Purpose Driven Life (part 2)

PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Part 2)

WHAT ARE YOU LIVING FOR? WHAT DRIVES YOUR LIFE?

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)             INTRODUCTION – LAST WEEK WE STARTED THE SERIES ON THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE BASED UPON THE BOOK OF THE SAME TITLE BY RICK WARREN, PASTOR OF SATTLEBACK CHURCH.  TODAY WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE THAT SERIES.  LAST WEEK WE LEARNED THAT IF WE WANT TO DISCOVER OUR PURPOSE FOR BEING HERE WE HAVE TO CONSULT WITH THE GOD THAT CREATED US.  WE LEARNED THAT HE CREATED US FOR HIS PURPOSE AND WE CANNOT DISCOVER HIS PURPOSE BY LOOKING WITHIN OURSELVES.  THE SECOND PROBLEM IN OUR SEARCH FOR PURPOSE IS THAT WE TRY TO USE GOD FOR OUR OWN SELF FULFILLMENT, RATHER THAN SEEKING GOD TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSES.  THOMAS CARLYLE SAID “THE MAN WITHOUT A PURPOSE IS LIKE A SHIP WITHOUT A RUDDER – A WAIF, A NOTHING, A NO MAN.   IF WE CAN AGREE THIS MORNING THAT GOD MADE US FOR HIS PURPOSES THEN IT FOLLOWS THAT:

II)            YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT!

A)   YOUR PARENTS MAY NOT HAVE PLANNED YOU BUT GOD DID.  HE WAS NOT SURPRISED BY YOUR BIRTH; HE EXPECTED IT.

B)   THE BIBLE SAYS “THE LORD WILL FULFILL HIS PURPOSE FOR ME.” PS 138:8A (NIV)

C)   WE READ A PORTION OF PSALM 139 LAST WEEK WHICH SAYS THAT “YOU KNOW ME INSIDE AND OUT, YOU KNOW EVERY BONE IN MY BODY; YOU KNOW EXACTLY HOW I WAS MADE, BIT BY BIT, HOW I WAS SCULPTED FROM NOTHING INTO TO SOMETHING.” PS 139:15 (MSG)

D)   HE PLANNED YOUR DAYS IN ADVANCE, CHOOSING IN ADVANCE THE TIMING OF YOUR BIRTH AND DEATH: “YOU SAW ME BEFORE I WAS BORN AND SCHEDULED EACH DAY OF MY LIFE BEFORE I BEGAN TO BREATHE, EVERY DAY WAS RECORDED IN YOUR BOOK.” PS 139:16 (LB)

E)   THERE MAY BE ILLEGITIMATE PARENTS BUT THERE ARE NO ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN.  GOD’S PURPOSE TAKES INTO ACCOUNT HUMAN ERROR AND EVEN OUR SIN.

III)   GOD’S MOTIVE FOR CREATING YOU WAS TO EXPRESS HIS LOVE.

A)     THE BIBLE SAYS “LONG BEFORE HE LAID DOWN EARTH’S FOUNDATIONS, HE HAD US IN MIND, HAD SETTLED ON US AS THE FOCUS OF HIS LOVE.” EPH 1:4A (MSG)

B)   THE MORE PHYSISTS, BIOLOGISTS AND OTHER SCIENTISTS LEARN ABOUT THE UNIVERSE, THE BETTER WE UNDERSTAND THAT IS WAS CUSTOM MADE TO SUSTAIN HUMAN LIFE. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT “GOD FORMED THE EARTH…HE DID NOT CREATE IT TO BE EMPTY, BUT FORMED IT TO BE INHABITED.” ISA 45:18 (GWT)

C)   GOD DID NOT NEED TO CREATE YOU.  HE WASN’T LONELY, BUT HE WANTED TO CREATE YOU TO EXPRESS HIS LOVE.  GOD SAYS, “I HAVE CARRIED YOU SINCE YOU WERE BORN; I HAVE TAKEN CARE OF YOU FROM YOU BIRTH.  EVEN WHEN YOU ARRE OLD, I WILL BE THE SAME.  EVEN WHEN YOU HAIR TURNS GRAY, I WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.  I MADE YOU AND WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.” ISA 46:3,4 (NCV)

D)   IF THERE WERE NO GOD YOU WOULD INDEED BE THE RESULT OF A ASTRONOMICAL CHANCE.  LIFE WOULD HAVE NO PURPOSE.  THERE WOULD BE NO RIGHT OR WRONG AND YOU WOULD HAVE NO HOPE BEYOND THIS LIFE.  I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THERE IS A GOD AND THAT YOU ARE NO ACCIDENT.  GOD SAYS, “I AM YOUR CREATOR. YOU WERE IN MY CARE EVEN BEFORE YOU WERE BORN.” ISA 44:2 (CEV)

E)   NOW THAT WE KNOW THAT GOD HAS CREATED US FOR HIS PURPOSE, THAT WE ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT BUT THAT EACH OF US ARE UNIQUE AND SPECIAL AND LOVED BY GOD: WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAY-TO-DAY LIVING? WHAT ARE THE SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM IMPLICATIONS FOR US?  HOW DOES THAT CHANGE HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES?  TODAY WE WANT TO BEGIN TO LOOK FOR AN ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS BY ASKING A PROBING QUESTION:  WHAT ARE YOU LIVING FOR?

IV)  WHAT DRIVES YOUR LIFE?  EVERYBODY’S LIFE IS DRIVEN BY SOMETHING.  “I OBSERVED THAT THE BASIC MOTIVE FOR SUCCESS IS THE DRIVING FORCE OF ENVY AND JEALOUSY! ECC 4:4 (LB) THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT DRIVE PEOPLE.  WE WILL LOOK AT A FEW OF THE PREDOMINATE THINGS THAT DRIVE PEOPLE’S LIVES. THE WORD DRIVE IS DEFINED AS “TO GUIDE, TO CONTROL OR TO DIRECT”

A)   MANY PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN BY GUILT.  THEY SPEND THEIR ENTIRE LIVES RUNNING FROM REGRETS AND HIDING THEIR SHAME.  GUILT-DRIVEN PEOPLE ALLOW THEIR PAST TO CONTROL THEIR FUTURE.  THEY ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY PUNISHING THEMSELVES.  WHEN CAIN SINNED BY KILLING HIS BROTHER ABLE, HIS GUILT SEPARATED HIM FROM GOD’S PRESENCE AND GOD SAID, “YOU WILL BE A RESTLESS WANDERER ON THE EARTH.” GEN 4:12 (NIV)  THAT  DESCRIBES MOST PEOPLE TODAY – WANDERING THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT PURPOSE.  WE ALL TO A DEGREE ARE PRODUCTS OF OUR PAST BUT WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRISONERS OF OUR PAST.  GOD’S PURPOSE IS NOT LIMITED TO YOUR PAST.  HE TURNED A MURDER CALLED MOSES INTO A GREAT LEADER AND A COWARD NAME GIDEON INTO A COURAGEOUS HERO.

B)   OTHER PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN BY FEAR.  FEAR CAN BE A RESULT O A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE, UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS, GROWING UP IN A HIGH CONTROL HOME OR EVEN A GENETIC PREPOSITIONAL.  REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE, FEAR DRIVEN PEOPLE OFTEN MISS OUT ON GREAT OPPORTUNITIES BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID TO VENTURE OUT.  FEAR CAN BE A SELF-IMPOSED PRISON THAT CAN KEEP YOU FROM BECOMING ALL THAT GOD INTENDS FOR YOU TO BE.  THE BIBLE SAYS THAT “WELL-FORMED LOVE BANISHES FEAR.  SINCE FEAR IS CRIPPLING, A FEARFUL LIFE – FEAR OF DEATH, FEAR OF JUDGMENT – IS ONE NOT YET FULLY FORMED IN LOVE.” 1JOHN 4:18 (MSG)

C)   MANY PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN BY THE NEED FOR APPROVAL.  THEY ALLOW THE EXPECTATIONS OF PARENTS OR SPOUSES OR CHILDREN OR TEACHERS OR FRIENDS TO CONTROL THEIR LIVES.  OTHERS ARE WORRIED ABOUT PEER-PRESSURE, CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THEIR FRIENDS MAY THINK.  RICK WARREN SAYS THAT HE DOESN’T KNOW ALL THE KEYS TO SUCCESS BY THAT ONE KEY TO FAILURE IS TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE.   TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE IS A GUARANTEED WAY TO MISS GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE.  JESUS SAID, “NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS.”5   RICK WARREN’S BOOK “A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE” TAKES YOU ON A 40 DAY JOURNEY TO SHOW YOU HOW TO LIVE A PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE – A LIFE GUIDED AND, CONTROLLED AND DIRECTED BY GOD’S PURPOSES FOR YOUR LIFE.  RICK WARREN SAYS THAT “NOTHING MATTERS MORE THAN KNOWING GOD’S PURPOSES FOR YOUR LIFE, AND NOTHING CAN COMPENSATE FOR NOT KNOWING THEM – NOT SUCCESS, WEALTH, FAME OR PLEASURE.  WITHOUT A PURPOSE LIFE IS MOTION WITHOUT MEANING, ACTIVITY WITHOUT DIRECTION, AND EVENTS WITHOUT REASON.  WITHOUT A PURPOSE, LIFE IS TRIVIAL, PETTY AND POINTLESS. “

V)   WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE? KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE GIVES MEANING TO YOUR LIFE.  KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE SIMPLIFIES YOUR LIFE. KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE BRINGS FOCUS TO YOUR LIFE. KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE MOTIVATES YOUR LIFE. KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE PREPARES YOU FOR ETERNITY.  LETS TAKE THEM ONE AT A TIME.

A)   KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE GIVES MEANING TO YOUR LIFE.  WHEN LIFE HAS MEANING YOU CAN BEAR ALMOST ANYTHING, WITHOUT IT NOTHING IS BEARABLE.  WITHOUT GOD, LIFE HAS NO PURPOSE, AND WITHOUT PURPOSE, LIFE HAS NO MEANING.  WITHOUT MEANING LIFE HAS NO SIGNIFICANCE AND HOPE.  ISAIAH COMPLAINED: “I HAVE LABORED TO NO PURPOSE; I HAVE SPENT MY STRENGTH IN VAIN AND FOR NOTHING.” ISA 49:4 JOB SAID, “MY LIFE DRAGS BY – DAY AFTER HOPELESS DAY. JOB 7:6 (LB) AND “I GIVE UP; I AM TIRED OF LIVING.  LEAVE ME ALONE.  MY LIFE MAKES NO SENSE.” JOB 7:16 (TEV) THE GREATEST TRAGEDY IS NO DEATH BUT LIFE WITHOUT PURPOSE.

B)   KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE SIMPLIFIES YOUR LIFE.  YOUR PURPOSE DEFINES YOU.  IT DEFINES WHAT YOU DO AND WHAT YOU DO NOT DO.  IT BECOMES A STANDARD TO DEFINE WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE ESSENTIAL AND IMPORTANT AND WHICH ONES ARE UNIMPORTANT.  IT ALLOWS YOU TO PRIORITIZE.   PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW THEIR PURPOSE OFTEN TRY TOO HARD – THAT CAUSES STRESS, FATIGUE AND CONFLICT. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DO EVERYTHING PEOPLE WANT YOU TO DO.  ACTIVITY IS NOT NECESSARILY PURPOSE.  THE BIBLE SAYS THAT “A PRETENTIOUS SHOWY LIFE IS AN EMPTY LIFE; A PLAIN AND SIMPLE LIFE IS A FULL LIFE.” PROV 13:7 (MSG)

C)   KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE BRINGS FOCUS TO YOUR LIFE.  IT ALLOWS YOU TO CONCENTRATE YOUR ENERGY ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT. WE PLAY TRIVIAL PURSUIT WITH OUR LIVES.  YOU BECOME EFFECTIVE, BY BEING SELECTIVE.  LIGHT IS A GOOD ILLUSTRATION OF THIS.  UNFOCUSED LIGHT HAS VERY LITTLE POWER, BUT LIGHT FOCUSED AS A LASER CAN CUT THROUGH STEEL OR EVEN BRING DOWN MISSELS TRAVELING THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE ON THEIR WAY TO A TARGET. THE BIBLE SAYS, “DON’T LIVE CARELESSLY, UNTHINKINGLY.  MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THE MASTER WANTS.” EPH 5:17 (MSG) THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID “I AM FOCUSING ALL MY ENERGIES ON THIS ONE THING; FORGETTING THE PAST AND LOOKING FORWARD TO WHAT LIES AHEAD.” PHIL 3:13 (NLT) IN ANOTHER PLACE PAUL SAID, “LET’S KEEP FOCUSED UPON THE GOAL, THOSE OF US WHO WANT EVERYTHING THAT GOD HAS FOR US.” PHIL 3:15 (MSG)

D)   KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE MOTIVATES YOUR LIFE.   PURPOSE PRODUCES PASSION.  NOTHING ENERGIZES US LIKE A CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSE THAT WE IDENTIFY WITH. IS IT USUALLY MEANINGLESS WORK, NOT OVERWORK, THAT WEARS US DOWN, SAPS OUR STRENGTH AND ROBS OUR JOY.   GEORGE BENARD SHAW WROTE: “THIS IS THE TRUE JOY OF LIFE:  THE BEING USED UP FOR A PURPOSE RECOGNIZED BY YOURSELF AS A MIGHTY ONE; BEING A FORCE OF NATURE INSTEAD OF A FEVERISH, SELFISH LITTLE CLOT OF AILMENTS AND GRIEVANCES, COMPLAINING THAT THE WORLD WILL NOT DEVOTE ITSELF TO MAKING YOUR HAPPY.”

E)    KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE PREPARES YOU FOR ETERNITY. MANY PEOPLE SPEND THEIR ENTIRE LIVES TRYING TO CREATE A LASTING LEGACY.  THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY ABOUT THEM WHEN THEY ARE GONE.  WHAT ULTIMATELY MATTERS IS NOT WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY ABOUT US BUT WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT US.  WILL WE HEAR HIM SAY: “WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.”  IN COLLEGE, JAMES DOBSON, FOUNDER OF FOCUS ON THE FAMILY MINISTRY WANTED TO BECOME THE SCHOOL’S TENNIS CHAMPION.  HE FELT PROUD WHEN HIS TROPHY WAS DISPLAYED IN THE SCHOOLS TROPHY CABINET.  YEARS LATER SOMEONE MAILED HIM THAT TROPHY.  THEY HAD FOUND IT IN A TRASH CAN.  JIM SAID, “GIVEN ENOUGH TIME, ALL YOUR TROPHIES WILL BE TRASHED BY SOMEONE ELSE.”  SOLOMON SAID “I AM DISGUSTED THAT I MUST LEAVE THE FRUITS OF MY HARD WORK TO OTHERS. (ECC. 2:17) LIVING TO CREATE A LEGACY ON EARTH IS A SHORT SIGHTED GOAL.  A WISER USE OF OUR TIME IS TO BUILD A LEGACY FOR ETERNITY.

VI)  CONCLUSION – ONE DAY WE WILL ALL STAND BEFORE GOD AND WE WILL HAVE TO GIVE AND ACCOUNT OF OUR LIVES.

A)    FIRST WE WILL BE ASKED, “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY SON, JESUS CHRIST?”  GOD WILL NOT BE CONCERNED WITH YOUR DOCTRINAL VIEWS BUT WHAT DID YOU DO WITH JESUS.  DID YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND CONFESS YOUR SINS AND ACCEPT THAT HE DIED IN YOU PLACE.  DID YOU ACCEPT HIM AS YOUR SAVIOR?  JESUS SAID, “I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.  NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” JOHN 14:6 (NIV)

B)   SECONDLY, YOU WILL BE ASKED, “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH WHAT I GAVE YOU?”   WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE – ALL THE GIFTS, TALENTS, OPPORTUNITIES, RELATIONSHIPS AND RESOURCES I GAVE YOU?  DID YOU SPEND THEM ON YOURSELF, OR DID YOU USE THEM FOR THE PURPOSES I MADE YOU FOR?”

C)   PREPARING FOR THESE TWO QUESTIONS IS THE GOAL OF THE GOSPEL AND RICK WARREN’S BOOK.  THE FIRST QUESTION WILL DETERMINE WHERE YOU SPEND ETERNITY   THE SECOND QUESTION WILL DETERMINE WHAT YOU DO IN ETERNITY.

D)   LIVING LIFE ON PURPOSE IS THE PATH TO PEACE IN THIS LIFE.  ISA 26:3 SAYS “YOU, LORD, GIVE PERFECT PEACE TO THOSE WHO KEEP THEIR PURPOSE FIRM AND PUT THEIR TRUST IN YOU.” (TEV)

 

 

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