Posts Tagged ‘Purpose

31
Oct
16

Our Plans And God’s Purposes

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. — Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. — Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

We think we know.  We think we’ve got it all together.  We think that we’ll just be-bop through life as though we are in charge and everything will just come together.  We make plans to do this and plans to do that.  How we love to plan.  We plan our days.  We plan our futures.  We plan parties.  We hire wedding planners.  We make weekend plans.   We obsess over things like retirement planning.  We carry around daily planners.  We are a people who love to plan things.  We calculate and save and coordinate.  Why?  Because we have plans.

What happens when our plans go awry?  What happens when that bright future we planned out is interrupted or derailed?  What happens when life smacks us in the face so hard that all of our plans come crashing down around us?  We come to realize that the second half of these two proverbs is true.  We can make all kinds of plans, but God is the ultimate Planner.  He is our Life Coordinator.  The Lord determines our steps and His purposes prevail.  We often throw around the phrase (especially in difficult circumstances) that “everything happens for a reason.”  That is true!  We may not understand the reasons, but God does.  He determines our steps.  His purposes prevail.  He has His reasons for the way our lives go.  Our plans may fail, but God’s purposes are perfect.

The New Testament tells us that God will work everything together for good if we love Him and live according to His will (Romans 8:28, paraphrase).  May our trust and faith be in Him who knows and directs our futures.  May we understand that He is good and His love endures forever.  May we be faithful to Jesus and may the Holy Spirit guide us as we journey through this life.  May you have peace today and may your plans align with the One whose purposes will prevail.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I pray that You would reveal to me Your will for my life today. I want to know what it is that You desire for me to do. I pray that You will give me the strength and the courage to go ahead and do it. In Jesus’ name, amen.

06
Sep
16

Your God Is Too Boring

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is based on Matthew 14:22-33.

08
Aug
16

God’s Purposes and Plans

John 2:18-22 (NIV)

The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

After Jesus cleared the temple, the Jews were incredulous. They wanted to know what sign He could show them that would have given Him the authority to do what He had done. Jesus then prophesies about His Resurrection. They had no idea what He was talking about and apparently, neither did His disciples. It wasn’t until after He was raised from the dead that they remembered and believed.

Jesus knew why He had come and what He was going to go through for the sake of the world. He understood His purpose and He resolutely set about accomplishing it. He knew He would suffer and die. He knew that He would be raised from the dead. The Father didn’t keep Him guessing about how things were going to go. It was their plan all along. Though those around Him, friend and foe alike, failed to understand His purpose and God’s plan, Jesus knew what He had come to do. As in all things, God’s plan prevailed and Jesus went to the cross to die for humanity and He was raised on the third day by God the Father. It really happened! Now, we await the fulfilling of the prophecies regarding His return. Until that day comes, let us commit ourselves to God’s purposes and plans for our lives that we might win people to the Kingdom.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I give you praise today for Your prevailing purposes and plans. I want to go where You lead and obey what You have commanded today. Thank You for Your love, grace and blessings in my life, amen.

06
Jun
16

A Clear Sense Of Purpose

Luke 13:31-35 (NIV)

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

One of the most interesting things to me about this passage from Luke is that the Pharisees, who were very jealous of Jesus, come to Him and tell Him to leave because Herod wanted to kill Him.  What is interesting is that in just a few chapters, it is the Pharisees and teachers of the Law who begin conspiring together to plot to kill Jesus!  Jesus, having a clear sense of His purpose, refuses to yield to fear.  The Pharisees may have been trying to scare Jesus out of His ministry.  He would not quit.  He would not waver from His calling.  He had been sent to do a job by His Heavenly Father and no amount of opposition would keep Him from fulfilling His mission.
What kinds of things scare you?  What sort of opposition makes it hard for you to fulfill your mission?  God has a plan for your life and a mission for you.  Are there forces that try to get you to quit?  What kinds of things do you fear that will prevent you from accomplishing God’s purposes for you?  Do not fear!  Do not be afraid!  The Lord is with you and He will keep you from all harm.  Nothing can separate you from His love!  Though you may be mocked for your faith or persecuted for your beliefs, you must stand firm.  You must not waver from your calling.  God wants to use you to reach this world for Jesus Christ.  God wants you to shine your light into the darkness.  Do not let anyone extinguish your light.  Instead, shine it for all to see.
PRAYER: God in Heaven, help me to have a clear sense of the purpose that You have for my life. I want to be like Jesus who knew why He came and what He came to do. Help me to live my life on purpose. Amen.
24
May
16

The Will And Plans Of God

Zechariah 4:8-14 (NIV)

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it.Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.

10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”

11 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?”

12 Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?”

13 He replied, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I said.

14 So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”

 
Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah and the angel told Zechariah that Zerubbabel would finish building the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. What had once seemed impossible would be a cause for great rejoicing. When the people of Israel and Judah had been carried off into exile, they probably had no idea that they would one day return to rebuild the temple. But God had other plans.
It works this way in our lives, doesn’t it? A door will close to a situation or a possibility and we think, “Well, that’s the end of that!” But God has other plans. We would do well to ensure that we are in the center of His will. His plans are perfect and they never fail. If we are constantly seeking His will, we will never be disappointed. Instead of trying to accomplish our own purposes and plans, let us seek to fulfill the plans of God. He knows what He’s doing! We need to be more like Jesus who prayed, “Not my will be done, but Yours.” Just when thing seem bleak and hopeless, God works His will out for the best. Don’t give up on God or your faith in Him. Let Him accomplish His purposes in your life.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I want to seek Your will today. I want to be right in the middle of Your will so that I may accomplish Your purposes and plans. Help me to remember that Your ways and plans are perfect. I may not understand them right now, but I know that You will work them out for  good. Thank You in Jesus’ name, amen.
24
Apr
16

God For The Christian

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is based on Matthew 4:18-22.  https://vimeo.com/120206922 is the link to the video referenced in the sermon.

03
Nov
15

The Purpose Of Life

1 Kings 18:30-39 (NIV)

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you,Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

Elijah didn’t care about what the people thought of him on this day.  He only cared about what people thought about God.  His heart beat with a fiery passion for the living God.  Listen to his prayer:

Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you,Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. – 1 Kings 18:36-37 (NIV)

​Are we living our lives for the purpose of knowing God and making Him known to the world?  That was Elijah’s passionate purpose.  ​He wanted the hearts of God’s people to return to God.  He wanted the people to believe in God.  He wanted the people to worship the one true God.  So he set up an incredible object lesson with an altar, a bull and the fire of God.  All for the purpose of making God known.
What is your purpose in life?  Is it to know God or to make money?  Is it to love God or to love things?  Is it to love your family or to love stuff?  Is it to make God known or to make a name for yourself?  So many are searching for purpose in this life and maybe you’re one of them.  Might I suggest a higher and nobler purpose than just accumulating wealth and stuff?  Live your life to have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.  Live your life to make Jesus famous and to make Him known to the world.  You will discover a relationship that never ends and a purpose more fulfilling than anything the world can offer.
 
PRAYER: Lord God, I want to know You more each day.  I want to experience Your love in my life each day.  I want others to experience Your love in their lives.  Only You can satisfy my deepest longings for love, acceptance and forgiveness.  Help me to know You and make You known.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus…amen.



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