Summary: Testimonials of what God did during 40 Days and a review of all that we learned
“WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?”
Sunday, June 6, 2004
You can raise your hand because you can be proud of this, who read all forty of the readings during the 40 Days of Purpose? How many of you can say I read all 40 of them? If you did, congratulations, I congratulate you, and if you didn’t, that’s okay. If you did some of them, something is better than nothing. God will use it anyway.
Believe it or not, I don’t have a whole lot to say this morning. I know that’s a shock. Today, we are going to conclude with a party, a breakfast downstairs, because it is raining outside. What I decided to do today was let you write the sermon, so you have written it. I emailed everyone in the congregation. If you didn’t get an email, it means we don’t have your email address, so if you have one and you didn’t get the information, give us your email so we can send you direct information. If you are worried and saying, oh no I didn’t know my email was going to be broadcast over the pulpit, the names have been changed to protect the guilty, so your name has been changed. I tried to go with ones that I received a lot of emails on, some general things. We are going to look at what we have learned over the last 40 days. What we learned about God’s purposes in our lives and what we learned about God. Know one will know that it was you, but you may find some of your emails reflected in the message.
If you missed the opportunity, its okay, we are going to do it again sometime. Probably during a mid-week service type format or on Sunday night but we will redo this series to give others an opportunity, who because of their work or the situation at the time were just unable to be part of the series. Before we delve in, let’s pause for a word of prayer, then we will to talk about what we have learned in the last 40 days as a church. Let’s pray.
What have we learned? Deuteronomy 11:2 says this: “Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him.” That is what we are going to do. Before the children of Israel crossed the Jordan, God caused them to pause and reflect upon their journey so that they would remember what God had brought them through to get to that place, and it is fitting that we should talk about remembrances because today is a day of remembrance.
Today is the 60th anniversary of D-Day. It was on this day that the alliances stormed Normandy. It was this decision that ultimately led to the downfall of the third Reich and ultimately to the victory of the alliance. Today it is fitting because we remember a decision we made 40 days ago. Forty days ago some of you made the decision to do 40 Days of Purpose and it has lead ultimately to a change in your life. It has put you on a path that ultimately will lead to your victory. We celebrate that together!
I wasn’t kidding 40 days ago when I said that these 40 days may be, in your life, the most important 40 days, and for some of you that has been true. They have been the most important 40 days because they have been days of transformation, days of change, and days of enlightenment. You have been set on a new course and you are not going back.
What have we learned? What have we discovered? The first lesson we’ve learned is that we are here for God’s purposes. The key to satisfaction, the key to life, the key to joy, the key to contentment and real happiness is that it is not about us, it is about God. If you want to really enjoy satisfaction in life, the starting point is not you, but it is God. That is why Genesis 1:1 says: “In the beginning God. . . .” Ephesians 1:11 says: “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.” Long before we heard of Christ he had his eye on us. He had designs on us for glorious living - part of his overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Proverbs 16:4 says this: “The Lord has made everything for his own purpose.”
I find it odd that the key to my personal fulfillment begins with humility. It begins with realizing that I am not the center of the universe, that God is. That self-centeredness actually ends in self-destruction. But a life centered on God is a fountain of life and one person wrote: