Summary: 1- God’s purpose in our church 2-God’s purpose in our sinful world 3- God’s purpose in our hurting world
INTRO.- ILL.- Here is what some call “The Property Laws of a Toddler.”
1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.
Self often rules. We live in a very selfish society where most people are only interested in themselves and it’s not just toddlers!
ILL.- And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Many people live by the Frank Sinatra theme, “I DID IT MY WAY.” Or the Burger King rule, “HAVE IT YOUR WAY.” Most people want it their way. They want everything in life their way.
The Lord Jesus, however, lived a different kind of life. He came to seek and to save the lost. His interest was people. His life centered on people. He went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil. Jesus blessed the little children, soothed the hearts of hurting people, taught people about right living and the true and living God.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus may well have faced His greatest struggle in life. Do I submit to the will of God, my Heavenly Father, or do I do my own thing? Or do I take the easy way out? We know that Jesus prayed, “Father let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not my will, but thy will be done.”
Jesus’ normal human nature said, “Please don’t let me go through this suffering on the cross. I can’t do it. But He was open to His Father’s will. ‘Nevertheless, not my will, but thy will be done.’”
The greatest thing that any of us can do in life is to say, “God, not what I want, but what you want.” Not my will, but thy will be done. It’s somewhat easy to say those words, but hard to do. It’s hard to submit or surrender. Self often rules.
God’s purpose should be our most important pursuit in life. Above all, more than anything, we all should seek God’s purpose for our lives.
PROP.- Once again, I want to consider some more areas of life where God’s purpose needs to be fulfilled.
I. GOD PURPOSE IN OUR CHURCH
ILL.- The southerner was in New York on business. His first Sunday in town he decided he should go to church. As the preacher began preaching, the southerner got caught up in the sermon and said “Amen” a few times.
The preacher was not accustomed to hearing any “amens,” so he became somewhat flustered while preaching. A deacon noticed the minister’s discomfort. He walked over to the stranger and said, “You’re upsetting the minister. You’ll have to be quiet.” The southerner nodded his consent.
A few minutes later, however, the southerner was again caught up in the sermon and said, “Amen.” The deacon came back to him and said, “I told you to be quiet.” “I can’t help it,” said the southerner. “I got religion.” The deacon replied, “WELL, SHUT UP ANYWAY. YOU DIDN’T GET IT HERE.”
Why are we here in church? Are we here to get some “religion”?
I think our worship is two-fold: we are here to worship the Lord or love Him and love one another.
Heb. 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…” This drawing near to God can be anywhere and it should be also be in the church. We should draw near to Him in worship, love and adoration.
Heb. 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Church should also be a time of loving one another and encouraging one another in the faith.
At the same time, when we come together we should be reminded that we don’t exist entirely for ourselves. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. If Jesus was interested in lost people, so must we be! We don’t have “church” just for the sake of church itself. Church should be a reminder that there are lost people in our world and community and we must consider how to reach out to them.