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Summary: The first major purpose for which God created us - WORSHIP

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FORMED FOR GOD’S FAMILY

The Purpose Driven Life - Part 3 : 3/19/06

• I have here a sympathy letter sent by the President of the Republic of Cabo-Verde, an archipelago of 10 islands about 350 miles off the west coast of Africa. It was sent to the family of Adelina Dominguez who died in San Diego in August 2002.

• Now, what made her death noteworthy is that according to the Guinness Book of Records, she was the oldest living American. At 114 years of age, she outlived all of her children and some of her grandchildren.

• When she was asked the secret of her longevity, Associated Press reports she gave all the credit to God and to His plan and purpose for her life, quote, "I knew God had a purpose for my life."

• We’re continuing in our 40 days series on God’s purpose for your life. And last week, we looked at His first purpose, which is to get to know Him and to love Him. We learned that we were created for God’s pleasure and what we do in response to all of God’s love and goodness is worship

• Today, we’re going to look at our second purpose, which is we were formed for God’s family.

“God is the one who made all things, and all things are for His glory. He wanted to have many children share His glory...” Heb. 2:10a (NCV)

God wanted a family. That’s why we’re here. He wanted children. And the Bible says He planned everything in the entire universe so we could be born, so we could share in His glory, so we could be part of His family

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through JesusChrist.” Eph. 1:5 (NLT)

The entire Bible, this entire book, is the story of God building a family. That’s what it is all about. That’s why we have History, because God is building a family for Himself that is going to last not just here on earth, but forever and ever and ever in eternity.

“Love your spiritual family!” 1 Pet. 2:17b (Msg)

That’s what God wants us to do.

You see, our physical families are going to eventually fall apart. In fact, many of them fall apart here on earth. But your spiritual family is going to go on forever. So God says He wants us to learn to practice now learning to love other believers.

Now, why does He want us to learn to love them? Well, I know of at least 3 good reasons:

 First, it makes us more like God, because God is love.

 Second, he wants His children to learn to get along together – like we want for our own kids

 Third, it’s practice for eternity. Not only are you going to love God, but other believers

MY 2nd PURPOSE IN LIFE IS FELLOWSHIP.

What is Fellowship? - some would say it’s the casual conversation we have over coffee and cookies, some would say it’s eating together - what we do back there in the “Fellowship Hall”, some might say it’s coming together at church

 FELLOWSHIP is loving God’s Family. (See outline)

The Bible says in 1 John 4:21: “The person who loves God must also love other believers.”

We have to love other believers. Now, how do you do that? Well, fortunately, the Bible gives us crystal clear instructions. Paul wrote this,

“I’m writing… so you’ll know how to live in the family of God. That family is the church...” 1 Tim. 3:14-15 (NCV)

 Now, circle the word "family” and circle the word "church," and kind of draw a line together -- because the church is a family.

 It is not this or some other building; it is not an institution; it is not an organization; it is not a club. It is a family.

 A lot of people say, “Well, I’m going to go to church,” as if church is a place you go to. That’s not correct. Church is not a place you go to. Church is a family you belong to.

 We are the church together – we just happen to meet in this sanctuary. If this building had to collapse because of our roof issue, this building would cease to exist but the church will still be here.

Let’s look together at FOUR LEVELS OF FELLOWSHIP

LEVEL 1: MEMBERSHIP: CHOOSING TO BELONG.

 That means you find a church family and you choose to get connected to it

“...You are members of God’s very own family... and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” Eph. 2:19 (LB)

 The Christian life is not just a matter of believing. It is matter of belonging, and you and I must chose to belong. Fellowship begins with belonging, with making that choice. Some people say, “Well, I’m a Christian, but I don’t want to belong to any church.” That just doesn’t make sense. The church is where you live out what it means to be a Christian. That’s like saying, “I’m a football player, but I don’t want to be a part of any team.” It doesn’t work. Or like saying, “I’m a tuba player, but I don’t want to be a part of an orchestra.” A tuba player without an orchestra sounds pretty funny. It’s like saying, “I’m a bee, but I don’t want to be a part of a hive”; a soldier without a platoon. A Christian without a church family is an orphan. God meant us to be a part of a family.

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