Summary: A combination inductive and deductive message challenging people to determine what God wants their lives to mean.
Topic: Christian Living
Theme: Living with Purpose/Mission/Meaning
Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness challenging God’s people in my care to determine what God wants their lives to mean.
Response: Individuals will ponder the meaning of their lives, asking, “What is God’s mission for my life?”
Visual Aid: BABY NAME BOOK
Do you know what your name means?
1) Church Family Examples
a) Ted = gift of God
b) Alberta = noble & brilliant
c) George = one who works the land
d) Linda = beautiful
e) Tom = a twin
f) Naomi =pleasant & sweet
g) Carol = feminine, & joyous song
2) My Family Examples
a) Mark Edward = warrior guardian
b) Connie = constant light
c) Nicole René = victoriously born again
d) Kristen Suzanne = Christ-like by God’s grace
e) Katherine Elizabeth = pure & dedicated to God
The names of Bible characters had special meanings too.
1) Old Testament
a) Abraham = father of a multitude
b) Sarah = princess
c) Isaac = laughter
d) Moses = pulled out
e) David = loved one
2) New Testament
a) Jesus = the Lord saves
b) Peter = rock
3) Let’s focus on John the Baptist for a while and see how his name related to his life.
a) Before he was born, Gabriel told his father to name the baby John (which means “the Lord’s gracious gift). The Bible tells us that  when Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,  for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.  Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (From Luke 1 NIV)
b) Later when John was born, Zechariah sang a song of praise to God. In it he said to John,  And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,  to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,  because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven  to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." (From Luke 1 NIV)
c) When John was a grown man, “the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.  He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (From Luke 3 NIV)
d) John’s life meant God graciously called his people back through him.
I believe God wants your life to mean something too. He has a mission for you to fulfill.
So what does this suggest? What does it imply about your life?
1) Your life can mean something UPLIFTING. You can be part of bringing families together.
2) Your life can mean something ETERNAL. You can help bring some folks to God.
3) Your life can mean something GRACIOUS. You can be God’s gift to someone.
How can you discover God’s mission for your life? How can you determine what He wants it to mean?
1) (Start the Music.)
2) Simply take some time to think about it right now. What does your life mean? What is God’s mission for you? When you life is over, what will people remember about you?
3) Let me challenge you this morning to determine what God wants your life to mean? You might be thinking it’s too late to ask Him – but it’s never too late unless you never get around to it. You might be thinking you have your whole life ahead of you, but it’s never too early to begin praying that God will help you know your life mission.
4) Here are two or three ideas about how to begin to determine what God wants your life to mean.
a) Discuss the meaning of your life so far with a few close loved ones or friends.