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Summary: This is the first in a four part series called "On Purpose." God said by using these 4 principles the people of Babylon would succeed in doing whatever they planned.

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THE CHURCH ON PURPOSE

Genesis 11:1-9

INTRODUCTION:

A. For the past several years we have had a yearly theme for the overall ministry of the church

1. 2002 - Aim Higher

a. 2001 - Harvest

b. 2000 - Whoever is thirsty, let him come.

c. Others:

What Would Jesus Do?

Higher and Higher

2. Last year our theme was Transformed

a. As we look over last year we can see how God has blessed us and transformed the lives of many of those in our church family

b. Our focus on youth ministry was changed as we hired Jon and Marlene Wachtel to work with our young people and young families

They have been a real blessing to me

c. Jon and I were sitting around a few weeks ago discussing how good it is to see and hear people talk about how God has changed their lives

How He has been there for them in some difficult times

How He has turned their world upside down for the better.

d. 19 people made commitments to Christ and to the ministry of this church last year and we hope that God will bring us many more this year

B. For 2004 our theme is going to be On Purpose

1. I was thinking about an often used phrase this week: You did that on purpose!

a. Maybe you heard that when you "accidently" ripped off the head of your sister’s Barbie Doll

b. Maybe you heard that when you knocked down your brother’s monument made of cards

2. I want us to put that phrase in a more positive light

a. One year from now when we look back at 2004 I want us to be able to say that we did some things On Purpose

3. Instead of simply sitting back and letting things happen (or not happen) I believe that we should be God’s Church On Purpose

a. But are we up to the task?

b. Are we willing to pay the price in order to accomplish God’s will for this congregation on purpose

c. Philip. 3:13-14

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

C. Today’s message is an introduction to this the next 3 messages as we talk about being God’s Church On Purpose

1. I want to look to a passage that I have preached on before–but there are some valuable lessons to be learned

a. READ: Genesis 11:1-9

2. Verse 6 is the key verse in this passage

a. Genesis 11:6

The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

3. They are one people

a. They had unity among themselves

4. Spoke the same language

a. they wanted that tower at whatever the cost

5. They had a plan

a. They had dreamed a dream for this tower up into the heavens

6. To do

a. They didn’t simply come up with the idea, they were willing to do the work.

I>UNITY - one people

A. Unity does not mean that you have to agree on everything

ILL> Last year Kay and I had the opportunity to celebrate 20 years of marriage–now I know that a lot of you have been married a lot longer than that. Would you believe that in those 20 years of marriage that we’ve never had a disagreement?

1. Where people are involved you are never going to agree on everything

a. I don’t agree with every sermon that I hear and you probably don’t either

2. Unity in the church was so important to Jesus that He prayed specifically for that right before He was betrayed with a kiss

a. John 17:20-21

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, [21] that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

3. When writing to the Ephesian church Paul said

a. Ephes. 4:3

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

B. We are blessed here when it comes to unity

1. We are not a perfect church by any means, but we are a church that gets along–we don’t have to deal with some of the issues that a few other churches have to deal with

2. If you’ve ever been part of a church that was full of discord and schisms than you can appreciate what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 133:1

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

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