Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

Created for a Purpose

December 29, 2014

Gideon was one of the judges of Israel.  He had seventy sons by his wives, and one son, named Abimelech, by his concubine.  After the death of Gideon, Abimelech killed all of his brothers except one, named Jotham, who got away.  Jotham later confronted Abimelech with words recorded in the book of Judges.

I.  Our Common Purpose:  Judges 9:8-15

“The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
And they said to the olive tree,
‘Reign over us!’
But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I cease giving my oil,
With which they honor God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

10 “Then the trees said to the fig tree,
‘You come and reign over us!’
11 But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit,
And go to sway over trees?’

12 “Then the trees said to the vine,
‘You come and reign over us!’
13 But the vine said to them,
‘Should I cease my new wine,
Which cheers both God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

14 “Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘You come and reign over us!’
15 And the bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you,
Then come and take shelter in my shade;
But if not, let fire come out of the bramble
And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’

Now, I know that this is a prophetic word against Abimelech.  As such, it has a specific purpose for which it was written.  Today, however, I want to focus on something other than the treachery of Abimelech.  I want to talk about the symbolism of trees.

All living trees have some things in common.  They have roots, trunks, branches and leaves.  In the word given to Abimelech, the trees were symbolic of people.  I want to talk about people.  All people are created by God with some common purposes.

1.  We are to love God and people.  Matthew 22:36-40

 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

2.  We are to give thanks to God.  I Thessalonians 5:18

 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

3.  We are to do good works.  Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

4.  We are to tell others about Jesus.  I Peter 3:15

 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

5.  We are to pray.  I Thessalonians 5:17

pray without ceasing,

These actions are common to all Christians.  We do not have to ask ourselves if we should do these things.  We should be doing them.

II.  Our Different Gifts:  Romans 12:6-8

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

There are different types of trees that fulfill different purposes.  There are also different types of people to fulfill different purposes in the kingdom of God. There are many ways that God can use us.  We do not need to try to be something that God has not called and gifted us to be.  We should seek to identify our gifts and use them for the glory of God.

These are the sermon notes from 11/30/14.  Any advertisements that might accompany this post are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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Looking for the Silver Lining

August 13, 2009

As a child when I was feeling disappointed I would be told “Every cloud has a silver lining.”  As a Christian adult I hold onto Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (NKJ)

Sometimes we are able to see how things work together, and other times that “silver lining” is pretty ellusive. 

I like to be able to understand, to be able to connect the dots and see the picture of what is going on, but when I cannot see, I can still believe.

God loves me. 

I love God.

God is good.

All things work together for good. 

I do not have to understand.  I only have to believe, to have faith in God.

In faith, we can find peace, a peace that passes understanding; a peace that is not of this world, and that this world cannot take away.

It’s Not Just a Job

January 19, 2009

For a Christian, a job should be more than simply a means to a paycheck.  Don’t get me wrong, a paycheck is important, and most people need a job to get one! Yet, if the only reason that we are trudging off to work each day is to earn the money for the things that we want or need, then something is missing from our lives. 

I believe that our place of employment is a part of God’s plan and purpose for our lives.  That he can use our jobs to have an impact in molding our character, and that we can have an impact at our jobs for the kingdom of God. 

God can use our jobs in our lives, and God can use us at our jobs.

This is true whether the job is a temporary means to an end, or a temporary job that lasts twenty years, or a career that one worked long and hard to obtain. 

God can, and does use our employment in our lives,  and us in our place of employment.  It is not just a job, it is a part of God’s plan for our life.  When we realize that, it can help make the daily grind a little bit easier.

Planned or Impulsive?

August 20, 2008

“Those who fail to plan, should plan to fail.”

“Prior planning prevents poor performance.”

There are two ways to express the importance of planning ahead.  Whether we are talking about time, money, or objectives, it is very helpful to think about what we want to accomplish and then make plans about how to achieve our goals.  Very little will be accomplished by accident.  We do not have enough time or money to do everything and so, choices must be made and goals set; and plans laid out and followed.

I can sometimes get carried away with this sort of thinking.  In the Marine Corps,  “Accomplish the Mission.” was the number one objective and I still easily lapse into that mentality.  I can focus my eyes on the goal to the point that I am oblivious to the moment, or current circumstances.  This is not a good thing.  We live in the moment and it is not all about the goal.

There is a place for the impulsive.  The times when you should adjust your plans, or set them aside momentarily.  Having everything planned out in advance makes for a rigid and inflexible lifestyle in which one may feel trapped or suffocated.  There should be some flexibility in our lives. 

As in most things, the key is to find the balance.  Good planning is important.  Flexibility and spontaneity are also important.  Incorporating both into our lives will make them more enjoyable and rewarding.