Summary: God has promised power to those who seek His purpose in life.
INTRO.- ILL.- One of golf’s interesting moments came when a Scotchman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses S. Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball set on the tee. Again the Scotchman swung, and again he missed. The President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, "There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.”
What’s your purpose in life? Hitting a ball around the golf course? We all have a purpose in life and it seems to vary with age and ability. Hitting a ball around a golf course is not necessarily bad or evil in itself, but if the Lord is not included, then something is wrong.
Obviously, our interests, pursuits, and goals in life change with age. When we are young it can be any number of things: sports, the opposite sex, partying, cars, etc., etc.
ILL.- One time in a high school Sunday School class I asked my students this question: What do you have that you just can’t live without? One girl said her nice clothes. One boy said his music, his boom box. Another young man said his pickup truck.
I didn’t think there was anything wrong with nice clothes, music or a pickup truck, but I encouraged them to think about how the Lord should be involved in all things.
Our pursuits in life change, however, with age. For example, when most people get married and start having children, lots of things change, don’t they?
ILL.- Like 56 year-old, new daddy, David Letterman. Letterman’s girlfriend, Regina Lasko, delivered a baby boy late Monday night, Nov. 3rd. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 11 ounces. Letterman said, "I could never imagine ever being a part of something that turned out this beautiful.”
I wonder if Letterman’s purpose in life will change now that he’s a father? Could be. Should be. Parenting changes your purpose or direction in life. Or it should.
Regardless of our momentary purpose in life, our ultimate purpose in life should be to glorify God any way we can and at any age in life or state of life: young or old, single or married, playful or serious, etc.
I Cor. 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Can we honestly say that we do everything to the glory of God? Probably not, but we should try. This means that we should seek to please the Lord in everything we do in life.
ILL.- Without a relationship to God through Christ, there is a void, a vacuum in life. Many people, even those who are well-known, can attest to that void. For example, Ralph Barton, one of the top cartoonists of the nation, left this note pinned to his pillow before taking his own life: "I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the day."
Sounds like he was a very unhappy, depressed man. Life without God is not good! But life with God can be full, rich, and abundant!
PROP.- In this text, Paul speaks our purpose in life, the power available and the promise that is ours.
1- Purpose to achieve
2- Power to receive
3- Promise to believe
I. THERE IS A PURPOSE TO ACHIEVE
V. 12, 14-16
ILL.- Sign on door: "Gone out of business. Didn’t know what our business was." 1963 -- University Christian Church. in NY.
It’s hard to believe that a church, especially a Christian Church didn’t know what their business or purpose was.
V. 12 “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” One purpose we have to work out our salvation.
ILL.- One time the philosopher John Dewey found his son in the bathroom. The floor was flooded with water. The professor began think, trying to understand what had happened. After working a few minutes, his son said, “DAD, THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO THINK. IT’S THE TIME TO MOP.”
There is a time to think and a time to work. It takes work to accomplish any worthwhile in life. WORK OUT OUR SALVATION. This is one purpose we have.
The thought is that we are to work out our salvation to completion…finish the project. There are some things that we must do for ourselves. God won’t do everything for us, but He does most things for us. He did the big thing by providing Christ as our savior, our substitute.