Summary: As we live our lives with a sense of the eternal, it empowers us to live for the purposes of God.
Birds tend to have- limited vision- Eagle can see up to five miles and beyond. While many birds migrate- eagle stays in their territory, year after year. They are very dependable- will remain in their territory even when a storm approaches. Other birds fly in fear while the eagle catches the wind and rises above the storm. God is looking for people of vision who can see w/their spiritual eyes, catch the wind of God’s Spirit, rise above their fears/unbelief. He is looking for men/women, like the eagle, who are dependable, focused, fearless when it comes to their God given purpose. From Eagle Vision and Dependability by Christi Harken, Contributed by: Paul Fritz
2008 is now history and 2009 is opening up before us.
How would you rate 2008 on a scale from 1 to 10?
What would be your criteria for determining whether it was a good year of a bad year?
For many- 2008- a difficult year- filled w/adversities.
One thing we can say …
God is good and God is real regardless of our difficulties or the circumstances in our lives.
You and I serve a great God and a good God.
Jas 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. NASU
Thoughts on 2009- God is saying/doing/expecting.
2009: A year of purpose
Living with purpose
Living with forethought
Living thoughtfully, not haphazardly where we are pushed along in the river of everyday life
Purpose- something that one hopes or intends to accomplish.
Thesaurus- other words w/similar meaning- determination, resolve, intent, aim.
Three thoughts for 2009
1. Live purposefully
Life is not an accident.
Man did not evolve from some series of events.
Man was created by God, an intelligent Creator.
God created man to have significance and purpose.
It is important that we learn to live with a sense of the eternal in our hearts.
Live thoughtfully, mindful that we are significant to God and He has a purpose for each of us to fulfill.
Eph 5:15-16 AMP
15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),
16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.
It is time for the church to allow God to bring us into a much deeper level of spiritual maturity/stability.
This will happen as we live with a sense that we have been created by God for great things.
Viktor Frankl- Austrian psychologist- survived death camps of Nazi Germany. Frankl was determined to know why some survived and some did not. Looked at several factors- health, vitality, family, survival skills, intelligence. He concluded- none of these factors was primarily responsible. Single most significant factor- was a sense of future vision- the conviction that they had a mission to perform, some important work left to do. Survivors of POW camps- Vietnam reported similar experiences: a compelling, future-oriented vision was the primary force that kept many of them alive." (Stephen Covey, First Things First, Contributed by: Joel Smith)
We are familiar w/Biblical concept that for a people to survive they need a vision/purpose to live for.
Pr 29:18, KJV Where there is no vision, the people perish …
Pr 29:18, NIV Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint …
Pr 29:18, MSG If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
Pr 29:18, GNT A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order …
Man was created for two purposes …
Westminster Shorter Catechism (1674) ...
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them
(Gal 2:20, NASU)
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven
(Matt 2:10, NASU).
2. God’s Word is true TODAY!
It is not just for then, but for now as well.
Miracles/supernatural occurrences are for us today- never passed away or abated.
Do not live for miracles- live for God, but expect miracles.
Do not run after the supernatural, run after God- but expect the supernatural.
If we are not busy building God’s Kingdom, if we are not stepping out spiritually, taking chances …
Why would we need a miracle?
God wants to do more for me than just meet my needs for daily existence and comfort.