Summary: God’s direction for your life can be summarized in several ways; our text suggests we are to engage in several processes to fulfill God’s intent for our lives.
Paul’s Agenda for You
1. Some people are just tough:
KILAUEA, Hawaii, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A Hawaii surfer who was attacked by a shark said the encounter ended when he managed to punch the carnivorous fish in the eye.
Jeff Horton, 25, said he was sitting on his surfboard off Pila'a Beach, near Kilauea, Sunday morning when he spotted an object coming toward him at a high speed and moved his left leg out of the way, The Garden Island, Lihue, Hawaii, reported Wednesday.
Horton said the tiger shark chomped down on his board, starting a struggle.
"I started punching as hard as I could," he said.
Horton, a former boxer, said the shark fled after he landed a sharp punch in the predator's eye.
"I finally got one nice punch into the eye," he said. "I put some really good hits on it, for sure."
Horton said he returned to the water at the different beach Monday, but he retired his surfboard, which bears the imprint of the shark's jaws.
"I'm going to put it up on my wall," he said.
2. Some Christians are tough, too; they stand up to trials and tests and faithfully serve the Lord, decade after decade, because they constantly depend upon our God and seek his direction!
Main Idea: God’s direction for your life can be summarized in several ways; our text suggests we are to engage in several processes to fulfill God’s intent for our lives.
I. We Need to LEARN (9)
A. We need to learn and pray that others LEARN
1. Knowledge = information/instruction
2. Wisdom = how to use that knowledge
3. Understanding = drawing conclusions, connecting dots
B. We must learn the RIGHT things: spiritual wisdom
1. From the Holy Spirit, not just religious/emotional
2. In contrast to the world/the culture
C. A MIDRASH perhaps on Exodus 31:1-4
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze…
Verse 3 in the LXX (Greek Septuagint), “3 And I have filled him with a divine spirit of wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge, to invent in every work…”
1. We are each God’s craftsmen, but not building a physical building
2. Our lives are to be a temple of praise…our walk is the temple, as we shall see
3. Struggle: to invest in what you cannot see (e.g., tower vs. ongoing)
II. We Need to WALK Worthy(10)
The world despises Christians who talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
A. Walking refers to daily LIFESTYLE
1. How we conduct ourselves
2. Ethics, priorities, social skills
B. Our aim: to FULLY please God
If you read through Kings and Chronicles, you will note that many kings did not walk with the Lord, but followed after pagan gods. Some walked with the Lord, but not fully. But a few, David, Hezekiah, and Josiah were more fully devoted.
C. Be FRUITFUL
• Paul probably has the parable of the sower in mind
• Also Jesus teaching about abiding in him; he, the vine, we branches
• He prunes us (painful); story of our peach tree, almost died
• Refers to good works, as mentioned here
• godly characteristics & ministries you have & how you serve
D. Ever INCREASING
1. “by knowledge” or “in knowledge.” Either way, cycle begins with knowledge…
2. Like a plain: you stop, you drop
III. We Need to ENDURE (11)
A. Endurance requires PATIENCE
B. Endurance requires God’s STRENGTH
I have witnessed the power of God in many of your lives: struggles, challenges, seeming impossibilities…. He has given you energy & strength beyond yourselves
C. Endurance requires JOY
Without an inner joy, we can become despondent
IV. We Need to APPRECIATE What Salvation Involves (12-14)
A. Giving THANKS to the Father
1. Have you ever thought why we take the cup and bread? Why a simple ritual?
2. I fight with myself to be more appreciative. I assume/ presume too much!
3. Where would I be if I did not know Jesus now? Alcoholic. How about you?
B. Qualified for the Kingdom of LIGHT
1. How do people get into the Olympics? I don’t know.
2. How do you qualify for heaven? That I know.
C. Delivered from the domain of DARKNESS
D. REDEEMED through Jesus
Redemption means, “complete release through the payment of a price” (Rienecker & Rogers)—- Have you been redeemed….