A PURPOSEFUL PURSUIT
Sermon Notes (prepared by Mary Ann Lee):
Bob shared a story about going sailing recently on a 40 foot sailboat with a friend. He thought they were just going out for leisurely sailing. When he and several of his children got there, he learned they would be a participant in a sailboat race. Things were quite different. There was a specific course to follow - guidelines had to be obeyed - you had to really pay attention to what was going on and what you were to do. You had to stay focused on the goal - the finish line. You had to constantly be evaluating on how things were going to make sure you were on course and doing your best. Even though it was exciting, there was no time to rest and sit back and do nothing. When we were finished, my friend's son said, "Now that was sailing with a purpose!"
- The question then needs to be asked, "How can we be more purposeful in our Christian life?"
- I will use three words this morning: Know, Grow, Go We begin by praying, "God, show me the direction You want me to go."
* Know: We need to be more purposeful about knowing God.
- Eph 1:17 - meditate on His Word - His attributes, His mercy and goodness.
- If someone asks you to tell them who God is, would you be able to describe Him using His attributes? Usually what comes into your mind immediately is what you consider the most important things about God. But does that really begin to tell someone who God is? He is infinite, never changes, self-sufficient, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, wise, faithful, good, just, merciful, gracious, loving, holy, glorious--and the list goes on.
- Our ability to know God and then in turn worship Him becomes more effective as we understand His attributes. Learning who God is begins us on understanding and knowing how to worship Him for who He is.
*Grow: We must become more purposeful about growing into being His disciple. Ask the question, "Who am I in Christ?"
- Spend time knowing God, but then know who you are in Christ.
- Growing happens when you can say that you are God's child, His friend, His disciple, One with Him, member in Christ's body, united with Him, redeemed, have direct access, free from condemnation, anointed and sealed, citizen of heaven, branch of Jesus, chosen, anointed to bear fruit, belong in the temple of Christ etc. And then you can say with confidence, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13.
- Col. 2:6-7 reminds us that we must stay rooted in Christ. We grow there. Good roots=good growth.
- We have to also know our strengths and weaknesses to grow. We must take inventory of our lives and allow the Spirit to show us where we need to grow - what we need to weed out.
- We must keep our eyes on the goal - which is to glorify God.
- We must honestly evaluate to see if we are running the race according to God's will. Phil 1:6 - or are we just leisurely sailing around with no real purpose.
- We must rely on God to show us where we should grow and then do it and change what he shows us needs to be changed. Then we grow.
*Go - We must become more purposeful about going and sharing about Jesus.
- We are told to do this in Matt 28:18-20 - Go and make disciples, baptizing , teaching them to obey "as I have commanded you." We are commanded to do this with His promise that he will be with us.
- We are to be His witnesses. Romans 1:16 says we are not to be ashamed of the Gospel. Witnessing is sharing faith. My "knowing" God, my "growing" in God and my "going" to tell others.
- Why is the "going" so often the weakest part?' Why is so difficult?'
- I was given a book "Share Jesus Without Fear." I personally am working on this part of my life. Do you need to do this more?
*** In conclusion; "How are you doing?
- Are you ready to step out and live less like you are just sailing around and more like you are racing toward the finish line with a clear goal in mind?
- Are you purposeful in your Christian life?
- Are you KNOWING, GROWING AND GOING? We all are called to do this.