Summary: Keeping all five biblical purposes in balance involves some work, but there are keys to being successful.
Balancing Your Life
Purpose Driven Life #39
June 12, 2004
We’re drawing to the conclusion of our 40 message series on Living the Purpose Filled Life, and we’ve learned a lot and, hopefully, begun to implement that knowing into our lives- both individually and church-wide.
We’ve learned that our lives have five scriptural purposes, that fit inside the great purpose God has in calling us. He wants to call all to himself and we’ve been privileged to be part of this process, now. These five purposes are not new- they have been practiced by the early church members, in Acts 2. Paul explained them in Ephesians 4, in ourlining how we are to live based on who Christ is. Jesus modeled these purposes, through his prayer for us, recorded in John 17. These five purposes are contained in the Great Commandment (love God and love neighbour) and in the Great Commission (go to the world).
1. Love God with all your heart. We learned that we were planned for God’s pleasure, so our purpose is to love God through worship. This is a big subject and one that sets people on edge because we think of worship wars around styles of worship. However, above all, we’ve reconfirmed that this worship is to be practiced each day, all day long. It is not limited to our 2 hours together here- it can’t be. You can’t be a Christian for only 2 hours in a week. You can’t relate to God only 2 hours in a week, or only in a group in corporate worship. It must be what God sees in your life each minute of each day.
2. Love your neighbour as yourself. You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry. We discussed how ministries fit within the whole, and we must remember that no ministry is ’my ministry’. I hear people talking about ’my ministry’ and I know this is to be clear in talking with someone. But, even as we talk that way, we must appreciate that each ministry is God’s ministry; if it is not, it has no value. This ministry contributes to our community, here, and is important. We need a stronger sense of community- where we spend time together and communicate with one another not only, again, during our 2 hours together here.
3. Go and make disciples. You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’smessage through evangelism. We’re not really good at this, but we need to be. We need to learn and practice on this one, maybe more than others. We’re nervous about this, but we have to move through and past that nervousness, and into action.
4. Baptize them. We were formed for God’s family, so our purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship. Do you? Is this important to you? Do you miss something when you’re not here in a week or two? It’s hard to imagine being away from church for any lengthy time. Don’t get used to it. Value family and the relationships we have with one another here.
5. Teach them to do all things. We were created to become like Christ, so our purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship. This challenges us. I know we’re still challenged by our church’s journey. A disciples doesn’t think he has it made and then just coasts. We continue to learn and grow. When there’s church literature, read and study it, so you continue to grow.
Keeping these five purposes in balance is not easy. It’s easy to overemphasize one or two and leave the others. This is what churches do and sometimes gives the flavour of various churches. Some individuals/churches are strong in one area and weak in others. We need to balance all and be involved in nurturing all. We need to continue to grow in worship, belonging, serving, evangelizing, maturing, just like someone in any family.
What can you do to help you grow in these five areas and to help you maintain balance of all five purposes in your life?
1. Talk about these things with a partner or small group. Just hearing doesn’t always lead to the action that the hearing is meant to lead to. Small groups are wonderful helps in this and we need more of them in our midst.
Prov.27.17- talks about iron sharpening iron. We learn best in community. Our minds are sharpened and our convictions are deepened through conversation. You don’t need me to begin a small group. You need to gather a group together for the purpose of spiritual growth and accountability. You can use what I’ve discussed in these sermons as springboards to discussion and this will take us for quite some time. We need to be a purpose driving church because God is driven by and with purpose. He isn’t flakey and wandering willy-nilly and hoping to accomplish something.