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Summary: In Ephesians 2 Christian are saved by GRACE to serve by GRACE

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Serving by GRACE April 3, 2005

The Call to Serve – Ephesians 2:8-10

Intro: The Birds Video Clip – What is a church? Some have made it a place to wreak havoc, bit the church is the place we’re to invest our lives for God!

Insert: Is FBC your church home or your religious hotel? To call WHFBC home requires a personal investment of your life. The kingdom of God isn’t an appointment to keep, but a commitment to live. It’s not a place we visit, but a place we invest our lives.

Trans: At FBC, our ambition is to do church God’s way. I’m not interested or concerned w/ doing church man’s way or the Baptist way – I’m concerned w/ doing it God’s way. As a result, we have scoured the Bible and have found 3 key passages:

Verse: Mt. 23 Love God and others

Mt. 28:19-20 Go make disciples

Mt. 6:33 Seek first God in everything

Trans: Our mandate is to assist you in fulfilling God’s purpose. We exist to help you become God’s chosen vessel. We desire to help you to reach UP in worship, OUT in evangelism, IN in fellowship, DOWN in discipleship, and AROUND in ministry. To do this, we’ve organized our church around 4 ministry centers – Connect – Grow – Serve – Share. This AM we’re starting a series focusing on our call to SERVE. We believe God has saved us by His grace that we might serve Him by GRACE.

Verse: Eph. 2:8-10

Note: Once we’re rescued from the penalty and power of sin by the grace act of Christ on the cross, we become His workmanship created to do good works for God’s glory.

Word: workmanship – poem. We’re the result of the created genius of God. We’re tools in the Master’s hands called to perform good works to honor and bring glory to Him.

Note: God created us to be contributors – not consumers; He created us to be givers – not takers. We’re created to make a difference. It doesn’t matter how long you live, but how you live. It’s not the duration of your life that matters, but the donation.

Trans: I believe that if God has called you to serve His kingdom, then it’s the church’s responsibility to help you discover, determine, and develop your place and then deploy you into service. We exist to help you honor God w/ your life.

I THE EXPECTATION OF SERVICE

Trans: The Why Puzzle – People are often asking “why?” Why did this happen? Why am I here? The Christian life is a puzzle – it’s a mystery of daily striving to discover and know God’s will. Too many Christians have no understanding of God’s heart, and wander through life seeking a sense of meaning.

Why: We think God is playing a cruel game of hide-n-go-seek w/ us – He’s not! He wants us to know His heart and plan for our lives that we were created w/ a divine purpose in mind – but this doesn’t occur by happen-chance or osmosis. We must intentionally seek first His Kingdom to discover God’s marvelous plan.

A THE GENERAL CALL TO SERVE

1 SEEK the Things of Heaven

a Set HEART on things above

b Set MIND on things above

Point: The highest priority and focus of our lives must be God’s call and priorities. If I put anything else in front of God, then I have other gods on the throne of my life.

Quote: Christians shouldn’t only SEEK heaven, they should THINK heaven.

2 SLAY the Things of Earth

Note: We must eliminate man’s vices that take us captive and away from God’s priorities.

a EXECUTE vices of lust and idolatry

b PUT AWAY vices of disdain and discord

Note: If you take care of the big things that are seeking to be enthroned in you life, then you’ll put away the behavior that accompanies those ambitions once they are lost.

3 STRENGTHEN the Things of God

Note: We must clothe ourselves w/ God’s virtues and priorities.

a PUT ON virtues of peace, hope, and love

b DWELL IN virtues of truth and faith

c FILTER everything through Jesus

Idea: How can I determine if I should be involved in something the Bible doesn’t address? Simple – Ask yourself – “If Jesus were here, would I still be doing this activity?

B THE SPECIFIC CALL TO SERVE

Idea: God has a special plan for each of us. He has called us to a ministry to the body and a mission to the world. We’re not here by chance, but by design. Yet, until I pursue His general call, I’ll never discover His specific call for my life

Verse: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call to Me, and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me w/ all of your heart. Jer. 29:11-13

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