November 2021

Why Am I Here (Called to Bless) pt.5

All Scripture taken from the New Living Translation

We are almost done with a sermon series on discovering the building blocks that help shape what our calling in life is… The calling that answers the age-old question, “Why Am I Here?”

This week we are looking at the fourth building block that helps make up our calling in life and that is… We are called to bless… We are called to bless other people!

So how do we do that? We bless other people by serving them… There are a hundred different ways to serve those around us during our daily routine…

A passage we looked at when we started this series confirms this…

Ephesians 2:10“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”

Each one of us is a masterpiece created by God, unique in our own way that He wanted us to be so that we could do the good things He planned for us long ago.

The good things would be serving others… Blessing those around us… We are called to be a blessing to others by doing good things…

It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, janitor, doctor, lawyer, retired, or a student…

If you are a follower of Jesus your role in life is to serve others and to serve God.

Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Do you know what this says to me? Everything we do needs to be a blessing…

Mundane tasks now become meaningful tasks when done out of our love for Jesus… Everything we do now becomes significant!

When you step up and do something at work that nobody else wanted to do, that is being a blessing to your employer and God will take notice…We don’t do it for recognition… We do it because it’s the right thing to do and it is from a servant’s heart… A heart of blessing!

When each one of us decided to put our trust in Jesus… At that moment we were called to serve… Called to make a difference with our lives!

Galatians 5:13 – “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

Society, the world, has it all wrong… Society tells us that if we want to find true happiness… It can only be found by putting the focus on ourselves (Now there is a time a place for this if needed) …

Society tells us that if we focus on ourselves, we will find true happiness…

True happiness…True joy in life… Comes when the focus is changed from, “It’s all about me to it’s all about serving… Being a blessing.”

You see, God wired us in a way that when we give our lives away that’s when the joy flows into our hearts… 

Because He called us to become like Him… He wants us to be like Him!

Jesus gave it all away at the end… He gave His very life so that we could have life!

Have you noticed the shift in the building blocks of our calling?

Called to be loved is Jesus pouring Himself into us… Called to belong is Jesus bringing us into a family… Called to become is us becoming more like Jesus… And called to serve is giving away what Jesus pours into us… Isn’t that cool?!!?

Let’s look at two secrets on how to have joy in life:

The first is this: Stop focusing on yourself!

Your life may not be where you want it to be, but the more you focus on yourself the more miserable you will be! 

The more you will see things you don’t like about yourself and the more you will compare yourself to others… Seeing them as being in a place you want to be!

When we shift our focus from inward to outward, it’s no longer “All about me” it now becomes all about God and serving others!

The more we give our lives away to help others, the more joy flows into our lives from our Creator… It’s how God designed us!!

Philippians 2:13-17 – “13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God,[a] just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.”

Notice how Paul is connecting service to joy? Our faithful service is actually an offering to God and He will pour His joy into our lives as a result.

It is God Himself who gives us the desire and power to do what pleases Him, and what pleases Him is when we look out for those around us… Don’t complain, don’t argue, but serve others… 

Be the blessing to those around you… And in doing so we will share in the joy of the Lord!

There’s a story in Matthew Chapter 25 where Jesus talks about taking care of those in need and He says, “Whatever you do for the least of these you do for Me.”

Mankind is God’s most cherished of all creation and the way we treat others is the way we are treating Jesus Himself… We. Are. To. Be. A. Blessing.

Have you ever noticed that people who are inconsiderate and not helpful are not truly happy in life? They’re missing out on the joy God has for them!!

Philippians 2:4-54Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take interest in others, too. 5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Again, Jesus gave everything for the salvation of mankind!

Church, we must be looking out for those around us… This is what restores people…

It builds bridges and creates diversity among us when we look out for the interests of all those around us!

The first secret to having true joy in our lives is to stop focusing on ourselves.

The second is: Use our gifts to help others.

When we use the gifts that God gives us to help others it just feels good!

1 Peter 4:10 – God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”

God blesses us each with specific gifts… These gifts are to be used in service for others… We are called to serve with the gifts God gives us!

Not only will this bring joy into our lives when done in an unselfish manner…

It will also help the relationships around us!

Our relationships will get better the more we learn how to serve… What do you mean the more we learn?

Serving others is something we must work at, be intentional about… Look, listen, and observe what is happening around us and when we see an opportunity to bless someone, or to help someone, we do it!

Serving isn’t always easy… It may interrupt our schedule, or the plans we may already have… We must be willing to move when the Holy Spirit prompts us to serve someone…

Last week we talked about how we are called to become like Jesus… Well, Jesus said (Mark 10:45), “…I did not come to be served, but to serve…”

When we take on the attitude of Jesus, we no longer go through life looking out for ourselves and what we can get out of life… 

We will be looking out for those around us and what we can give so we can serve others!

Have you ever noticed that we often go through life wanting to be loved, wanting to be seen, wanting to be popular or interesting to others…? 

And where do those wants get us? Usually nowhere…

God says, I want you to notice what’s going on around you… I want you to love others… To be interested in others… To take notice of others… To be a blessing!

And by doing so I will take care of all your needs and then some says the Lord!

Proverbs 11:25“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

This is a biblical principle that when done out of a pure heart will come to effect in your life!

The most giving people I know are the most blessed! The most giving people I know are the happiest… And they are the most successful in life as well!!

Why? Because God’s blessings will pour out on those who give of themselves… Those who serve others!

In closing…

1 Corinthians 15:58“… Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

The only way to find true joy and fulfillment in life is to give of ourselves…

When we do it from a pure heart, when our motive is pure, and we do it enthusiastically for the Lod it will not be a wasted effort!

Everything we do in the name of Jesus when it comes to serving has a purpose.

And I believe that purpose is two-fold… It has an earthly purpose here in this life and it has an eternal purpose in heaven.

A great way to start serving others is to get involved here at church… Become an usher, greeter, café worker, or even a children’s ministry volunteer…

When you give of yourself the rewards are greater than ever expected!!

Why Am I Here (Called to be Sent) pt.6

All Scripture taken from the New Living Translation

Today we are finishing our series titled, Why Am I Here?

We’ve been looking at five purposes God has for us… Five building blocks that make up who we are to be in Jesus that will help us discover our true calling in life…

Called to be loved is Jesus pouring Himself into us… Called to belong is Jesus bringing us into a family… Called to become is us becoming more like Jesus… And called to bless is giving away what Jesus pours into us…

Have you noticed the shift in the building blocks of our calling?

The fifth calling is that we are all, “Called to be Sent.”

You see, God’s plan for the history of mankind is to gather a family… He is gathering a family that will love and live with Him forever!

This is the theme throughout the entire Bible from the very beginning to the end…

God has been gathering people to Him since the beginning of time…

Ephesians 1:5 – “God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”

You see, all of us are created by God… And all of us are loved by God… But not everybody is a child of God… We must choose to be in His family… It’s a choice!

The Bible uses two different analogies when it comes to putting our trust, our faith in Jesus… Being born again and being adopted into God’s family.

In John chp. 3 Jesus talked about a second birth in life… Being born again into God’s kingdom.

The Apostle Paul often uses the analogy of being adopted into God’s kingdom.

Either way, for this to happen we must willingly choose to follow Jesus… It is an intentional choice we make to become a part of God’s family.

While we are here on this earth, we are given the choice to love or reject God… He does not force Himself on us… It is our choice…

But this choice is what determines our eternal destination… The Bible is very clear about this… And every single person on earth at one point or another has been given the opportunity to accept or reject the message of Jesus…

But for mankind to hear the message of Jesus, others must be sent to proclaim it…

Romans 10:13-15 – 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[a]14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”[b]

The moment we make a conscious decision to follow Jesus… He wants us to share the Good News of His love for mankind with others.

As a follower of Jesus, we have the greatest message in the world to get out!

How to have our past forgiven… How to find the true meaning and purpose for our lives… How to bring restoration into the lives of the brokenhearted… How to secure eternal life with our Creator in heaven!

2 Corinthians 5: 17-20 – 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

The moment we put our trust in Jesus we become new people… And this is a gift from God… There’s nothing we can do to earn this… 

It’s something we simply accept when deciding to follow Jesus!

But God says, now that you’ve tasted and seen, now that you’ve experienced the goodness that I have to offer… The goodness of life that nothing on this earth can satisfy…

Now that you’ve experienced what I have to offer… I want you to share that Good News with others… Now that you and I have been reconciled… I want you to be a part of reconciling others to Me says the Lord!

So, we are now ambassadors for Jesus… We are His representatives… Our changed lives represent His goodness… It represents what forgiveness from our Creator brings!

We don’t realize this, but before we put our trust in Jesus… We were at war with Him spiritually…

And then God makes peace with us through His Son, Jesus.

There’s a story in the Bible where a man comes up to Jesus and he asks, “What is the most important thing in all the Scriptures?”

Jesus replied, the entire Word of God can be hangs on this, “Love God with all your heart and love others as yourself.” (My paraphrase)

The entire Bible can be summed up in that one sentence!!

It’s the Gospel of reconciliation…Be reconciled to God and to each other… Be at peace with God and at peace with others… End the conflict with God and end the conflict with each other…

To be reconciled means the relationship has been restored… Made new again!

Life is all about relationships… Our relationship with God and our relationship with others… 

And once our relationship with our Creator is restored, we are to help others restore their lives back to their Creator… Jesus!

John 20:19-21 – “19 That Sunday evening[a] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

Jesus sends us out as His ambassadors to help with the restoration of the lives of others by bringing the “Ultimate Peace Plan.” 

Peace be with you… As the Father has sent Me… So I am sending you…

Jesus is saying, “As I have been sent from God the Father to earth as an ambassador of His kingdom, to show mankind the love of God…. I am now sending you out into the world with the same message you received from Me.”

This is the ultimate plan for peace… Ordinary people, empowered by God, making a difference wherever they go!

Remember last week we looked at a passage in Philippians chp. 2 about being called to bless, and we read that it is God Himself who gives us the desire and power to do what pleases Him… And what pleases Him is when we look out for those around us.

We don’t reconcile others to Jesus in our own power… It is God who empowers us… 

It is God who gives us the ability to represent Him in the most unimaginable ways!

It is God who gives us the power to make a difference together as a family of His.

This is the kind of stuff… Kingdom stuff… That lasts forever!

There’s nothing we can do that is more important than helping people determine their eternal destiny.

I don’t know if this is how it works, but it’s fun wondering…

Can you imagine being in heaven and then all of a sudden someone comes up to you and says, “Thank you.” Your student ministry was on a summer mission trip and you were cleaing up my yard and what you said about your faith in Jesus and the way I could tell it was for real and not 

fake made me think of how I wanted what you had… So a few weeks after you were gone I put my faith in Jesus!

And I am now with you in heaven!!

This right here is what it means to be called to be sent!!

Before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave a message to His disciples…

Matthew 28:18-1918…I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

This reminds me of the show Star Trek… The theme of the show was that space is the final frontier and they were to boldly go where no man has gone before!

That’s us for the kingdom of God! We are called to be sent to give the message of Jesus to those who have not heard it… To those who do not know Jesus…

It takes boldness and we will often find ourselves in uncharted territory, having conversations with people we never thought we’d be having…

It’s the adventure of a lifetime that gives people the opportunity to choose their eternal destiny.

So, what do you say? Will you be a person who boldly goes where no one has gone before? Or will you leave it up to someone else???

I want to close with a few passages that show how we are all to be a part of sharing the Good News of Jesus with others…

In the Gospel of Luke there is a story of a man Jesus radically set free from the oppression of numerous demons. The man wants to go with Jesus, but he is told this instead…

Luke 8:39 – “… Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So, he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.”

Acts 20:24 – “My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5 to, “…. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”

Some of us needed to hear this today… This is what gives us the ultimate purpose in life… This is the final building block to helping us discover our true calling in life!

There are people all around us who do not know their Creator is trying to get their attention, and He’s looking at you and me to join Him in this mission!

Jesus came to share the love of God with mankind… Jesus came so people could live a fulfilling life in Him… So that He could love us and bring us into a family… Into His kingdom…

Those of us that are already living with Him… We are to be joining Him in the ultimate plan of restoring lives back to Him… It is not an option!

So, are you willing? Are you willing to join Jesus in the great adventure of sharing the Good News that is the Gospel of Christ by boldly going where no one before you has gone?

Say yes today!!