Sun, 2019-03-24 12:23
- Live Your Calling - “What On Earth Am I Here For”?
Subtitle: CALLED TO BECOME …
Today is the 4th Sunday in our 40 Day Campaign: What on Earth am I here for?
Last week: The 2nd PURPOSE of my life: GOD FORMED ME FOR HIS FAMILY
Today’s focus: The 3rd PURPOSE of my life: I AM CALLED TO BECOME …
Romans 8:28–29 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
God’s 5 Callings for us are sequential, with each Calling building on the one prior:
1st Calling: Called to BE LOVED by Christ
2nd Calling: Called to BELONG to Christ
3RD CALLING: CALLED TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST
In the NT, there are 5 passages where God compares this “BECOMING” to RUNNING A RACE.
We will draw 8 principles from those 5 NT passages.
HOW DO I BECOME WHAT GOD CALLED ME TO BE?
Its called: Running Your Marathon to Maturity
To run this marathon to maturity I must:
1. SIMPLIFY MY LIFE
- Clean out ... the clutter ... your mind ... schedule ... relationships
- Get rid of unnecessary baggage
- Eliminate diversions / distractions / detours / time wasters
Hebrews 12:1 (LB) … let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.
- WEIGHTS: Don’t run a marathon with a suitcase and a coat on
- SINS: Greek: harmartia – Make a moral inventory
- OTHERS’ EXPECTATIONS: (implied) ‘particular race”
- Part of stripping off is refusing to run other’s races
- I can’t be what everyone else wants me to be
2. DON’T GET IMPATIENT OR IN A HURRY!
There is a common mistake made among long distance runner - not pacing
- If run too fast at the start – it may not be sustainable
- Champions know how to pace themselves
Heb. 12:1b “...let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.” (LB)
- There is no such thing as “instant maturity”. Growth takes time
- God is never in a hurry. Choose to be a Mushroom or an Oak Tree
- Maturity is Spelled : T.I.M.E.
- Each week take a couple of steps forward
3. SPEND TIME FOCUSING ON JESUS EVERYDAY!
We become like those we are close to and spend most of our time with.
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith …
We cannot become like Jesus without spending time with Him.
TIP: PICK A SUITABLE TIME AND FIND A FAVORITE SPOT!
Mark 1:35 (NIV) Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Luke 22:39 (NIV) Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives …
- The more time you spend God the more you will change
- Begin with 10 minutes a day
- Moses glowed after he spent 40 days in God’s presence
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
… see and reflect … what you see you begin to reflect (mirror neurons)
… “more & more” – sequential development process
Like with the processes of “osmosis” and “diffusion”, when we get close to God, His goodness “flows into us” and He “draws out” things that are holding us back.
4. WHEN LIFE GETS HARD, REMEMBER THE REWARD
Sometimes life gets hard, and there is a tendency in human nature to give up.
These are the times when it is important to remember the reward.
Hebrews 12:2–3 (GNB) … Jesus … did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God’s throne. 3 Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.
Discouragement is a choice, and so is courage.
1 Peter 5:10 (NCV) And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever.
Romans 8:17 (NLT) And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
THIS WEEK’S MEMORY VERSE:
Romans 8:28 (NIV) … in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
5. JOIN A TEAM TO RUN WITH ME
It’s your race, but you need others to run with you!
Hebrews 10:24–25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Your small group are the perfect team to run with.
6. REMEMBER GOD IS CHEERING ME ON AT EVERY STAGE
Like earthly parents cheer on their children throughout their running races, so our heavenly father cheers us on in our spiritual race.
Philippians 3:12–14 (NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
7. TAKE EVERY STEP WITH PURPOSE!
Don’t waste any step or any energy! Be disciplined!
1 Corinthians 9:25–26 (LB) To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. 26 So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around.
Hebrews 12:12–13 (GNB) Lift up your tired hands, then, and strengthen your trembling knees! 13 Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed.
… straight paths – don’t be tempted into crooked ways
Keep on the straight & narrow path and head for the goal!
8. REALIZE THAT GOD WILL FINISH WHAT HE STARTED IN YOU
God has started a good work in you, and He is going to complete that which He started.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT) And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
All our weaknesses, flaws, faults, blemishes, fears, addictions & frailties - GONE!
Then we have truly and totally BECOME LIKE CHRIST.
1 John 3:2 (LB) Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, right now, and we can’t even imagine what it is going to be like later on. But we do know this, that when he comes we will be like him, as a result of seeing him as he really is.
What I don’t finish in my lifetime, God will finish in an instant on the Day when Jesus returns to earth.