Grace for a Purpose Driven Life Chapters 38 & 39

June 5, 2004

I.  Becoming a WORLD-CLASS Christian

“The Great Commission is your Commission” – p. 297

Q: When we talk about the Great Commission, what biblical text are we referring to?

  • Matthew 28:19-20 [READ]

- This is one of the main passages we refer to when quoting our church’s mission statement:  The purpose of FBC is to bring glory to God by winning people to Jesus Christ and equipping them to be more faithful disciples.

- Matthew 28 is as much about your heart and vision as it is about your obedience – especially when you consider Acts 1:8

  • Acts 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

Point:  Our mission as a church is not just across the street, but also around the world!

- Think about this statement: “You will be either a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian.”

Input:  What is the difference between the two?

 

World-Class Christian

Worldly Christian

Compassionate

Burdened for the lost – eternal view

Prayerful

Sacrificial – financially, etc

Selfish – It’s all about ME!

Blinded / Care-free – very temporal

Too Busy to Pray

Uncaring – covetous, greedy, etc.

 

“Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment.  They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. It’s a ‘me-first’ faith: How can God make my life more comfortable? They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes.” – P. 297

Point:  World-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission.

  • Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

- Getting involved as a world-class Christian will allow you to experience a little of what heaven will be like in advance.

- Think about the people you never knew

Example:  Our missionaries the Watkins in West Africa! [Note: Each ABF emphasize the missionaries assigned to them – see attached sheet]

[Cornerstone: Watkins, Ken Davis – Project Jerusalem (church planting efforts in N.E. United States! – our Missionary Rep: Marcia Tolly – thank her for volunteering!!]

Input:  What advantages do we have today that the disciples didn’t have in the 1stcentury?

[phones, cars, airplanes, resources, printers, medical assistance, etc.!]

  • The only barrier is the way we think.

A.  How to THINK like a world-class Christian

1.  Shift from self-centered thinking to other-centered thinking.

  • Philippians 2:4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

-  the only way we can make this paradigm switch is by the work of the Holy Spirit AS we obey His word!

  • 1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God

“Your goal is to figure out where others are in their spiritual journey and then do whatever will bring them a step closer to knowing Christ” – p. 300

- this is part of the thinking behind our Community Center – meeting people where they are and helping them take the next spiritual step!

  • 1 Corinthians 10:33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.

** IMPORTANT: This was in the context of teaching regarding Christian Liberty – Paul would limit his liberty in order to minister most effectively to the people God placed around him – he was made all things to all men that he might by all means save some!

> He was in the business of meeting people where they were and helping them to grow

> I’m not sure we’re so good at that – sometimes we’re more – ‘you need to jump up to my level’ and then we’ll talk about how YOU can grow!

2.  Shift from LOCAL thinking to GLOBAL thinking

- There is a balance if you’re not trying to reach people locally, you’ll never do it globally.

** Good Idea:  The first way to start thinking globally is to begin praying for specific countries. Get a globe or map and pray for nations by name and pray for your ABF missionary!!

  • Psalm 2:8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.”

Q: How much are you asking?

“People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers” – p. 301

Input:  What should you pray for as you pray for missions?

  • Opportunities to witness
  • Courage to speak up
  • Rapid spread of the message
  • More workers
  • read and watch the news with “Great Commission eyes.”
  • Go on a short-term mission project to another country
  • Promo: church family night 6/6 – report from S. Africa, Haiti

3.   Shift from “HERE AND NOW” thinking to ETERNAL thinking.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:18while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Q:  What are you allowing to stand in the way of your mission?

- The writer of Hebrews tells you what to do about that!

  • Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
  • % of our budget to world missions!
  • Use the money God give you to bring people to Christ
    • 1 Timothy 6:19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

 

4.  Shift from thinking of EXCUSES to thinking of creative ways to FULFILL your commission.

ILLUSTRTION: The Wilds, “Brain Burning” – i.e. the time we planned all the games for the summer!  Locked ourselves in an A-frame, no phone, no interruptions – sometimes the ‘planning’ became negative, and Rand Hummel would say:  “Guys, don’t talk about reasons why it WONT work, gives me some ways to MAKE IT work!”

- I’m too old (or too young) – Yet, most mission agencies have age-appropriate short term projects.

Note:  Mention the danger of NOT serving as you get older!

B.  God’s view of your ‘call’

- Maybe you have believed that you needed a special “call” from God, and you’ve been waiting for some supernatural feeling or experience

- While some positions in the church require a person to meet the qualifications (pastor/deacon), God has already stated His call repeatedly to ALL believers.

- God doesn’t want to use just SOME of His people to serve Him, He wants to use ALL of His people

  • Mark 8:35 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.

Point:  The Great Commission is YOUR commission, and doing your part is the secret to living a life that is pleasing to God!

II.  Balancing Your Life

“Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone.” – p. 305

-  We all have to work hard at keeping the main thing, the main thing:

A.  Four important activities for purpose-driven living.

1.  TALK IT THROUGH with a spiritual partner or small group.

2.  Give yourself a regular SPIRITUAL CHECK-UP.

3.  WRITE DOWN your progress in a journal.

4.  PASS ON what you know to others.

B.  It’s all for God’s glory

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Today God calls each of us to the same work. Not only does He want us to live out His purposes, He also wants us to help others do the same. God wants us to introduce people to Christ, bring them into His fellowship, help them grow to maturity and discover their place of service, and then send them out to reach others, too.” – P 311

  • This is what purpose-driven living is all about.

Q: Which of the four activates will I begin in order to stay on track and balance God’s five purposes for my life?