Ps Sheldon Phillips 10th January 2016 ()Sheldon Phillips, January 10, 2016
Part of the Then, Now, Next series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
Then, Now, Next week 3
Introduction. Recap: Then - how God can use our past to propel us into our future. God redeems and restores and wipes the slate clean, so it doesn't have to hinder us going into the future. Now - the point where you know God has something for you, but you're not quite there. How do we journey from where we are to where God wants us to be? Not letting anything stop us, partnering with God. Next - this week is about purpose. What is the God-given destiny of my life?
We are made for purpose - we feel good when we are doing something. Even Adam and Eve - in the garden - they didn't sit around. God said "Tend the garden".
Eph 2:10 "we are God's workmanship, created to do good works." Substitute "I" for "we". Personalise. Greek word "poemia" -> we are God's poemia, we are God's poem, His piece of art. CS Lewis - "we are his divine work of art". That means you are valuable, you carry value. Not based on what the artwork looks like - it's based on the creator of that artwork. When Rembrandt puts his mark on the artwork, it has value. Same with us - we carry God's stamp on us! We carry value not based on what we think of ourselves, or what other people think of us, but what God says - you are my workmanship. So when you feel low on yourself, it's like saying "God I'm not sure about your work ... you haven't done a good job with this one" - we're throwing God's work back in his face. So we need to accept that we are a divine piece of art! We are valuable, a one-of-a-kind piece of art. There's no-one like you. God has individually crafted you.
When we are in the gallery and we start comparing artworks ... I wished I was like that - God doesn't want you to be like someone else. He wants you to be you! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don't compare yourself to anybody else!
Story quote - Joni. God is wanting to shape and mould something in you. Even in the tough times, God has a plan and a purpose.
Not just for looks! Not just to "hang on a wall". You are created to look good and act good. Eph 2 - to do good works. Today is about the "Next" - God what do you want me to do? God set us up for purpose.
a. Our calling is bigger than ourselves. When God calls the heroes of the bible, they usually say "God, I can't do that!". God has a habit of picking people that society would never choose. God has chosen us for good works! God says that he will be us to help us. Should be more than just about you - not just being comfortable or happy. The impact of your life is bigger than your individual self. First and foremost it's about bringing glory to God. Eph 1:11,12. Our life is to bring glory to God.
It's about other people too. Matt 5:14. You are the light of the world... in the same way let your light shine before men. Your life is to radiate God before others. Others are seeing God in you.
Matt 14:22-33. The disciples just had the experience of feeding the 5000, Do you want to step out into the thing that God called you to do. Q: if there was no limitations on your life, what is the thing that you would love to do? What is it that God wants you to do?
How do we find God's will for our lives?
1. There's no number to call, no website you can go to.
2. Our purpose is to enter into relationship with God - connection with God. Our greatest calling.
3. There is an individual calling, something specific for you. As we live WITH God, He shows us how to live FOR him. Spend time with God - it may not be the 10-step plan, it may only be the first step. But God will download his purpose into our lives if we spend time with him.
Rom 12: 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world ... then you will be able to test and approve God's will. Living in relationship with God is the best you that you can be.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with your heart ... he will make your paths straight.
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