Summary: Part 4 in series The Purpose-Driven Life, this message looks at Discipleship, the third of God’s five principal purposes for our lives.
Created to Become Like Christ
The Purpose-Driven Life, part 4
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
November 4, 2007
Good morning. I hope you are enjoying our church’s current emphasis on The Purpose-Driven Life. So far we have had about ten people sign up to be part of a small group. We’re excited about that, but we want to remind you it’s not too late. Please see Brent after church if you’d like to be in a group, or fill out one of our What’s Up cards that you received when you came in this morning.
Here we are into our fourth week of the Purpose Driven Life series. Week one was an introduction to why everyone needs purpose in their lives. In week two you were introduced to the first purpose for your life, which is loving God back, a word we call – WORSHIP. Last week we said okay, not only has God has created me to love him, but I’m also to love the other people he created and loves, that’s called – FELLOWSHIP. Today I want to talk to you about the third primary purpose for your life, and that’s a big word called DISCIPLESHIP. It’s a big word, but it means something very simple. Discipleship is just becoming like Jesus. That’s it. It’s God’s desire that you become like Jesus.
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)
(15) Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Now this doesn’t mean that your individuality is snuffed out. You don’t need to worry about that at all. Let me tell you something. There is nothing unique about your life being a wreck. In fact nothing is more common than that. Nothing is more common than broken lives, broken hearts, broken homes, broken marriages, broken communities, broken pocketbooks, and broken churches. There’s nothing unique or special about that at all. Things like that are a dime a dozen – I see it every day. Do you know what is unique? Overcomers are unique. People who deal with desperate situations, with the mess of their own existence, with the harsh realities of life in this world and still somehow overcome, even if only in their attitude. My friends, THAT’S unique. Jesus was an overcomer. He overcame the worst possible circumstances – he was killed! And while he was living he never allowed himself to be distracted from his purpose, which was to glorify God. In doing this, he didn’t become a carbon copy of somebody else, he set himself apart as one of the most unique human beings who has ever walked the planet. I ask you, was Mother Theresa a clone, or was she distinct? Was Martin Luther King a clone, or was he unique? Ask yourself, will there ever be another Billy Graham?
If I become like Christ, it’s not that I become less Dave Flowers, it’s that I become the best Dave Flowers there could be. See, the circumstances of my life, combined with my background, experiences, and education, are unique. No one has ever had them and no one ever will again after I am gone. Because of that, my life will be unique no matter what. I will make choices and experience their benefits and consequences no matter what. But if I pattern my life on the life of someone else who understands life a lot better than I ever will, if I make the choices I believe he would make if he were in my unique place in life, my life will be better – and better lived – than if I go off making stupid mistakes and doing stupid things in the name of uniqueness. Is it uniqueness you want? Do you want to make a mark in this world that will cause people to remember you long after you are gone? Do you want to be the best version of you you could ever hope to be? Then find out how God wired you up to work best, then get in your zone and let it fly! THAT’S how to be unique and leave an impression. But remember, nobody’s totally unique anyway. Your life will bear some resemblance to somebody’s. Would you rather that be Jim Morrison or Jesus? Curt Cobain or Christ? Think about it.
God’s purpose for you is to love him through worship, to love his family through fellowship, and to become like Jesus through discipleship – for your life to bear a resemblance to his life in every way possible – for you to think the way he would think if he were you, to see the world the way he would, to do the things he would do, to love the way he loves, and to have the richness of life and the power he has.