Purpose Driven Life (part 3)

PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Part 3)

SEEING LIFE FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC) 

I)     INTRODUCTION – A FEW WEEKS AGO WE STARTED THE SERIES ON THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE BASED UPON THE BOOK OF THE SAME TITLE BY RICK WARREN.  THIS BOOK IS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLERS LIST WITH OVER 6,000,000 COPIES SOLD.   UP TO THIS POINT WE LEARNED THAT:

A)   IF WE WANT TO DISCOVER OUR PURPOSE FOR BEING HERE WE HAVE TO CONSULT WITH THE GOD THAT CREATED US.  HE CREATED US FOR HIS PURPOSE AND WE CANNOT DISCOVER HIS PURPOSE BY LOOKING WITHIN OURSELVES. WE ALSO LEARNED THAT WE CANNOT FIND GOD’S PURPOSE BY TRYING TO USE GOD TO ACHIEVE OUR OWN PURPOSES.

B)   YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT! YOUR PARENTS MAY NOT HAVE PLANNED FOR YOU TO BE BORN BUT GOD DID.  HE WAS NOT SURPRISED BY YOUR BIRTH.  IN FACT, HE PLANNED YOUR DAYS IN ADVANCE, DETERMINING IN ADVANCE THE DAY OF YOUR BIRTH AND THE DAY THAT YOU WILL DIE. GOD’S MOTIVE FOR CREATING YOU WAS TO EXPRESS HIS LOVE IN YOU AND THROUGH YOU.

C)   WE ALSO TALKED ABOUT “WHAT DRIVES YOUR LIFE?”  EVERYBODY’S LIFE IS DRIVEN BY SOMETHING. SOLOMN OBSERVED THAT ENVY AND JEALOUSY ARE THE DRIVING FORCE OF SUCCESS IN THIS WORLD. (ECC 4:4 (LB)) THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT DRIVE PEOPLE.

1)     MANY PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN BY GUILT.  THEY SPEND THEIR ENTIRE LIVES RUNNING FROM REGRETS AND HIDING THEIR SHAME. THEY ARE OFTEN UNCONSCIOUSLY PUNISHING THEMSELVES.  WE ALL TO A DEGREE ARE PRODUCTS OF OUR PAST BUT WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRISONERS OF OUR PAST.  JESUS SAID “YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.”

2)    OTHER PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN BY FEAR.  FEAR CAN BE A SELF-IMPOSED PRISON THAT CAN KEEP YOU FROM BECOMING ALL THAT GOD INTENDS FOR YOU TO BE.  THE BIBLE SAYS, GOD’S LOVE, PERFECTED IN US TAKES AWAY ALL FEAR. (1JOHN 4:18)

3)    MANY PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN BY THE NEED FOR APPROVAL.  THEY ALLOW THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS TO CONTROL THEIR LIVES.     TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE IS A GUARANTEED WAY TO MISS GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE.  JESUS SAID, “NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS.  THE ONE WE SHOULD BE TRYING TO PLEASE IS THAT GOD THAT GIVES US LIFE AND PURPOSE.

D)   WE DISCUSSED SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE?

1)    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 MEANINGLESS.

2)    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 WHICH ONES ARE UNIMPORTANT.

3)    KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE BRINGS FOCUS TO YOUR LIFE.  IT ALLOWS YOU TO CONCENTRATE YOUR ENERGY AND RESOURCES ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT.  YOU BECOME EFFECTIVE, BY BEING SELECTIVE.

4)    KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE MOTIVATES YOUR LIFE.   PURPOSE PRODUCES PASSION.  NOTHING ENERGIZES US LIKE A CLEARLY DEFINED PURPOSE.

5)    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 WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT US.  WILL WE HEAR HIM SAY: “WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT?”

II)    SEEING LIFE FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW.

A)   SOMEONE HAS SAID, “WE DON’T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THEM AS WE ARE.”

B)     PASTOR RICK WARREN ASKED PEOPLE HOW THEY VIEW THEIR LIVES AND RECEIVED MANY INTERESTING RESPONSES:  LIFE IS A CIRCUS, A MINEFIELD, A ROLLY COASTER, A PUZZLE, A SYMPHONY  A JOURNEY, A DANCE OR A GAME OF CARDS, IN WHICH YOU HAVE TO PLAY WITH THE HAND YOU ARE DEALT.  FOR OTHERS LIFE JUST HAPPENS AND YOU ARE AN OBSERVER.

C)    THE WAY YOU SEE YOUR LIFE INFLUENCES HOW YOU LIFE  YOUR LIFE,      HOW YOU USE YOUR TIME, SPEND YOUR MONEY, USE YOUR GOD GIVEN TALENTS AND THE QUALITY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.

D)    JAMES 4:4 ASKS THE QUESTION: “WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?”  TO FULFILL THE PURPOSE THAT GOD HAS FOR YOU, YOU WILL HAVE TO CHALLENGE THIS WORLD’S WISDOM AND REPLACE IT WITH A BIBLICAL MODEL.  ROMANS 12:2 “DO NOT CONFORM YOURSELVES TO THE STANDARDS OF THIS WORLD, BUT LET GOD TRANSFORM YOU INWARDLY BY A COMPLETE CHANGE OF YOUR MIND.  THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD.” (1)

III)   THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF LIFE IS THREE-FOLD: LIFE IS A TEST, LIFE IS A TRUST AND A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT.  THESE TRUTHS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF A PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE.  LETS TAKE THEM ONE AT A TIME:

IV)  LIFE IS A TEST.

A)      THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, GOD CONTINUALLY TESTS PEOPLE’S CHARACTER, FAITH, LOVE, INTEGRITY, AND LOYALTY  WORDS LIKE TRIALS, TEMPTATIONS AND TESTING APPEAR OVER 200 TIMES IN THE BIBLE.

B)    GOD TESTED ADAM AND EVE SETTING THEM IN A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN WITH EVERYTHING THING THEY COULD NEED OR WANT EXCEPT THAT THEY WERE FORBIDDEN TO EAT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

C)   GOD TESTED ABRAHAM BY ASKING HIM TO SACRIFICE HIS SON ISSAC.

D)   GOD TESTED JOSEPH, RUTH, ESTER, DANIEL, SAUL AND THE APOSTLE PAUL.

E)   CHARACTER IS BOTH DEVELOPED AND REVEALED BY TESTS.  YOU ARE ALWAYS BEING TESTED AND GOD IS ALWAYS WATCHING.

F)    YOU WILL BE TESTED BY MAJOR CHANGES IN YOUR WORLD: DELAYED OR UNKEPT PROMISES, SEEMINGLY INSURMOUNTABLE PROBLEMS, SEEMLING UNANSWERED PRAYERS, UNDESERVED CRITICISM, SENSELESS TRAGEDIES AND UNREWARDED SERVICE TO OTHERS.

G)   GOD TESTS OUR FAITH THROUGH OUR PROBLEMS.  HE TESTS OUR HOPE BY HOW WE HANDLE OUR POSSESSIONS AND OUR LOVE THROUGH OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

H)    AN IMPORTANT TEST THAT WE ALL FACE IS WHEN WE CANNOT FEEL THE PRESENCE OF GOD.  THE BIBLE SAYS THAT “GOD WITHDREW FROM HEZEKIAH IN ORDER TO TEST HIM AND TO SEE WHAT WAS REALLY IN HIS HEART.”

I)     WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT LIFE IS A TEST YOU WILL ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT NOTHING IS INSIGNIFICANT, THAT EVERY DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GROW, TO BUILD YOUR CHARACTER TO DEMONSTRATE GOD’S LOVE TO WORSHIP GOD.

J)    THE BIBLE SAYS THAT “GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISE, AND HE WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO BE TESTED BEYOND YOUR POWER TO REMAIN FIRM; AT THE TIME YOU ARE PUT TO THE TEST, HE WILL GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH TO ENDURE IT, AND PROVIDE YOU WITH A WAY OUT. “(3)

V)   LIFE IS A TRUST.

A)    OUR TIME ON EARTH, OUR STRENGTH, OUR OPPORTUNITIES  OUR RELATIONSHIPS, OUR RESOURCES, OUR MONEY ARE ALL GIFTS FROM  GOD.   THE BIBLE SAYS “THE EARTH IS THE LORDS AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF AND ALL THEY THAT DWELL THEREIN.”

B)    OUR CULTURAL VALUES SAY IF YOU DON’T OWN SOMETHING THEN DON’T BE CONCERNED ABOUT TAKING CARE OF IT.  CHRISTIANS ARE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD   THE BIBLE SAYS, “THOSE WHO ARE TRUSTED WITH SOMETHING VALUABLE MUST SHOW THEY ARE WORTHY OF THAT TRUST.” (8)

C)    JESUS TOLD THE STORY OF A BUSINESS MAN WHO WENT AWAY ON A LENGTHY JOURNEY AND ENTRUSTS HIS WEALTH TO HIS SERVANTS WHILE HE IS GONE.  WHEN HE RETURNS HE EVALUATES THE PERFORMANCE OF EACH OF HIS SERVANTS AND REWARDS THEM ACCORDINGLY.

D)   PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE THAT MONEY IS BOTH A TEST AND A TRUST FROM GOD.  GOD USES FINANCES TO TEACH US TO TRUST HIM, AND FOR MANY PEOPLE, MONEY IS THE GREATEST TEST OF ALL.  GOD WATCHES HOW WE USE OUR MONE TO SEE HOW TRUST WORTHY  WE ARE.  THE BIBLE SAYS, “IF YOU ARE UNTRUSTWORTHY ABOUT WORLDLY WEALTH, WHO WILL TRUST YOU WITH THE TRUE RICHES OF HEAVEN?” (11)  LET ME ASK YOU, “IS THE WAY YOU MANAGE YOUR MONEY PREVENTING GOD FROM DOING MORE IN YOUR LIFE?”

E)   AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE ON EARTH YOU WILL BE EVALUATED FOR EVERYTHING GOD HAS ENTRUSTED YOUR WITH. EVEN HOW YOU HANDLE YOUR DAILY CHORES HAS ETERNAL IMPLICATIONS.   JESUS SAID IN LUKE 16:10 THAT IF YOU ARE NOT FAITHFUL IN THE LITTLE THINGS, YOU WON’T BE FAITHFUL IN LARGE RESPONSIBILITIES.

VI)  LIFE IS TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT.

A)     PS 39:4 (NLT) “LORD REMIND ME HOW BRIEF MY TIME ON EARTH WILL BE.  REMIND ME THAT MY DAYS ARE NUMBERED, AND THAT MY LIFE IS FLEETING AWAY.   PS 119:19 (TEV)  “I AM HERE ON EARTH FOR JUST A LITTLE WHILE.”

B)   TO HAVE THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE OF OUR LIFE YOU SHOULD NEVER FORGET THAT 1) COMPARED TO ETERNITY, LIFE IS EXTREMELY BRIEF.  2) EARTH IS ONLY A TEMPORARY RESIDENCE – YOU WON’T BE HERE VERY LONG.

C)    THE PSALMIST DAVID PRAYED: “LORD, HELP ME TO REALIZE HOW BRIEF MY TIME ON EARTH WILL BE.  HELP ME TO KNOW THAT I AM HERE FOR BUT A BRIEF MOMENT MORE.” (2)

D)   THE BIBLE COMPARES LIFE ON EARTH TO A TEMPORARILY LIVING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.   THE BIBLE USES TERMS LIKE:  ALIEN, PILGRIM, FOREIGNER, STRANGER, VISITOR OR TRAVELER TO DESCRIBE OUR BRIEF STAY ON EARTH.

E)    A CHRISTIAN’S CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN.    GOD IS VERY BLUNT ON LIVING FOR THE HERE AND KNOW AND ADOPTING THE VALUES, PRIORITIES, AND LIFESTYLES OF THE WORLD AROUND US.  THE BIBLE SAYS, “YOU’RE CHEATING ON GOD.  IF ALL YOU WANT IS YOUR OWN WAY, FLIRTING WITH THE WORLD EVERY CHANCE YOU GET, YOU END UP ENEMIES OF GOD AND HIS WAY.” (6)

F)    THE BIBLE SAYS THAT WE ARE CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS.  WE ARE HERE ON EARTH TO REPRESENT OUR KING AND HIS KINGDOM.  “THE THINGS WE SEE NOW ARE HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW.  BUT THE THINGS WE CAN’T SEE NOW WILL LAST FOREVER.” (10)  THE BIBLE SAYS, “WE FIX OUR EYES NOT ON WHAT IS SEEN, BUT ON WHAT IS UNSEEN.  FOR WHAT IS SEEN IS TEMPORARY, BUT WHAT IS UNSEEN IS ETERNAL.” (12)

G)   PAUL WAS FAITHFUL, YET HE ENDED UP IN PRISON.  JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS FAITHFUL, YET HE ENDED UP BEHEADED.  MILLIONS OF FAITHFUL PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MARTYRED.  THEY SEEMING LOST EVERYTHING.  THEY CAME TO THE END OF THEIR LIFE WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT.  BUT THE END OF LIFE IS NOT THE END.  IT IS THE BEGINNING OF ETERNITY.

H)    THE BIBLE SAYS “ALL THESE GREAT PEOPLE DIED IN THE FAITH.  THEY DID NOT GET THE THINGS THAT GOD HAD PROMISED HIS PEOPLE, BUT THEY SAW THEM COMING FAR IN THE FUTURE AND WERE GLAD.  THE SAID THEY WERE LIKE VISITORS AND STRANGERS ON EARTH…THEY WERE WAITING FOR A BETTER COUNTRY – A HEAVENLY COUNTRY.  SO GOD IS NO ASHAMED TO BE CALLED THEIR GOD, BECAUSE HE HAS PREPARED A CITY FOR THEM.” (14)

I)      2Co 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

VII) CONCLUSION – I REMIND YOU AGAIN TODAY AS LAST WEEK THAT ONE DAY WE WILL ALL STAND BEFORE GOD AND WE WILL HAVE TO GIVE AND ACCOUNT OF OUR LIVES.  THERE WILL BE TWO OVERRIDING QUESTIONS:

A)    1ST 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)   2ND, YOU WILL BE ASKED, “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH WHAT I GAVE YOU?”   WHAT DID YOU DO WITH 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)   THE FIRST QUESTION WILL DETERMINE WHERE YOU SPEND ETERNITY   THE SECON’O’LD QUESTION WILL DETERMINE HOW YOUR REWARDS AND WHAT YOU DO IN ETERNITY.

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