Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

06/03/2018 A.M.

 

Living The Purpose Driven Life

Colossians1.16   Proverbs 11.28   Ecclesiastes 12.13-14   Ephesians 2.10   Matthew 6.33   Titus 2.14  Hebrews 13.20-21   Philippians 2.13   Philippians 2.5   John 6.38

Mark 10.45   Luke 19.10   Luke 5.32  Luke 9.23

 

With our lessons today... We end our Series about perseverance... Not giving up... Living the good life Jesus came to make possible with... Patience... Perseverance... determination.

 

Often from this pulpit... I ask the question...

• Why are we here?...

• Why are we here and not in Heaven?...

• Why didn’t God just beam us up to Heaven from our confession of faith and baptism?

 

The reason is simple...

• God has something for us to do...

• He has Some things He wants us to accomplish.

 

Church...I hope you believe that... Because if you don’t... Life is gonna be a waste... Life is gonna be a waste!

 

You see... Life is more than just about... Me!!... or... You!!

The purpose of life is far greater than...

• Our own personal fulfillment...

• Greater than the stuff we accumulate...

• Greater than our own peace of mind...

• Even our happiness.

Life is greater than... Career... dreams... Ambitions.

Unless you assume a God... The question of life’s purpose is meaningless...

Unless you assume a God... Life becomes only a batch of random occurrences... Chance meetings... With no design or purpose.

 

Access a Worship Bulletin... Scan these Scriptures... Carefully... Intently...

as we discover God’s truth about our Purpose.

REady...

 

Colossians 1.16... By Him all things were created... Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible...Whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities... All things were created by him and finds its purpose in Him.

 

Proverbs 11.28… From the Message translation... A life devoted to things is a dead life... A stump. A God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

 

Ecclesiastes 12.13-14...Now that all has been heard… Here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

 

Matthew 6.33… Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

Ephesians 2.10...We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Titus 2.14... Instructs us as God’s people and person to Be eager to do the good that God places before us.

 

Hebrews 13.20-21...Tells us that God Himself is at work in us... Equipping us with everything good for doing his will.... Everything needed for Accomplishing His purpose.

 

Philippians 2.13 has Paul saying that... God is a work in us... Helping us to will and work... To will and act according to His purpose.

 

Philippians 2.5 tells us that our purpose is to conformto the image is Jesus.... To have His... Heart... Attitude... Disposition... and Behavior.

 

His purpose must become our purpose... His agenda our agenda... Jesus’ stated purpose was...

 

John 6.38... I came to do the will of the Father who sent me...

 

Mark 10.45... I came to serve... Not be served.

 

Luke 19.10... To seek and save the lost...

 

Luke 5.32... To call sinners to repentance.

 

Luke 9.23... If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

 

Church...After reading these Scriptures... Who can deny that Life has a purpose... And that God is helping us... find... To will... and work... our purpose.

 

Can I say this and you not feel hard toward me?... Life is useless... Life Is a waste... If we make no effort to discover and accomplish our purpose.

 

I hope you agree this morning that we are not here by accident...And that God’s purpose for us is not accidental.

 

It was Jeremiah... Who has God saying... Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

 

Russell Kelfer expressed this truth in these words... 

 

You are who you are for a reason.

You’re part of an intricate plan.

You’re a precious and perfect unique design,

Called God’s special woman or man.

 

You look like you look for a reason.

Our God made no mistake.

He knit you together within the womb,

You’re just what He wanted to make.

 

The parents you had were the ones He chose,

And no matter how you may feel,

They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,

And they bear the Master’s seal.

 

No, that trauma you just faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into His likeness you’d grow.

 

You are who you are for a reason,

You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.

You are who you are beloved,

Because there is a God!

 

INDEED... WE ARE HERE FOR A PURPOSE...

 

• WE ARE HERE AND NOT IN HEAVEN... BECAUSE GOD HAS SOME THINGS FOR US TO ACCOMPLISH.

 

• And without God... Without purpose...  life makes no sense.

 

Point number two...

What Drives my life and yours?

Everybody is driven by something... What controls us

What causes us to be who and what we are?

 

Some people are... Driven... Guided... Directed... By fear.

I gotta tell you that a good portion of my counseling time is spent with those who are living their life driven by fear.

 

We’ve heard Scripture tell us this morning that we are here to do good works... Good deeds.  I wonder how many... Good works... Good deeds... Are not getting done today because of fear?

 

Indeed...Fear driven individuals fail to fulfill their God determined purpose because they let the opportunities pass because they are afraid to launch out.

• They may be afraid they will fail...

• Afraid they will embarrass themselves in some way...

• Afraid they will not know what to say... Or how to behave.

 

So...They don’t do the good works that God providently brings before them... Those things that He ordained... That He prepared in advance for them to do.

 

Our Biblical example of how fear inhibits us is found in Jesus’ parable of the talents.

Jesus tells of three individuals... One was given five talents... One two... And another one. The man with five put his talent to work and accomplished God’s purpose... As did the man with two. But the individual with one talent buried his... Hid his talent.

 

When the Master came... And responsibility and purpose were judged. The man who buried his one talent told the Master that he did not fulfill his purpose because of Fear.

 

Church...What is it... That we know that we should be doing... That we are not doing out of fear?

• Visiting the sick?...

• Sharing Jesus with our neighbor?...

• Teaching a Bible class?...

• Serving as an... Elder... Deacon... Ministry Leader?...

• Giving as we’ve been blessed...

• Placing God first... Seeking God and His righteousness?

 

Sometimes... Anger... Hate... Bitterness... Keep us from fulfilling our purpose.

Who or what controls your life and mine... Is it... Anger?... Hate?... Bitterness?...Resentment?... I hope not because… It was Job 5.2 who tells us that... Hate and Anger... Destroy... good intentions.

• Do we find ourselves continually thinking ugly thoughts?

• Not going to certain places because we don’t want to meet and greet certain people?

• Do we find ourselves behaving a particular way... Because of resentment and bitterness?

 

Now...We know how to deal with the feelings of... Anger... Hate... Bitterness... Don’t we?... Forgive... Forgive...Forgive... Just let it go.... And do it quickly.

• Paul says... Don’t hold on to it into the night... Don’t let the sun set on anger... wrath.

• Jesus plainly said... Settle matters quickly with your adversary... Before things get out of hand.

• Romans twelve tells us... Let God be the avenger... Live at peace with all men everywhere.

 

You see... The more room we give... anger...Hate... Bitterness... The bigger the problem becomes... The only answer is forgiveness... Just do it!

 

And remember... God will enable... He will empower our forgiveness... Because it’s the right thing to do.

 

Some of us may find that we’re driven by Guilt.

We spend our lives... Rehearsing... Reliving... Running... from the shame of some past sin.

 

There are those in the church... This church... Who are excusing themselves from leadership because of some past sin mistake… What a tragedy!!... What an ugly... Nonproductive... Way to live!!!

 

Let me tell you… The Bible does not teach this…It’s a bad hermeneutic to believe that a forgiven sin keeps us from doing God’s will.

• Cain became a restless wanderer because of his sin guilt.

• Judas took his own life... Guilt sabotaged his future... His purpose.

• Peter... On the other hand... rose above his guilt and fulfilled the propose for which he was created... To open the Kingdom of God... To preach the first gospel sermon to the Jews on Pentecost... And to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house.

Which one will we be more like… Cain… Judas… or Peter?

 

Christianity is all about... Forgiveness... Removing our guilt with a… Fresh start... A new beginning... Not just on the occasion of our baptism... But every day.

 

• Come now... Let us reason together... Says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet... They shall be as white as snow... Though they are red as crimson... They shall be like wool.

 

If we confess our sins... He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness... For... If we walk in the light... As he is in the light... We have fellowship with one another... And the blood ofJesus... His Son... Continues to purify... Cleanse us from all sin.

 

There is no reason for guilt...

 

• No reason to hold on to our sin mistakes...  Jesus came to Forgive our sins... So we could proceed with fulfilling our purpose.

 

There are those who are driven by the need for approval... Pleasing others.

Regardless of age… Some still allow the expectation of their... Parents... Spouse... Children... Teachers... Friends... Even Enemies... To control their behavior... Their purpose.

 

Listen... I don’t know all the keys to success...  But one key to failure is trying to please someone other than God.  Being controlled by the opinions and dreams of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purpose for our own life... AMEN???

 

Paul said... It’s unwise to compare ourselves with ourselves... With others!!

If you want to become like someone... Please someone... Make it Jesus!... Make it Jesus!

 

Others are driven by pleasure and materialism.

Western thinking... A desire to acquire more and more and more... Happiness at all cost... can take the focus off of the true purpose for which God created us.

 

I was called to the bedside of a patient who had just been told that her cancer was terminal... And that hospice had been called. I searched my mind for something to say... What do we say?... Finally...Sitting there holding her hand... I confessed... I wish I could say something that would change all this... I wish I could say something that would make it all go away... Make it all better... But I can’t. And she said... I know... I wish you could too. Then our conversation turned to God...Christ... Friends... and Family.

 

Folk... When the end comes... And it will for each of us... There’ll be come a time when... Material Things... Worldly Pleasures... Political Clout... Will mean nothing... Absolutely NOTHING!!

 

And our relationship with God and His people will mean everything... Everything!!

 

Number three... What is it that should

Driveus... Motivate us... Give us purpose?

I think two things... FAITH and LOVE.

 

First... There is our Faith in God.

The Hebrews writer tells us that... Without faith... It is impossible to please Him... We must believe that He is... And that He will reward those who diligently seek Him... And His purpose.

• Faith gives us purpose.

• Faith prompts us to live the life God wants us to live...

• Faith helps us become the people and person God wants us to be.

 

Faith in god and his word causes us to be different people.

• Able fulfilled his purpose... By faith he worshiped God correctly...

• Enoch fulfilled his purpose... By faith he walked with God...

• By faith… Noah built an Ark... Saved his family...

• Abraham fulfilled his purpose... By faith followed God to the land of Canaan...

 

These people did what they did... Because of their faith!!!... And it will be our faith that causes us to fulfill our purpose!!

 

purpose is driven by love.

Jesus said... If you love Me... You will… You will keep My commandments.

 

You see... Purpose all boils down to this... Who do we love?... Who do we love?

• Are we in love with the world?

• Are we in love with some thing or someone in the world?

•Are we in love with God?

Jesus said... The first and greatest commandment is this... To love God with all our heart... Mind... Strength... and Soul... And to love others as we love self.

 

Indeed!... Indeed!!... Love drives our purpose.

 

Then purpose must be driven by PaTIENCE.

I make this point by simply asking… When life tumbles in… When things don’t go right with us… Are we patient with God… Knowing that He is in controland that He will work all things out to our benefit?

 

When things don’t go right with a brother… Do we give him the benefit of the doubt?... Are we patient with him or her?...

 

Indeed… Purpose is found in PATIENCE.

 

We close with point number four...

Noting some benefits of knowing our purpose...

 

First... It gives meaning to life.

Dr.Bernie Siegel found that he could... To a large extent... Predict which of his cancer patients would go into remission by asking them.. Do you want to live to be a hundred?

 

Those with a deep sense of purpose answered yes... And were the ones most likely to survive.

 

You see... Hope comes from having a purpose... A reason to live life daily.

 

Jeremiah 29.11 has God saying... I know the plans I have for you... Plans for you to prosper... And not to harm you... Plans to give you hope and a future.

 

Indeed... God has a purpose for us... And it’s to bless us and give us hope for the future.

 

Heaven gives meaning to life... Or at least it should!

 

Purpose helps define life.

Purpose defines who we are... And how we live!

When we know our purpose... Then we can ask...

•Does this attitude...

• This disposition...

• This activity..

• This behavior...

Help fulfill God’s propose in my life... In my family... In the church?

 

Knowing our purpose prepares us for eternity.

Remember the story about James Dobson... His goal… His purpose… Was to become His High School’s Tennis Champion. He was proud when his trophy was displayed in the school’s trophy cabinet. Years later... They remodeled the school and someone mailed him that trophy saying they had found it in a trash can.

 

Dobson wrote... Given enough time... All our earthly trophies will be trashed... They will mean nothing.

 

Jesus asked in rhetoric... What good is it... If we gain the whole world and lose our own soul?

 

You see... Judgment will be based upon two important questions...

• What did you do with Jesus?

• What did you do with Life... The Time... Talents... Treasure... Energy... and Truth I gave you?

 

Each of us has an opportunity... A challenge this morning... To make life count... To live a purpose driven life.... By faith in God... A change in lifestyle... Confession of Jesus... And being born again... Raised to live a new life… A life of purpose.

 

Accept the challenge as we stand and sing this song together.