Summary: Becoming People of Purpose for God
This morning we¡¦re going to begin a series I¡¦ve entitled: People of Purpose
- We¡¦ll be looking at the purposes God has offered each of us.
- Today I want to begin by laying the groundwork; by reflecting on the very nature of being purpose centered in our lives.
- Let me begin with an exercise ¡K
o VISUALIZATION: Enter a church¡K realize it¡¦s a funeral¡Kmake your way to the only seat¡K which is the front row¡K. And then you realize¡K it¡¦s your own funeral. Various people are going to share¡K they may be friends, family, co-workers. Now in heart¡K what would you like to hear said¡K about what you with your life¡K and how you did it.
„X What you imagined likely reflects something of purpose in your life
„X Some of you may have found it hard to hear what others might say¡K and I trust the coming weeks will help inspire you in your sense of purpose.
„X Others may have heard things come from deep within you, things which you may realize aren¡¦t consciously connected to your daily life.
God¡¦s been impressing upon me the value of living purpose centered; how defining those purposes and living out of them is central to spiritual maturity.
- Purposes are like the roots of plants that have to grow deep and sturdy in order for the plant to remain healthy.
- But of course the soil we grow in isn¡¦t always the easiest
o As many of us have discovered, it can nurture more PACE than PURPOSE
o ¡§We become more certain we¡¦re going FAST, and less certain where we¡¦re going.¡¨
o We may end up with the Charlie Brown method, shoot the arrow at the target, then draw the bulls-eye¡K
- interesting recently to hear someone define the word ¡§Amusement¡¨
o ¡¥not (a) think (muse)¡¦
„_ I really enjoy amusement & amusement parks, but I don¡¦t want my life to be one
- For ¡§Purposeful¡¨ on the other hand, means we stop to think.
o Literally defined as ¡§resolutely aiming at a specific end; not meaningless.¡¨
THIS IS THE QUALITY OF LIFE GOD HAS CALLED US TO:
- that in the midst of all the crowds¡K activity¡K and even the mysteries which we can¡¦t understand, we still can take hold of the deepest sense of purpose to which we are called to aspire.
¡§You, LORD, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm¡K¡¨
As I reflect on the life of Christ, he too walked among crowds, activity, agendas, and in his humanity, he even lived with that which he didn¡¦t know; yet he walked with purpose.
As Christians, our highest goal is to become like him.
I want to offer 4 strategies for living with purpose, each of which reflect the life of Christ:
1. SETTLING UP THE PAST
¡§¡K I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead¡K¡¨ (Philip. 3:13)
- Interesting that only one account of Christ¡¦s childhood is noted- confronts his parents.
„_ Many of us have needed to say ¡§THIS is my life¡¦s direction,¡¨ honoring and caring for our parents, but breaking any indebtedness that is higher than our indebtedness to God.
Joke: Bride slipping VISA card to her father
„_ She didn¡¦t forget her father, she settled up¡K
- understood¡K ¡§leave¡¨ before ¡§cleave.¡¨
„_ That¡¦s the Biblical idea of Forgetting;
- It¡¦s not an erasing of memory, but a clearing up of debt; so we are free.
- Many types of indebtedness that can hold us back from taking up our purposes & future.
o Social-how others see us¡K Psychological¡K ¡§self-concepts¡¨
It¡¦s a simple principle we learned in Drivers Education: Check the rear view mirror before you pull out, but use the windshield for driving. We can learn from our past, but we don¡¦t need to live by our past. (Jesus¡K new name to Simon¡K)
2. WORKING IN THE WILDERNESS
- We discover throughout Scripture that those who lived most purposefully are those who took the time in the wilderness:
o Moses- had passions for his people¡K but it took 40 years tending flocks to prepare him to go where God would call him.
o Paul- great zeal, but after Christ called him so thunderously he was knocked off his horse and blinded¡K we¡¦re told he spent 3 day s blind, not eating or drinking anything. What do you suppose was going on within him those 3 days?
o Jesus- Matthew 4:1-11
OFTEN IT¡¦S IN THE WILDERNESS, ALONE, THAT WE FACE OUR DEMONS¡K OUR TEMPTATIONS¡K AND CAN FORGE OUR DEEPEST DETERMINATION.
- It¡¦s where we face
o Prominence vs. purpose
o Title vs. testimony
o It¡¦s where we determine our deepest ¡§NO¡¨, so we can live out our deepest ¡§YES¡¨ to that to which we¡¦ve been called.