
It is God who brought us into existence;
It is God who knitted us together in our mother’s womb.
And He did so, with a diffident set of plans and a diffident purpose that is very unique to us.
It may not conform to what you think your life should be like.
It may not allow for thing to be the way you think they should be.
But you can be assured, it is God, who is orchestrating our lives, and apart from Him, there is no ultimate meaning!
It is only through Jesus Christ, that we can be integrated into the divine plan of God
So the first step into finding God’s purpose in your life is to be sure and make sure we are believers, followers of Jesus Christ.
There are a lot of people in America (or in the world)
That because they live in America,
Or because they are from a believing home,
Or that they do good things or treat others good,
And they indeed believe they are believers, or what we have come to call a Christian.
I want you to understand that none of those things are sufficient.
(Romans 5:1) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
It is only through direct relationship with Jesus Christ that we are believers.
First of all make sure that you indeed are believers, and that you know Jesus Christ personally.
II Peter 1:10
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
The Bible tells us to make our calling and election sure.
So that’s the 1st thing we have to do.
Appreciate your unconditional acceptance by God:
Everyday we get bombarded with signals from society and culture, about what we have to do in order for us to be acceptable.
They tell us that we have to be cool, you got to measure up, and you have to use the right product or wear the right clothes.
We are told that our clothes are all wrong, our teeth are dingy, or our skin is lifeless, we don’t smell right, we are too fat, or too skinny, our hair is dull and lifeless or we drive the wrong car.
If we carry that over to the spiritual realm,
Satan, our enemy, continually uses one of his main weapons, and that is accusations. He tries to make us feel as if we are unworthy as individuals.
He tries to convince us that God cannot love or forgive us.
Not us, we are too bad, we’re too sinful, we’re too much trouble, and we’re not worth it.
Some religious systems add to the same problem by using the legalistic approach,
“If some how we can just save ten more people to the Lord.”
If some how we can just pray another 20 hours,
If some how we can just feed another 200 homeless.
That some how we can just earn God’s love.
(Romans 5:8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
While we were yet un-cool,
While we were still too fat or too skinny,
While we were driving the wrong car, or
While we were still smelly, with lifeless hair.
While we were yet too mean, and too awful, and too ugly, God loved us enough then, that He died for us!
Church I tell you, it is not about what we can do, it is about what He did.
Learn to appreciate your unconditional acceptance by God:
That’s the second thing.
Now the third thing is:
We need to celebrate our God given value and uniqueness:
(1 Cor 6:20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
All of us are of such great value that God gave His son to pay a price for us.
Do you not understand that you can’t even pay for your own sin, you don’t have enough to offer to pay the penalty for what you have done against a thrice-Holy God.
We don’t even come close, but he still loves us enough to give up something precious to him, in order to have a relationship with us
It is very realistic, to believe that God would give His Son for you, so that you could be rescued.
Not realistic by our standards, but realistic by faiths standards.
To God you have value, enough value that He was willing to send His son to die for you.
Until you accept that love, you will not really know your purpose, and the destiny of your life, and what your life is all about.
So first be sure you are a believer, and that you are part of a bible believing church. Second appreciate your unconditional acceptance from God. And thirdly celebrate your God given values and uniqueness.
Oh Me,,, Oh My,,,
Some of you are already thinking here it comes, this is part of the sermon where we hear, pray more, give more, read more, be more.
(1 Cor 9:24-26) 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible
(temperate) crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
The difference between a runner and me in a marathon is: he runs and I don’t. The difference between a cyclist and me is that he rides a bike and I don’t.
Every now and then, you will find someone who says I tried that church stuff and it just didn’t work for me.
I tried the God thing and I just didn’t feel anything.
What I found to true about these kind of people, is that they tried one aspect of church, or one aspect of God, and they didn’t see the results they were hoping for, so they discounted the whole thing.
People have a diet mentality for spiritual things.
When we start a diet we are required to skip a food, or skip a meal, eat certain foods, and we try it for one day or in some cases one meal, and then we get on the scales, and if we don’t see a reduction in weight then we brand the diet as a failure.
Then we tell our friends and people well I just can’t lose weight, I’ve tried every diet.
Truth is, a diet takes more than just one meal, it takes more than just one week, and a diet is a lifetime commitment. It is a matter of re-training our patterns and our habits.
So when people say they have tried church stuff and failed then we need to ask the question:
How often do you go?
The answer “all the time.”
So we ask more questions,
Were you there last week?
The answer “no.”
And there will be a multitude of reasons why not from “sick to soccer.”
Most people don’t realize how much church they actually have missed.
If I ask one of you when was the last time you ate, you know!
You know exactly when you last meal was, and what you ate or didn’t eat at that meal.
No one wins a race,
No one achieves success,
No one becomes the best,
Unless they discipline themselves to do what is takes to win.
Paul is saying if we don’t apply the same principles to our spiritual life we will not be over comers, and we eventually quit because we don’t see results in our spiritual lives.
I have seen more and more people become spiritually malnourished, because the have let so many other things keep them from spiritual feeding.
Not only have I seen it but I’ve lived it.
I know first hand what it is to be spiritually malnourished,
to get so wrapped up in doing things, until I lacked the essential nutrients, spiritually, to stand up to the spiritual war that Satan is waging against the children of God.
One of the first sign of physical malnutrition is weakness, no strength.
You succumb to disease, lay around a lot, you begin to slow down, physically, emotionally and mentally, and soon you become so weak that you lose your appetite for food and soon you will die.
I tell you this morning it is the same spiritually, when you are malnourished spiritually you cannot withstand the attacks of our enemy,
You are easily offended,
You are more apt to complain,
And you begin to withdraw,
You may surcum or give in to temptations
And you could lose you desire to eat spiritual food.
Of course if this continues, the inevitable happens, you grow so weak that you die spiritually.
When you feel like serving God the least is when you need to feed your self the most.
It’s called discipline!!!
You cannot tell me that football players get up every morning wanting to play football. They don’t get up every day wanting to practice in 100-degree weather because they like it. They do it because if they don’t someone else will, and then they will lose their multi- million dollar contract.
If you plan to achieve your destiny it will require discipline from you.
Embrace discipline: That’s the fourth thing
The fifth thing you need to do to fulfill God’s destiny in your life is:
In order to fulfill your destiny you will have to move beyond where you are right now.
Usually God will move us into new territories,
(Isaiah 48:18) O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Some of you have been challenged mentally and emotionally, because someone else is sitting in your favorite seat this morning or someone got your parking spot or someone has gotten into your space somehow.
To fulfill your destiny get ready to kick the end out of the rut, and move into something new with God!
Learn how to fail.
If we are going to move out into new territory we will encounter a few failures.
(Proverbs 24:16) For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Learn from you mistakes but keep looking forward.
When you’re driving (yes you should occasionally look in your review mirror) but keep your eyes focused on the road ahead, because if you keep your focus on the review mirror you will crash.
Don’t let your mistakes and failures keep you from your destiny!
The story and life of Abraham Lincoln:
1831 Abraham Lincoln failed in business,
1832 he was defeated for the legislature,
1833 his business went under again,
1835 his sweetheart died,
1836 he had a nervous breakdown,
1838 defeated for speaker,
1840 he was defeated for lector,
1843 he was defeated for congress,
1848 he was defeated for congress again,
1855 he was defeated for the senate,
1856 he was defeated for vice President,
1858 was defeated for the senate again, and
1860 we elected him for president.
Babe Ruth is known for his home run record, he also holds the record for the most strikeouts.
Learn from your mistakes but don’t live there!
6.) Lastly, give yourself to fulfilling God’s purpose for this generation.
It is very easy to be focused on our own agenda and what we want from this life, that we forget the ultimate purpose.
Our mission is not to be great people, or to see how much we can accomplish. Our mission is to use our talents and our abilities to reach others for Christ.
Mathew 25: Jesus uses the illustration of the men whom the master who had given certain valuable talents.
Jesus taught on this example about a talent being an amount of money. But the root word that is used is “to bare or to carry” it deals with what we have been given to carry in life. And Jesus was explaining how we are to use those gifts or giftings to accomplish something.
John D. Rockafellow drove himself to be a success.
He became a millionaire by the age 23 and in 20 years he became the worlds richest man.
At age 53 his health made it appear that death was indeed immanent, and he was not expected to live very much longer. One night as he struggled to fall a sleep,thinking that everything that he had worked for was about to crumble in around him. He came to the realization that he could not take anything with him when he died.
So the next day he embarked on a new way of living.
Rather than hording money and possessions he began to give things away to those who were in need.
He established the Rockafellow foundation and made arrangements to give a portion of all that he made to this foundation.
His contributions lead to the discovery of penicillin, cures for malaria, Tuberculosis, and nimpheria.
His resolution to give and not to get, so revolutionized his life. John D. Rockafellow wound up living to the ripe old age of 98. Not expected to reach the age of 54.
Our obligation is to discover our purpose and to allow that purpose to become the driving force of our life. Our talents our abilities, and destiny is to change the world one person at a time.
I’d like everyone who will, to come to this altar this morning.
Not because there’s something wrong with our lives, but because we want everything to be right with our lives.
Come because you want God to help you make your race count.
Because you want to be used by God to the uttermost of who you really are, INSIDE, DEEP DOWN, IN YOUR HEART.
Come because you want God to be more than something you do,
Come because you want it to be your way of life.
Because you want God’s discipline in your life.
Because you want to make a difference.
With God’s help, we can help a lost world be changed one soul at a time.
Everyone who will, Come, Please…