Ephesians 1: 15 – 23 / Power
Intro: Do you remember the first car you ever owned? Mine was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle. It was red with white leather interior. That little car would really move going downhill or on level ground! But when you had to climb a hill, it was a different story! --- Life is sometimes like driving that VW. When things are going well and life is good, it’s like driving down a hill or on a level road; but, sooner or later there are some tough hills to climb. We are living in just such times. In times like there we tend to look at life’s three greatest questions: 1) Why am I alive? 2) Does my life matter? And 3) What is my purpose?
I. If you ask people why they are alive, you will get a variety of answers.
A. Getting enough Benjamin Franklins / finding a mate / getting a good education and a great job / having a good time before you die / discovering who you are inside / just staying alive as long as you can.
B. You’ve got to invent your own purpose in life. Discover your dreams, set your goals, have ambitions, believe you can achieve / Be a success – But, being a success and knowing your purpose in life are not the same thing.
C. Why did God put you on this earth? --- You purpose is far greater than your own personal fulfillment or happiness! Vs. 18 – “with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he (God) has called you, . . .”
II. The 2nd key question of life is ‘does my life matter?” Sometimes we get so deeply embedded in our daily routine and the way we’ve always done things that what we do doesn’t matter.
A. Survival mode – just barely getting by / just barely existing / not living / controlled by circumstances / putting in time / may thank the Lord for another day; but have no plans for God to do anything differently in their lives tomorrow.
B. Success level – where most people are / living by the world’s standards we’ve got it made / have possessions / freedom / good health / If I’m so successful, why don’t I feel fulfilled?
C. Significance level - $ not required / to get there you: 1) know the meaning of life, 2) you know how much you matter to God, and 3) you know God’s purpose for your life and you are living it.
III. Vs. 19 – “the immeasurable greatness of his (God’s) power for us who believe . . .” What is our purpose?
A. Hold up a CD. If you had to explain the purpose of this to someone who knew nothing about computers what would you say to them? Only 2 ways to know the purpose: 1) someone tells you or 2) you read the owner’s manual.
B. For us to know our purpose, we must have someone who knows about it explain it to us. --- the more you get to know about God, the more you are going to understand the ways and wisdom of God and therefore understand the meaning and purpose of life.
C. You’re not going to learn the purpose of life by reading tea leaves or horoscopes. You’re not going to learn it going to a seminar. The only way you’re going to learn the meaning of life and your purpose in life is to get to know God.
Conclu: Knowing the power of Christ means you can be a person who experiences hope that can move you from a past full of failures to a future full of the certainty of what God has in store for you. You will see the world as it is, and realize you have been living your life on the basis of a lie. Knowing the power of Christ means you can experience what real power is all about. Not power based on worldly emptiness such as money, materialism, status, popularity or manipulation, but spiritual power that relies on God. --- We can move from being those who have a defeatist attitude to those who can get excited, really excited about what Christ has done --- can do --- and will do in and through us!