Purpose Driven Life (part 8)

PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Part 8)

LEARNING TO REVERENCE AND OBEY GOD’S WORD

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)             INTRODUCTION – I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS ABOUT 16 YEARS OLD GOING DEER HUNTING ALONE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF PENNSYLVANIA.   I WAS ON MY WAY HOME, WALKING A MOUNTAIN TRAIL IN THE DENSE FOREST, WHEN IT SUDDENLY GREW DARK VERY QUICKLY, SO DARK THAT I COULD NOT SEE THE PATH AHEAD.  THERE WAS NO MOON LIGHT AND IT WAS VERY DARK AND IT WAS VERY COLD.  I GREW FRIGHTENED AND BEGAN TO PRAY.  I FELT THAT THE LORD TOLD ME NOT TO PANIC BUT TO STAND STILL AND TAKE STOCK OF THE SITUATION.   I STOOD STILL AND CALMED DOWN. I TOOK MY GAZE OFF MY IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS, AND LOOKED OFF INTO THE DISTANCE.  OFF IN THE DISTANCE SAW THE FAINT LIGHT OF A HOUSE. EVEN THOUGH I COULD NOT SEE EVEN A FEW FEET IN FRONT OF ME, I WAS ABLE TO USE THE LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE TO GUIDE ME HOME.

GOD’S WORD IS LIKE THAT:  THE PSALMIST SAID, Psa 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  SOME TIMES IN OUR JOURNEY OF FAITH WE THE PATH SEEMS TO DISAPPEAR…SOMETIMES WE CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE GOD’S WORD HIDDEN IN OUR HEARTS DURING TIMES LIKE THESE TO MAINTAIN OUR SPIRITUAL BEARINGS, TO CONTINUE THE JOURNEY OF FAITH, FOLLOWING OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE ONE WHO GIVES US SPIRITUAL LIFE.

I HAVE BEEN surprised, EVEN SHOCKED, TO OBSERVE A LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD’S WORD IN THE LIVES OF MINISTERS AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS, WHO BECOME PRIDEFUL IN THEIR MINISTRY, AND CANNOT SEEM TO HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND ASK FORGIVENESS EVEN WHEN THEY ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD.  IT REMINDS ME OF WHAT THE PROPHET ISAIAH SAID Isa 40:6 “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.”  WE SHOULD NOT BE TOO QUICK TO POINT A FINGER OR BE OVERLY CRITICAL BECAUSE WE TOO HAVE OUR WEAKNESSES THAT THE ENEMY SEEKS TO EXPLOIT.

text: 1Th 2:13 FOR this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (kjv)

II)    THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE IS BASED ON REVERENCE & RESPECT GOD’S WORD.

A)   PAUL THANKED GOD THAT THE THESSALONIANS HAD RECEIVED GOD’S WORD NOT AS THE WORD OF MEN, BUT AS GOD’S WORD.

B)   MAN’S WORD’S CAN OFTEN BE IGNORED, OR DEBATED OR QUESTIONED, BUT WE IGNORE OR DEBATE GOD’S WORD AT OUR OWN PERIL.

C)   JESUS SPOKE OF HOW THE PHARISEES HAD NULLIFIED GOD’S WORD: Mar 7:13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

D)   GOD TOLD EZEKIEL: Eze 12:25  For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

E)   THE PROPHET ISAIAH SAID: Isa 40:8  “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.”

F)    JESUS SAID:  Mat 4:4  “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” THERE IS LIFE IN THE WORD.

III)           THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE IS A LIFE IN, WHICH GOD’S WORD IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING US. 

A)   GOD’S PLAN TO CHANGE US AND CONFORM US TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON:    RomANS 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

B)   PAUL OBSERVED THAT THE WORD OF GOD WAS EFFECTUALLY WORKING IN THE BELIEVERS OF THESSALONICA, BECAUSE THEY ACCEPTED IT FOR WHAT IT WAS IN TRUTH: GOD’S WORD.

C)   THE PROPHETS ISAIAH AND JEREMIAH SPEAK OF GOD’S PEOPLE AS BEING CLAY IN THE HANDS OF THE POTTER:

1)    IsaIAH 64:7 – 8  No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins.  8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

2)    GOD TOLD JEREMIAH TO   Jer 18:2  “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.”HE WENT DOWN TO THE POTTER’S HOUSE “and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. Jer 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”  GOD SPOKE TO JEREMIAH SAYING “ JER 18:6  “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?” GOD’S PURPOSE IS ACCOMPLISHED IN US WHEN WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BECOME clay is in the potter’s hand.

IV)  THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE IS A LIFE IN, WHICH GOD CONTINUOUSLY REVEALS HIS PLAN AND HIS PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES, AS WE SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF HIS WORD.

A)   WE BECOME WILLING TO SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD AS WE WE LEARN TO TRUST HIM.

B)   Heb 11:6  “…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

C)    Rom 8:28  “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

D)   GOD’S WORD HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE US, BUT WE MUST ALLOW IT TO DO SO. PAUL WROTE TO THE BELIEVERS IN PHILLIPI: Phi 2:12 – 13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

V)   CONCLUSION – I READ AN ARTICLE IN Saturday’S ST. PETERSBURG TIMES (SAT, 12/27/03) THAT REMINDED ME OF GOD’S POWER TO CHANGE LIVES:  SUSIE KRABACHER SPENT HER TWENTIES PARTYING AT HUGH HEFNER’S PLAYBOY MANSION AND BECAME A CENTERFOLD IN PLAYBOY MAGAZINE, BUT ONE DAY SHE HEARD GOD’S WORD AND RESPONDED, AND GOD GAVE HER A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST, A LIFE WITH PURPOSE.  FOR THE LAST NINE YEARS SHE HAS SPENT HER LIFE MINISTERING IN THE SLUMS OF HAITI.  SHE SOLD HER INTEREST IN AN ASPEN SUSHI BAR AND AN ANTIQUES BUSINESS AND INVESTED EVERYTHING TO RESCUE THE CHILDREN OF HAITI.  SHE BEGAN PICKING UP ABANDONED CHILDREN ALL OVER THE CITY, AND FURNISHED A WARD IN THE HOSPITAL TO LOOK AFTER ABANDONED CHILDREN.  SHE FOUND ONE OF THESE BOYS, TOTALLY NAKED LIVING IN A PIG PEN.  HE BIT HER WHEN SHE TRIED TO GET HIM INTO THE CAR.  TODAY, WITH THE SUPPORT OF HER HUSBAND WHO IS AN ATTORNEY IN ASPEN COLORADO, SHE RUNS SIX SCHOOLS AND THREE ORPHANAGES, HOUSING A TOTAL OF 1,889 CHILDREN.  GOD TOOK HER EMPTY, SELF-CENTERED LIFE AND GAVE HER A LIFE WITH PURPOSE, BECAUSE SHE BECAME ACCOUNTABLE TO HIS WORD AND THEN HIS CALL TO SERVICE. THIS ACCOUNT REMINDS ME OF ROMANS 9:6 “It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.”  WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE FAIL TO RESPOND TO the CALL GOD CALLS OTHERS WHO WILL RESPOND, EVEN A FORMER PLAYBOY BUNNY.

THERE ARE SOME HERE THAT GOD IS SPEAKING TO THIS MORNING.  IF YOU FAIL TO RESPOND HE WILL FIND ANOTHER TO TAKE YOUR PLACE, BUT IT WILL BE YOUR LOSS.   YOU WILL STAND BEFORE HIM ONE DAY STUTTERING AND STAMMERING TO FIND AND EXCUSE AS TO WHY YOU REFUSED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO HIS WORD AND ANSWER HIS CALL.

GOD WANTS TO GIVE YOU LIFE WITH PURPOSE, A LIFE OF DESTINY, DOING KINGDOM WORK.  HE HAS A PLAN AND A PURPOSE FOR EACH OF OUR LIVES!

Your Support is Greatly Apreciated

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