Summary: This sermon will help people understand the power behind the single vision and purpose for every church to reach one more person with the Good News of Christ.
GOD’S GIFT OF PURPOSE
Unwrapping God’s Gifts
Part 3 of 5
Pastor Steve Gallimore
December 14, 2008
This week we’re going to continue our series by talking about one of God’s greatest gifts to us and that is God’s gift of purpose. As outrageous as it is, God not only sent His Son to die for our sins, that we could be reconciled with God, that heaven would be opened up so that we could spend eternity with God. As if that weren’t enough, God said, “I’m also going to give you meaning for your life. I’m going to give you purpose. I’m going to bring you some assignment in your life that is going to bring you adventure and fulfillment and joy and satisfaction like nothing else. WOW! Where do you find purpose like that? I mean, come on folks – if you could have an assignment in your life that brings you adventure, fulfillment, joy and satisfaction like nothing else – wouldn’t that be worth everything? Hey, and watch this – it never runs out! “Where can I find that kind of purpose Pastor Steve?”
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.
Colossians 1:16 (MSG)
If you want to know God’s purpose for your life in this world, get close to Christ and you’ll know it. Your purpose is my purpose. As a matter of fact, God has one purpose for the entire body of Christ and that is the Good News of Christmas. It’s the message of the angels that holy night; it’s the message of the shepherds as they went out to tell everyone who would listen, the Messiah is born! He’s here! And you need to know this today:
God’s purpose will only be fulfilled through Christ in me.
There are several purposes that are talked about in scripture, but they can all be summed up in one as they all really boil down to one purpose. When Jesus said in effect “Here’s what I want you to do. Here’s your purpose. I want you to help Me rescue the world one person at a time.” He’s saying, “I want My followers to be the ones to bring this monumental news that forgiveness is available through Jesus Christ, that a relationship with God is available, that heaven is available to anyone who opens their heart to God. I want you to be the ones to bring that news to this world.” This is how Jesus put it in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Let Me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning... You’re here to be light... God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16, The Message
This is what He’s saying in effect, “This is My Plan A for bringing the life altering and eternity changing gospel to the world. My Plan A is for My followers to be salt and light and there is no Plan B. Plan A to be salt and light for changing the world is it.” Nothing is more exciting or fulfilling or adventurous or joyful than being used by God to bring His message of redemption and hope and forgiveness and eternal life to someone who is spiritually confused.
We call people who rescue folks from burning buildings, heroes. What should we call people who rescue folks in an eternal way, who rescue their eternal souls? How much more heroes are they?
Why did Jesus use the metaphors – salt and light? One thing that salt and light have in common for instance is this. They have a radical influence on whatever it is they come into contact with. That’s the important thing.
Think about what salt does. It makes people thirsty, it spices things up, it acts as a preservative and it enhances flavor. So what Jesus was saying to His followers in effect was, “Here’s what I want you to do. Live the kind of life that’s going to make people thirst for the truth about Me. Live the kind of life that’s going to spice things up by causing people to question their values and their beliefs and their character. Live the kind of life that will slow the rate of moral decay in society. Live the kind of life that will show other people that following Me will enhance their life like nothing else.”