Summary: Living the life God planned for you, fulfilling the purpose you were created for, reaching those He created you to reach and radically impacting eternity for Him.
Impact. One second before you die...? What would you have to do to be remembered 10 years after you die? 50 years after? 100 years after? 1000 years after? Would you like to live that kind of life? How many of you want to: Live a meaningful life? Live a life of impact? Change this world for good? Make an impact for Christ? I hope you are one of the very few who will beat the odds. I heard a story once, of a marine recruiter. I hope you are one of the few who “have what it takes.” So what does it take? God has already made you who you need to be to accomplish what he’s planned for you. You don’t need to become something different. 2 Cor. 5:17 - “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” It takes someone who will just be who God made them to be. You’ve already been given all that you need. You don’t need anything more. 2 Peter 1:3 - “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” It takes someone who will be committed to knowing Him. Stewardship - You’ve been given so much, what will you do with it? Mt.25:21, 23 - “Well done good and faithful servant.” Mt.25:26 - “You wicked lazy servant.” What does it take? It takes someone who will: Be who God made them to be, nothing more and nothing less and Pursue Him passionately. So what are His plans for you... Jer.29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Eph.2:10 - “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Mk.12:29-31 - “The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these." Your impact will come out of loving God and loving people. If you don’t do both of these you will have no impact. Mt.28:18-20 - “Then Jesus came to them and said, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Can God really use YOU in big ways? No matter where you’ve failed, your weaknesses, inabilities and failures present no challenge to God’s plan for your life; your willingness does. 1 Cor.1:27 - “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” If God could use Moses, who was afraid, insecure and doubting; He can use you. If God could use John the Baptist, who wore camel’s skins, ate locusts and honey, and lived in the desert (Erin says he was the 1st hippie), He can use you. God can and desires to use you in BIG ways, but, I don’t want to focus this talk on how God can use you but on who you need to be to be used. There is one huge obstacle, a nearly impenetrable blockade, preventing you from experiencing that life of impact. The obstacle is you. I ask so many students what they want to do with their lives and maybe 1 in 20 answers includes anything about God’s will. Sacrifice and surrender - Abraham and David. Gen.22:2 - "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love...” 2 Sam.24:24 - "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." You must be an empty vessel, ready to be used. Lk.9:23-24 (also in Mt.10:38-39, 16:24, Mk. 8:34-36, Lk.14:27) – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” My desires, hopes, ambitions, dreams, all crucified. True, abundance, significance, meaning, joy, satisfaction in return. In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but insist Christ do all the dying… we doom ourselves to shadows, weakness and spiritual sterility. – A.W. Tozer. Gal.2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me…” When I die to self, I allow Him to live His life through me. That, in turn, yields a life of impact which is truly satisfying. Jn.4:14 - “Whoever drinks the water I give Him will never thirst.” You’ve been made who you need to be and given all you need to accomplish what He has called you to; all that remains is for you to get your eyes off yourself and on Him. To live the life of Impact He’s called me to, I must: Heb.12:1-2 tells us to keep our eyes unswervingly focused on Jesus. Don’t limit God with your expectations (of either what you hope to accomplish or what you fear you can’t). What dreams has He put in your heart? What has He gifted you with? What has he given you a passion for? What has He called you to? 2 Cor.5:7 - “we walk by faith, not by sight.” Surrender to Him continually. Rom.12:1 - “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.” Die to self daily. Put you, your hopes, dreams, desires, ambitions and plans on the altar. Also put your weaknesses, failures and insecurities on the altar. As you surrender to Him, His will becomes apparent. Trust Him daily. Pr.3:5-6 - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Be faithful with all He gives you. Lk.16:10 - “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.” You don’t have to open your own doors. The big Key here: Be filled with His Spirit, walk daily in His power. Col.1:29 - “To this end I labor struggling with all His energy which so powerfully works in me.” If you do these, you won’t screw it up, you won’t miss your purpose. Go one day at a time. The Bottom line. Acts 17:28 - “In Him we live and move and have our being.” We live in Him (constant fellowship). Out of that comes identity (In Him we have our being). And also, our impact (In Him we move - or do what we do). Jn.15:1-16 - If we abide in Him we’ll bear fruit that will last, apart from Him we can do nothing. That in turn will be a life, “worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work...” (Col.1:10). My story in DTS. He is worthy. John the baptist’s example. Jn.3:30 - “He must become greater, I must become less.” I get in the way of what He wants to do, I must decrease. You aren’t doing Him a favor, living for Him. Mt.3:11, Mk.1:7, Lk.3:16, Jn.1:27, Acts 13:25 – Not worthy to untie his sandals. 1Cor.3:9 – He’s called us to be His co-workers. You want to make a difference in this world? We are here to change things. Disturb the go nowhere, do nothing equilibrium. To do that: be passionate about Him. Jer.30:21 - “Who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?” That’s not talking about 10 minutes a day. Are you sick of just barely connecting with Him? How far will you go in pursuing Him? A synergy comes out of that relationship which will rock this world to its core. John Wesley said, “Light yourself on fire and people will come from miles away to watch you burn.” I hope you are one of the few who will get your eyes off your self, your dreams, hopes, desires, ambitions, plans, weaknesses, past failures and insecurities and pursue Him passionately allowing Him to accomplish the impact He made you for. Have them write out issues for the altar. Write out your hopes, dreams, desires, ambitions and plans for your life. Write out your fears, weaknesses, failures and insecurities. Give them to God right now, maybe throw them in the fire here. You might not get any of them back but you’ll get so much more.