Summary: This sermon looks at the 3 fold nature of our purpose statement and elaborates on each of them which are 1 right relationship with God, 2 equipped for the ministry of Jesus Christ, 3 make a difference in the lives of others.
Our Purpose: “Doing Three Things With Excellence”
In Life-sharing and Pioneers, we have been looking closely at our purpose statement, and what we as a church mean by it. Let’s say it together: Our purpose is to enter into a right relationship with God and to be equipped for the ministry of Jesus Christ to make a difference in the lives of others.
When we tell someone, “my purpose on this job is to ----“, we are about to tell the person what we are going to be doing and what we are not going to be doing.” A purpose gives us focus. If our purpose is to win a game, or get a degree at graduation time, or to find a job, we have to have a specific strategy for how to get it done. If your purpose is to win the game on Saturday morning, your team is not going to stay out late Friday night getting drunk. The behavior negates the purpose.
If your goal is to find a job, you don’t spend the day playing video games when you should be filling out applications or going on interviews. Your behavior should not be the opposite of your purpose. Your purpose is going to determine how you act in a given situation.
Our purpose is to enter into a right relationship with God. This automatically means there are going to be some things we will do, and some things we will not do. If we are going to enter into something, it always means leaving something else behind. You can’t enter a room, without leaving another room or outdoors behind.
If you are going to enter into a right relationship with God, that means you are going to leave a wrong relationship behind. Now the biggest entering we have to do in terms of the right relationship with God, is that first you have to agree with what God says about each of us.
God starts with the view that all of us are pretty pathetic and basically bent toward evil, selfish, and deceitful. Is there anyone here who has never done anything wrong, never insisted on getting his or her own way, and never lied in any form or fashion? So we have to agree with God’s knowledge of us, who we are, and what we are capable of doing. The first step in getting into a right relationship is knowing that God says, “I have broken God’s laws and the penalty for it, is spending eternity in hell.”
But, even though God knows me better than I know myself, God still loves me and has made it possible for me to escape hell and to have eternal life starting now. That plan involves asking forgiveness for the wrong I have done, and accepting that when Jesus died on the cross, he paid for my wrong. When Jesus rose from the dead after three days in the grave, He guaranteed that I could rise to a new life.
The first time we enter into a right relationship with God is when we give our lives to Christ, and we start to live our lives for God. That’s what we mean by being saved. Being saved is that moment of coming into a right relationship with God. But that my friends is only the first step in being a Christian. If you have not noticed, entering into a right relationship with God is an ongoing process. To be in a right relationship with God, means that God is totally pleased with what you are doing and how you are doing it.
When we are in right relationship with God, God’s favor is upon our lives. God does things for us just because. God blesses our relationships with others. God empowers us to do things we thought impossible. God multiplies our finances. We receive blessings we were not expecting. We talk to God on a regular basis, and we feel his presence in our lives.
Being in a right relationship to God, is the safest place to be on this planet. No matter what happens, the Lord has your back. You’d think once we entered into that right relationship we would stay there. We would except there is this little thing called life, which keeps pulling for our attention into another direction.
How many of you have discovered that thanks to the devil, temptation, other people, and our own selfishness, it is fairly simple to get out of a right relationship with God. We have a weakness that says, “now God you wait over here for a minute while I go and deal with this situation.” Any time we leave God to the side, we get out of a right relationship and enter into a wrong relationship.