Purpose Driven Life (part 1)

PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Part 1)

WHAT AM I HERE FOR?

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION – I HAVE DECIDED TO DO A SERMON SERIES BASED ON RICK WARREN’S BOOK “THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE”.   I ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ IT.  RICK ALSO WROTE THE BOOK “THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH.”  WHICH SOLD OVER A MILLION COPIES IN 20 LANGUAGES.  RICK IS THE PASTOR OF SATTLEBACK CHURCH IN LAKE FOREST, CALIFORNIA.

 

WE HAVE ALL ASKED THE QUESTION “WHAT AM I HERE FOR?”   BY THE END OF THIS SERIES I HOPE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE BIG PICTURE FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW – HOW THE PIECES OF YOUR LIFE FIT TOGETHER.  THE AVERAGE PERSON LIVES 72 YEARS, 26,298 DAYS. MOST OF US LIVE OUT OUR LIVES WITHOUT DISCOVERING THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH WE WERE BORN.  WE CAN ALL IDENTIFY WITH THE WORDS UTTERED BY MACBETH IN SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY WHEN MCBETH FOUND OUT ABOUT THE QUEEN’S UNTIMELY DEATH: Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, it is a tale TOLD BY AN IDIOT, FULL OF SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING.

KING SOLOMON STRUGGLED WITH THE SEARCH FOR PURPOSE IN LIFE: I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecc 1:14)

II)    IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE (AND WE ALL ARE) THEN YOU HAVE TO START WITH GOD. 

1)    THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE IS FAR GREATER THAN YOUR OWN PERSONAL FULLFILLMENT, YOUR PEACE OF MIND, OR EVEN YOUR HAPPINESS.

2)    THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE IS GREATER THAN YOUR FAMILY, YOUR CAREER OR EVEN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS AND AMBITIONS.

3)    IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WERE PLACED ON THIS PLANET YOU MUST BEGIN WITH GOD.  YOU WERE BORN BY HIS PURPOSE AND FOR HIS PURPOSE:  Col 1:16 For 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 for him.

4)    Pro 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

5)    “UNLESS YOU ASSUME A GOD, THE QUESTION OF LIFE’S PURPOSE IS MEANINGLESS.” BETRAND RUSSEL, ATHEIST

6)    THE SEARCH FOR LIFE’S PURPOSE HAS PUZZLED PEOPLE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

III)   THE PROBLEM IS WE BEGIN FROM THE SEARCH FROM THE WRONG STARTING POINT – OURSELVES. 

1)    WE ASK SELF-CENTERED QUESTIONS LIKE:  WHAT DO I WANT TO BE?  WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY LIFE? WHAT ARE MY GOALS AND AMBITIONS?  WHAT ARE MY DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE?

2)    FOCUSING UPON OURSELVES WILL NEVER REVEAL OUR LIFE’S PURPOSE.  YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE EXPRESSION YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE.  THIS IS TRUE WHEN WE TRY TO FIND GOD’S PURPOSE WITHIN OURSELVES.

A)   JOB 12:10 “IT IS GOD WHO DIRECTS THE LIVES OF HIS CREATURES; EVERYONE’S LIFE IS IN HIS POWER.”  (TEV)

B)   ISA 45:9 “DESTRUCTION IS CERTAIN FOR THOSE WHO ARGUE WITH THEIR CREATOR.  DOES A CLAY POT EVER ARGUE WITH ITS MAKER?  DOES THE CLAY DISPUTE WITH THE ONE WHO SHAPES IT, SAYING, ‘STOP, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! ‘  DOES THE POT EXCLAIM, ‘HOW CLUMSY CAN YOU BE?” (NLT)

3)    YOU DID NOT CREATE YOURSELF SO YOU THERE IS NO WAY TO DISCOVER WITHIN YOURSELF WHAT YOU WERE CREATED FOR; TO DISCOVER WHAT YOU WERE CREATED FOR YOU MUST CONSULT WITH YOUR CREATOR.

IV)  THE SECOND PROBLEM IS MANY PEOPLE TRY TO USE GOD FOR THEIR OWN SELF-FULLFILLMENT OR SELF ACTUALIZATION.

1)    THIS IS A REVERSAL OF ROLES AND DOOMED TO FAILURE.

2)    IT IS ONLY IN GOD THAT WE DISCOVER OUR ORIGIN, OUR IDENTITY, OUR MEANING, OUR PURPOSE, OUR SIGNIFICANCE AND OUR DESTINY.

3)    JohN 1:3  “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (KJV)

4)    Act 17:28  “For in him we live, and move, and have our being”(KJV)

5)    YOU WERE MADE BY GOD AND FOR GOD AND UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL LIVE IN CONFUSION.

6)      THERE ARE MANY “SELF HELP” BOOKS THAT APPROACH THE SUBJECT OF ACHIEVING SUCCESS IN LIFE FROM THE SELF-CENTERED VIEWPOINT:  CONSIDER YOUR DREAMS, CLARIFY YOUR VALUES, SET YOUR GOALS, FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT, AIM HIGH, GO FOR IT, BE DISCIPLINED, NEVER GIVE UP.

7)    FOLLOWING THIS RECIPE CAN LEAD TO SUCCESS IN LIFE, FROM THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE.  YOU CAN BE A RAVING SUCCESS FROM THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE AND NEVER PURPOSE FOR WHICH GOD CREATED YOU.

V)   GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE IS SPRINGS FORTH FROM HIS WISDOM HIS CHARACTER AND HIS LOVE FOR US.

1)    GOD LOVES US AND KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR US. HIS WISDOM DETERMINES HOW TO BRING OUT HIS BEST IN US.

2)    PAUL SPEAKS OF THIS WISDOM IN 1 COR.2:5 THAT OUR FAITH DOES NOT REST ON THE WISDOM OF MEN, but on the power of God.”  AND THAT “THIS WISDOM IS NOT THE KIND THAT APPEALS TO THE RULERS OF THIS WORLD, WHO ARE BEING BROUGHT TO NOTHING. 7 NO, THE WISDOM WE SPEAK OF IS THE SECRET WIDOM OF GOD, WHICH WAS HIDDEN IN FORMER TIMES, THOUGH HE MADE IT FOR OUR BENEFIT BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN.” (NLT)

3)    Psa 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

VI)  THE TRUTH IS THAT GOD WAS THINKING OF YOU LONG BEFORE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT HIM.

1)     HIS PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE PREDATES YOUR BIRTH OR EVEN YOUR CONCEPTION. YOUR PURPOSE WAS DETERMINED BEFORE YOU EXISTED, WITHOUT YOUR INPUT!

2)    THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE FITS INTO THE CONTEXT OF A MUCH LARGER GOD GIVEN PURPOSE THAT GOD DESIGNED FOR TIME AND ETERNITY.

3)    Psa 139:13-17 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

4)    Psa 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.

5)    YOU MAY CHOOSE YOUR CAREER, YOUR SPOUSE, YOUR HOBBIES AND OTHER PARTS OF YOUR LIFE BUT YOU DO NOT GET TO CHOSE YOUR PURPOSE.

VII)GOD’S WISDOM SAYS:  “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. “ Mat 16:25

1)    FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS BRILLIANT PHILOSOPHERS HAVE DISCUSSED AND SPECULATED ABOUT THE MEANING OF LIFE.  DR. HIGH MOORHEAD, A PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY ONCE WROTE TO 250 OF THE BEST-KNOWN PHILOSOPHERS, SCIENTISTS, WRITERS AND INTELLECTUALS IN THE WORLD ASKING THEM “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?”  SOME OFFERED THEIR BEST GUESSES; OTHERS ADMITTED THAT THEY JUST MADE UP A PURPOSE FOR LIFE AND OTHERS WERE HONEST ENOUGH TO ADMIT THAT THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY CLUELESS.  A NUMBER OF FAMOUS INTELLECTUALS ASKED THE GOOD PROFESSOR TO WRITE BACK TO THEM IF HE EVER FOUND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE.

2)    IN Mat 16:24 – 25 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25  “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

3)    IN VERSE 26 JESUS GOES ON TO EXPLAIN  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

VIII)       CONCLUSION – ANDREI BITOV, A RUSSIAN NOVELIST, GREW UP UNDER AN ATHEISTIC COMMUNIST REGIME BEFORE GOD GOT HIS ATTENTION ONE DREARY DAY.   HE RECALLS, “IN MY TWENTY-SEVENTH YEAR, WHILE RIDING THE METRO IN LENINGRAD (NOW ST. PETERBURG) I WAS OVERCOME WITH A DESPAIR SO GREAT THAT LIFE SEEMED TO STOP AT ONCE.  SUDDENLY, ALL BY ITSELF, A PHRASE APPEARED: WITHOUT GOD LIFE MAKES NO SENSE. REPEATING IT IN ASTONISHMENT, I RODE THE PHRASE LIKE A MOVING STAIRCASE, GOT OUT OF THE METRO AND WALKED INTO GOD’S LIGHT.

I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE SOME, IN THIS AUDIENCE THAT ARE DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR PURPOSE IN LIFE.  YOU HAVE RUN AFTER PLEASURE, YOU HAVE SOUGHT FAME AND FORTUNE, BUT NOTHING BRINGS SATISFACTION.  I KNOW, I’VE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT. I BEG YOU THIS MORNING TO TRY JESUS!  BUT DON’T JUST TRY HIM.  TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.  HE WILL FILL YOUR LIFE WITH PURPOSE AND SATISFY THAT INWARD LONGING FOR SIGNIFICANCE.   IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU – IT IS ABOUT HIM.  IT IS NOT YOUR PLANS FOR HIM BUT HIS PLANS FOR YOU THAT COUNT.  Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

 

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