Summary: God has been preparing a unique plan and calling for your life since before you were born. (Principle 1 from Made to Count)
Theme: God has been preparing a unique plan and calling for your life since before you were born. (Principle 1 from Made to Count)
Introduction: Sometimes it’s amazing what we have and don’t even realize!
Such was the case in the Philadelphia public school system recently. While working through and cleaning out basements, boiler rooms, closets and hallways in Philadelphia’s cash-strapped schools, some 1,200 works of art, including paintings, sketches, sculptures and murals, were discovered. The amazing part of the discovery – they’re worth tens of millions of dollars.
Evidently, the treasure trove of 19th and 20th century art was slowly amassed by donations and small purchases years ago. What once hung in some of the schools was then taken down and stored away and forgotten about. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Public School System has been deteriorating due to lack of funds to keep the city’s 264 schools functioning at maximum effectiveness and kept up in adequate condition.
An art consultant from the Chicago-based Corporate Art Source declared, “This is an incredibly unusual and extraordinary find. From the collection, over 100 of them are very important works!”
If only the school system had realized what they had as they continued to struggle with their needs.
And it’s the same with us in our spiritual journey. If only we recognized what we have in God’s provision in our life already. Yet too many people miss it because they think there is more they need…when God has already provided everything for the journey. All we have to do is recognize it…
and live it!
I. God Has Given Every One of us a Personal Call.
From the beginning of scripture, God created man for a relationship. From his question in the garden to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” God has always been in the process of seeking us to bring all of us into a right relationship with Him to maximize life and live it to the fullest.
The simple desire of God for our lives is found in both Old Testament and New…
· Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength…
· Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength…
God has been seeking a love relationship and calling us to Himself.
His desire for our journey is not simply an eternal life once we die – but a quality of life while we are now living. He desires us to be in intimate communication with Him, increasingly growing with Him and regularly being transformed by Him.
Jesus’s earthly ministry was regularly filled with the invitation, “Come unto me…”, “Come follow me…”, “Come be with me…” While He is a transcendant God, He is an interactive and interpersonal God as well. While his nature is holy, righteous and just, His heart is focused on love, forgiveness, grace and mercy. He describes it well in Jeremiah 31:1-3 when He says, “With everlasting love, I have drawn you to myself.”
And that personal calling, when responded to, brings a brand new quality of life. It brings an eternal dimension to our life in the midst of time.
Jesus capsulized it as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane in the end of His ministry and said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Jeremiah clearly refers to this call as having been started in his mother’s womb. It was there that according to Psalm 139, God was intricately weaving him together for a specific design, plan and purpose in his life. Every aspect of his personality, his temperament, his skills and gifts, his emotional and intellectual makeup were being prepared for the calling and relationship God had prepared for him, as well as the task he had before him.
The Apostle Paul says the same thing in Galatians 1:15 when he said, “God, who set me apart from birth, and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His son in me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles…”
Illustration: Have you thought about how amazingly God prepared you even in your mother’s womb to respond to the call that He had for your life? You are fearfully and wonderfully made for a relationship with Him and His plan was in place even before your life began at birth…
· By 15 days after conception, your heart was forming and your eyes were developing.
· By 24 days after conception, your heart began to beat.
· By 35 days after conception, your mouth, ears and nose were taking shape.
· By 42 days after conception, your skeleton was formed and your brain was beginning to coordinate the movement of muscles and organs.