Summary: Using the illustration of an Archer taking gnarly wood to make a championship arrow, we discuss purpose in and for life. It is not the wood that matters, but the skill of the Master Arrow Maker.
The Archer and His Arrows
PPT 1 Series Title Bow and Arrows
PPT 2 Today's message title
We are starting a series of messages on Bow and Arrows.
We will look at several different archers: God, man, satan. We will talk about the arrow making process and the purpose of arrows, and we will use these natural things to teach spiritual truths. Today we will talk about the archer and his arrows, and will talk about the role of the Great Archer, purpose, and hitting life's mark.
PPT 3 Text
Ro 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose.
Ro 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
Without God there is no purpose in life you are just a random mutation. You have no more meaning than a rock, you are no better than a blade of grass, just smarter.
The biblical view of life is radically different and exponentially more fulfilling than that. We were created for a purpose, there is a reason for our existence.
More properly we are a complexity created for many purposes.
Rick Warren in his best selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life," lists 5 reasons or purposes for which we were made, the 5th one he discusses is that we were made for a mission. Today I want to tie that thought into our series on arrows with this simple linking thought. Arrows are made for a mission. They are made for the purpose to which the archer intends them.
Our first text for today says that God calls people according to His purpose. For a plan for them that He has in mind. For His reasons. For His goals. To complete His overall scheme. To fulfill His desire. Not only does He call people for His purpose, but before they were born He made plans to see to it that they came in to alignment with that purpose.
Let me illustrate it this way, I have here a 30 minute sand time. Can this timer decide it wants to be a piano? It can, but it would be fighting the nature God put in it. Because no matter how much it wants to be a piano, it was never fashioned for that purpose. It will never be truly happy trying to be something it wasn't made to be.
PPT 4 Text
2Ti 1:9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (KJV)
Your purpose is identified here as a holy calling, think about that! And it is based not on your abilities, but on the purpose and sovereign decisions God made from all eternity. We exist for the reasons He has decided.
The arrow exists for the archer, the archer doesn't exist for the arrow.
Said another way, we exist to fulfill His desires, He doesn't exist to fulfill ours. Illustrate with a phone. I don't exist to do what the phone wants, the phone exists to do what I want. If you get that mixed up, and many people do, you will find life is very frustrating. A lot of people think God exists to serve them and make them happy. He doesn't, but if you fulfill your purpose, you will find life is much more enjoyable.
I am come that they might have life and that more abundantly. Life more abundantly is found in being what God wants you to be, not in Him being your personal bell hop.
So God calls us to fulfill a purpose (actually many purposes) today I want to talk about how the archer chooses his wood and how arrows are made and integrate that idea with God's purposes for our lives.
PPT 5 Text
Isa 49:2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me, And He has also made Me a select arrow; He has hidden Me in His quiver. (NAS)
(Hint for Pastors. I brought several pieces of wood to illustrate the next session of the message. I brought a dowel I purchased at Home Depot, a relatively straight branch, and branch that was semicircular, and finally a notty gnarly twisted thick vine. As I went through my message I used those pieces of wood to illustrate my points. I used the dowel to illustrate there is nothing like that in the woods, we all are in need of work by the Archer to become His arrow. I used the other pieces to illustrate that a good wood worker can make almost any piece of wood into an arrow with steam and pressure, and God is better than any woodworker on earth. I also made the point that the Master Archer chooses the wood for the purpose He has for it. People will often tell God they can't do what He wants, but He knows better what we can do than we ourselves know. He knew everything about us when He pulled us from the forest. Before we were born He knew what piece of wood we would be, and He knew exactly what He could do with it.)