No sermon notes for 21st March but find video under Resources [– due to Covid lockdown.
]Sunday March 14th 2021 A.M.Find video under Resources [– due to Covid lockdown]
SERVING GOD’S PURPOSE.
Reading: Acts 13:13-37.
Devotion at Elders Meeting – He spoke about how we should acknowledge our sense of inadequacy alongside our ‘call’ from God to serve His church. He ended with the words – ‘But, in the end, it’s about Him, not me. So I must choose to be unstoppable.’
Today we are going to look at one verse from this passage that reads like an epitaph – (Acts 13:36a) “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep;” I believe these words contain a challenge to each of us regarding God’s unstoppable purpose for us as His Church.
1. God has a purpose for His children – The prophet, Jeremiah, believed this and often wrote about the ‘purposes of God’s heart’ for His people. In (Jer.29:11) he revealed God’s heart to them – “For I know the plans,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (The Hebrew word translated here as ‘plan’ could also be translated as ‘intended purpose’)
Rick Warren says – ‘You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.’
2. God’s purpose for our lives will prevail – God’s ‘heart purposes’ for our lives are by their very nature certain and sure. The Bible tells us that they are mighty and strong and that they will stand when all others fall. As the writer of Proverbs says – (Prov. 19:21) “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.”
3. God will fulfil His purpose for our lives – In one of his many Psalms David wrote with complete confidence – (Psalm 138:8) “The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever—“ Not only did David believe that God had a purpose for his life, he was also convinced that the Lord would bring it to completion – despite what may occur along the way – because of His great mercy and grace.
4. We should serve God’s purpose for our lives – Yet as we have seen from Paul’s epitaph, this did not mean that David could simply sit back and let God carry out His plan for his life. The epitaph tells us that David served God’s purpose in his own generation.
It is out of the satisfaction of this that he could then fall asleep – die. The Lord would fulfil His purpose in David’s life but David’s part in the plan was that he must serve that purpose intentionally.
5. God’s purpose for our lives is unstoppable – Because of their powerful witness and ministry the Apostle Peter and others were brought before the Sanhedrin (Jewish Elders) and when they were told not to ‘teach in Jesus’ name’ they answered – (Acts 5:29) “We must obey God rather than men.” – These early believers were choosing to serve God’s purpose for their lives – despite the great personal cost it involved.
Gamaliel, cautioned the Sanhedrin saying – (Acts 5:38,39) “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Whatever God has purposed for our lives, and if we chose to serve that purpose, then we will be unstoppable! More than this our lives will always know God’s provision and goodness, despite the trials and tribulations we may face.
The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Rome saying – (Romans 8:28) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose..”
6. We can reject God’s purpose for our lives – We can choose whether to serve His ‘heart purpose’ for our lives or not. When Jesus spoke of God’s ‘purpose’ in sending John the Baptist to prepare the way for His coming, He said that though many accepted this purpose – (Luke 7:30a) “…the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves,..”
We too can ‘reject’ or neglect God’s purpose for our life. It’s easy to blame the church or its leaders for a lack of vision but often this is simply a cover-up for our own lack of vision or determination to know and live out God’s purpose.
7. God has a purpose for His church – In closing I want to remind us that God’s purpose for our lives is not something that only concerns us as individuals. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi and challenged them saying – (Phil. 2:1,2) “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
The Bible clearly states that it is the church, the Body of Christ that is the Lord’s chosen instrument through which He will both demonstrate his manifold witness to the principalities and powers and reveal His glory to the world.
This is the ‘purpose’ that God has entrusted to us – the church, and there is no greater purpose on the planet. In practice I have discovered God’s purpose for my life most when I have been actively serving His purpose for His church.
So, let us determine in our hearts, here and now to be united in serving God’s purpose.
THE FINAL WORD:
Brother Andrew -‘I have come to see clearly that life is more than self. It is more than doing what I want, striving for what will benefit me, dreaming of all I can be. Life is all about my relationship with God. There is no higher calling, no loftier dream, and no greater goal than to live, breathe, and be poured out for Jesus Christ.’