Sun, 2019-03-17 12:16
- Live Your Calling - “What On Earth Am I Here For”?
Subtitle: CALLED TO BELONG
Today is the 3rd Sunday in our 40 Day Campaign: What on Earth am I here for?
Last week’s focus: The 1st PURPOSE of my life: TO BE LOVED BY GOD
Today’s focus: The 2nd PURPOSE of my life: GOD FORMED ME FOR HIS FAMILY
Hebrews 2:10 (NCV) God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory …
Ephesians 1:5 (LB) His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us …
- God’s family is called HIS CHURCH
1 Timothy 3:14–15 (NCV) … I am writing .. to you now. 15 (so) you will know how to live in the family of God. That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.
- I AM CALLED TO BELONG TO HIS CHURCH
Ephesians 2:19 (NCV) … you … are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family.
The longing for belonging is universal!
Romans 1:6 (NIV) And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
church - Greek “Ecclesia” = “called out ones”
The church isn’t a building I visit or an event I attend. It’s a family I BELONG to.
The Bible uses 5 Metaphors for the church: Family, Temple, Body, Flock, Garden
1. IN GOD’S FAMILY: I LEARN MY TRUE IDENTITY
Many people’s identity revolves around the clothes they wear, the job they do, etc.
- Most of our identity comes through our (family) relationships
Example: Son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, grandfather etc.
- If our relationships are bad or broken- our identity suffers
Example: Divorced, widowed, dysfunctional, redundant. WHO AM I?
Here is the GOOD NEWS:
Ephesians 2:19 (LB) … you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.
Our natural family is temporary and will come to an end one day.
Therefore, God’s family is more important than our natural family. It lasts forever.
Our SPIRITUAL IDENTITY matters more than our natural identity.
Hebrews 2:11 (CEV) Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.
By BELONGING to God’s family we discover our TRUE identity.
Various families and groups use different identifying marks to state their allegiance to their respective circles.
The identifying mark of Christians belonging to Jesus is WATER BAPTISM!
Acts 2:41 (NLT) Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
2nd metaphor of the church: A TEMPLE
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT) Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
In any building, all the parts have to fit together.
All the connected parts hold all the other connected parts together.
2. IN GOD’S TEMPLE: I AM SUPPORTED BY OTHERS
Ephesians 2:21–22 (LB) We who believe are carefully joined together with Christ as parts of a beautiful, constantly growing temple for God. 22 And you also are joined with him and with each other by the Spirit and are part of this dwelling place of God.
Unconnected parts of any building will collapse or get separated in storms.
We weren’t meant to go through life unsupported /disconnected!
We need spiritual, emotional and physical support. We need to belong!!
Romans 1:12 (NCV) I mean that I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.
3rd metaphor of the church: A BODY
We’re all different parts... but connected to complete each other in one body.
1 Corinthians 12:27 (NCV) Together you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of that body.
3. IN CHRIST’S BODY: I DISCOVER MY UNIQUE VALUE
Romans 12:4–5 (LB) Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others.
- Many parts. All different & unique. God designed us that way!
- It takes every one of us to make the Body complete
- Each of us have different work to do (Roles/Ministries)
- We belong to each other not just believing / belonging
- We all need each other
We cannot fulfill God’s purpose for our life by ourselves!
1 Corinthians 12:15–16 (NLT) If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?
Never confuse prominence with value or significance!
Ephesians 4:25 (Msg) … in Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other …
Any disconnected body part will die.
4th metaphor of the church: A FLOCK
Sheep band together for safety under the watchful eyes of a shepherd.
Psalm 100:3 (NLT) Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 23 (LB) Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need! 2 He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most. 4 Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. 5 You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow! 6 Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.
John 10:11,13-15,27-28 (LB) I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep … 13 The hired man runs because he is hired and has no real concern for the sheep. 14 “I am the Good Shepherd and know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep … 27 My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me.
God chose a flock of sheep as an illustration of what church is like, BECAUSE …
4. IN GOD’S FLOCK: I’M PROTECTED & CARED FOR
Sheep by themselves are totally exposed to predators.
God has placed in every church 2 kinds people care for me:
- My pastors who look out for me (shepherd)
1 Peter 5:2 (NLT) Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly …
Hebrews 13:17 (NLT) Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God …
- My small group looks out for me
Galatians 6:2 (LB) Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command.
1 Thess. 5:11 (NCV) …encourage each other and give each other strength …
5th metaphor of the church: A GARDEN, VINEYARD
Jesus said: I am the Vine … My Father is the Gardener … you are the branches Jn.15:1,5 (NIV). He used other gardening terms such as pruning, bearing fruit etc.
5. IN GOD’S GARDEN: MY LIFE BECOMES PRODUCTIVE
John 15:4–5 (NLT) … For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
Point: A disconnected branch cannot bear fruit
To fulfill our calling in life, we need:
- Power to live on
- People to live with
- Principles to live by
- Plan to live out
- Purpose to live for!
Where else will you get all 5 of these except in the church?