Summary: Most of us are tired and weary of the same old, same old when we come to church. We don’t want to feel like when we attend that we are simply going through the motions. People no longer come to church because it is the right thing to do.
“Finding your Purpose”
Listen to what God’s word says in Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.
Eugene Peterson who wrote the message paraphrased this verse... Here it is...”It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ... He had his eye on us, had desires on us desires on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.“ Ephesians 1:11
Rick Warren wrote two books that have revolutionized the way churches do ministry today. One of those is The Purpose Driven Church. That book in a nutshell helped churches across America realize that we must be focused on God’s purpose for the church not man’s purpose. Too many churches today are full of individuals who are there to make power plays and to control the church for their own selfish motives. I read and study that book as we started Eagle’s landing 17 years ago to make sure we would not fall into that trap. Then he wrote the book The Purpose Driven Life. You can read it for free online. That book has now sold over 32 million copies in 50 languages and here’s why.
The book touches a nerve with people today. You see most of us are tired and weary of the same old, same old woman he come to church. We don’t want to feel like when we attend that we are simply going through the motions. People no longer come to church because it is the right thing to do. I mean it is but people who come now do so because they’re looking for something deeper... Right? Right! We come here looking to find our purpose in life... Because at some point in life every one of us will pause and asked several questions.
One of these is this... What on earth am I here for? Because life is more than work; it is more than food; it is more than sleep. Yet we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, one third of our lives working and probably too much time eating. And somewhere in all that it is the right thing to stop and ask, what is it that should be driving my life?
• Many people are driven by the wrong things. Guilt, anger, resentment, fear. We allow our past to control our future. That makes Satan very happy. He is pleased when we allow our past to consume our present. We are products of our past but we do not need to be prisoners of our past. We become bitter and we allow our past to continue to hurt us.
• Others are driven by materialism or approval. We too often think life is all about what we can acquire. I saw a bumper sticker on a nice truck one fellow was driving... It’s said in the end, the guy with the most toys wins. We think that by getting more and more or my pleasing everyone that we will somehow have the approval of everyone. And it is an exhausting way to live.
So this is the answer to the question of what on earth am I here for? It is to live your life on purpose, with a purpose. Now the next question clearly is what is that purpose and how do I find it? I believe there are five truths we need to know in order to accomplish this.
(1) You were planned for God’s pleasure. Number 6:25 says “May the Lord smile on you.” The smile of God should be the number one goal of your life and mine. In other words, figure out what will please God and do it.
(2) You were formed for God’s family. The Scripture says in Romans 12:5 GWT “Christ makes us one body... Connected to each other.” When you and I place our faith in Christ, God becomes our father, we become his children, other believers become our brothers and sisters and the church becomes our spiritual family. To enable us to identify with one another God commands us to be baptized. Baptism does not save us, however in the NT it is never an option for the believer. It is a commandment for all of us. Jesus even set the example, 2000 years ago as he entered and went down into the River Jordan to be baptized by John. So we encourage everyone to follow this commandment.
(3) You were created to become like Christ. From the very beginning God’s plan has been to make you into the image of his Son, Jesus. His ultimate goal for us is character development. I know some characters don’t you? But they don’t have any character. God wants us to see the fruit of the spirit developed in our lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness. He wants us to learn to put on the very mind of Christ and learn to think like Jesus. Paul said let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. That is your purpose. To become more like Christ every day. Now one of the things we must remember here is that this is a process, not an event. It is a long, slow process of growth. But now, if you can look back at where you were 10 years ago when there has been no change then something is wrong.