Summary: A two-part series on discovering what God would have us do while we wait for His return.
I want to begin this morning by asking you a question: do you know what you are supposed to be doing?
The question is simple enough—it’s a yes or no answer. But the implications of that answer range far beyond that.
Ask a little child what he or she wants to be when they grow up, and they’ll give you a bunch of ideas—a football play, a policeman, a model, a doctor. They know at an early age what they want to be doing. Yet, when they grow up, they become unsure—am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?
It reminds me of a seminary student who was called on to fill a pulpit. And this student, he really wanted some honest critiquing, because he wasn’t sure he had the right stuff to be a pastor. So, before he began his sermon, he asked the congregation—“I want you to be honest with me and tell me what you thought of my sermon today.”
Well, he preached his sermon, and then went to the back to meet and greet everyone as they left. He asked the first person who came up to him, “Well, sir, what did you think.”
The man replied, “It stunk!” The seminary student, wanting serious advice, asked him, “In what way? Can you be specific?” The man answered him, “Well, there were three things wrong with it. First, you read it. Second, you read it poorly. Third, it wasn’t worth reading in the first place!”
There’s a man who got some hard advice as to what he should, or shouldn’t be doing. Do you know what you are supposed to be doing?
That question has stuck with me the past six months, as I have been very busy with classes at Baptist Bible Seminary, very busy at home with a newborn son and a wife who needs my help, and very busy with the church. Did I know what I was supposed to be doing? Often times, my life has felt like a juggling act, unsure of how to keep all of those balls floating in the air without hitting the ground.
Have you ever felt that way? The pressures of life surrounding you, everything closing in, and you don’t know how to formulate a plan of attack? Everyone and everything clamoring for your attention, and nothing gets done?
This morning, we are going to look at a passage that will help us with what needs to get done. Before we get there, let me share with you my theme verses for the year—they are found in the book of Jude, verses 20-23, and I’ve put them in your notes.
20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Focus in on verse 21—Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Today, we are beginning a two-part series on What to Do While Waiting. You know, God hasn’t just left you here on this earth to mope. God hasn’t left you on earth to catch every episode of Friends, or Star Trek. God hasn’t left you on earth to accumulate the most possessions you can store in an attic or basement.
I put this in your bulletin: God uses His people to accomplish His purpose in His time. I believe that with all my heart. And if you are here this morning, you are here for a reason. He wants to remind you of that fact, that he is using you to accomplish His purpose. The Bible tells us that he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son (Romans 8:29). God has a purpose and a plan for you while you are here on this earth.
The problem is, we get so wrapped up in the cares and concerns of this world, that we cannot find or focus on what it is he has for us. Some of you may not even care to find out what he has for you. Yet the Bible tells us, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).” Sometimes we focus on the sin that so easily entangles, yet we forget that we are to throw off everything that hinders. Paul would write, “4No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer (2 Timothy 2:4).” He would also write, “ “Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive (1 Corinthians 10:23).”