Episode 4
|
4 October 2021

Together Again | your purpose


We work, eat, sleep, and then it repeats. There must be more to life than this? There is. You were created for a purpose. And you can’t fulfill that purpose by yourself.

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hey it's the last weekend together again
but before i uh get to today's content i
just want to preview what we're going to
be doing next week we're going to be
doing a series called among monsters and
i don't know about you but i'm just in
the halloween mood i i watch the
episodes of the office that are
halloween i watch treehouse of horrors i
just i just love
i love halloween stuff is that bad as a
pastor i don't know i just enjoy that
time of year and that spooky time of
year is coming up and so we want to
actually address in this series
something really serious though we want
to talk about
what's wrong with people
have you ever asked that question what's
wrong with me well we're going to answer
that question and as we answer the
question about what's wrong with people
we're actually going to answer like the
very deep question that god has for us
or that we have for god is what's wrong
with with us and not in a not an
overbearing judgmental way but actually
when we find out what's wrong with us
and we find out what's wrong with people
we actually find freedom that christ
offers to help heal us so i hope that
you'll come to this series and as always
i hope you'll invite five friends to
come with you that's starting next week
among monsters today
today we're gonna end together again by
talking about
purpose
now i want you to think about the things
that you spend your time
doing in this life just just think about
what you spend your time investing in
because what you do
it really matters
it's really important what we spend our
time doing but we're also really bad at
at feeling like we've really done
something that actually matters
like like i think we would look at it
and go hey you know our kids are
important right kids are important it's
easy to go having kids that's important
but then yeah you ever talk to people or
maybe you're in this boat where you've
got like adult children now and they're
just like yeah i mean they turned out
okay i guess you know they they put
their whole entire life into these kids
and then they're just like i guess that
was important well don't get me wrong
i'm not saying your kids aren't
important i'm just saying sometimes we
invest in in things and then we invest
in other things and sometimes we put the
equal amount of effort
into like our careers and stuff and we
kind of wander around going are we
actually doing something that's
important so today here's what i want to
do
i want to give you a filter
for how to determine if something
actually matters because we spend our
life wasting a lot of time i want to
give you a filter
of what you're doing in this life i want
you to know man i am doing something
right now that matters and then i also
want you to know i'm doing something
that i kind of have to do
but it doesn't really matter here's the
filter i'm going to give you james
chapter 4 says this
what is your life
you are a mist
that appears for a little while
and then vanishes
i used to think that life
was going so slow when i was like a
teenager or 20s and everything like i
ever get my driver's license will ever
be able to move out of the house while i
ever have a job will i ever get married
while i ever have kids like it just
seemed like life was moving so slow and
then one day i woke up and i got a 22
year old son
and uh and it's just like all of a
sudden life moves fast you know that
feeling
and you you hear that so many times
right when you talk to old people not
like me old people but like old but like
bob smith old people when you're talking
to old people
like they're looking back on their life
and they're going man it just went by so
quick
can i give you an illustration of your
life there from the book of james
i want to show you your life
we're born
we get a family
we retire and
then it's gone
you'll see it again here it goes
we're born we have a life we have a
career we family maybe we
die
we're gone
that's literally
our life
i used to mow a cemetery and we would go
into the cemetery and we'd mow and you'd
have all these flowers next to people
that had died in the last five to ten
years and then you'd go to these
headstones of people that had died in
the last 20 years and they're really
taken care of and then and then you get
to these headstones and they weren't
even that old they'd just been around
maybe 30 years and they'd been
completely forgotten as people that
mowed lawns we didn't even know some of
them were there
because
because man our life goes by and then
it's just over and it's forgotten
and during that time in life
we spend a lot of time invested in
things that just
aren't eternal
i've been uh renovating our house one
thing kind of leads to another when
you're renovating your house right so
we're redoing our our driveway because
it's needed to be redone like i'm
surprised the city hasn't come and told
us to redo it we're like fine we'll do
it and
and then that led to us needing a patio
right so we got now we got a patio well
now
you can't just like we tore up the
backyard so now we need to put sod on
the back we can't just have grout we've
got to put the sod in the backyard one
thing leads to another and in a couple
weeks i'm putting new flooring
downstairs in my house
i'm not sure what that has to do with
the driveway but we got there somehow
and that's just we get invested in
things and while we're invested in it
it's like stuff we need to do but at the
same time it's just a reminder like
but it doesn't matter
my grandpa always used to come up on a
product my grandpa was like 90 years old
my entire life i don't know how that
works but
no matter what age i was he was 90 and
he would come up he was an old farmer
and we'd be doing something and he'd
walk up and he'd observe us like working
on a project and then he'd just kind of
say this line he'd be like
you're throwing effort after foolishness
and then he'd walk away go back to his
recliner and listen to the tv at 100
million volume and
but i remember that line it was like
burned into my head throwing effort
after foolishness thrown effort after
foolish and it's thrown effort after
foolishness and i think so many times in
our life that's what we do we throw
effort after foolishness
because we invest in things
that aren't eternal
we invest in things that are just going
to be amissed and appear for a little
while and then they're going to be gone
if you were to filter the things in your
life that you do that matters between
between what what is eternal and what's
not eternal i think it would begin to to
change our perspective in life
completely and it would give us a good
filter or a good lens to view what
actually
matters and can i just give you some
some harsh news
most of what we do doesn't matter
i mean we got to do it right you got to
pour the patio you got to go to the job
you got to you got to re-roof the house
you got to like you gotta buy cars you
gotta go on vacations you gotta do
things that that
you gotta do but
most of it doesn't really matter
at the end of the day
and if we were to get laser focused and
we were to actually look at human beings
as eternal we look at ourself as eternal
and the people were around
as eternal it would change
our focus
in the words of the theologian yoda
luminous beings are we
not this crude matter
for those of you who didn't get that uh
yoda is a green puppet from a space
movie from the 70s but anyway
that's
what we fail to realize sometimes is we
aren't just this
it isn't just this
we are all beings that are eternal and
if we really had our eyes set on then we
understood that i think we'd be able to
filter what actually
matters so what does actually matter
what's actually eternal it's
it's only people
here's some news your job
probably doesn't matter
and i can say that
because i'm a pastor and i can say that
about my job
honestly my job doesn't really matter
the people
the people at my job
they matter
your job probably doesn't matter but the
people at your job matters
your your home that you're building and
decorating and like doing all the time
and watching tv in or whatever you're
doing it
doesn't matter but the people
people there matter because they're
eternal
if you were to look at your life and say
the only thing that i'm going to do is
i'm going to invest in people and i'm
going to invest in their
eternal
well-being
that gives you a good lens to discover
what actually matters now
we're in this series together again
we're wrapping up what we've actually
been talking about for the last four
weeks is just the church
we started off by saying the church is
the church when we assemble when we come
together it says it's as if god's
presence is with us when we come
together and that's exactly what it is
in fact
in the early church the church was just
that it was
it was a group of people that came
together and they were revolving around
this one thought that we we are eternal
and we are sort of the doorway
to eternal life that's what that's what
the burden of the church is that doesn't
mean the church is perfect and it
doesn't mean it's not messy and it
doesn't mean that it always functions
exactly the way it should but that
doesn't really matter it's what god
chose
and so so the apostle paul and many of
the other apostles they would go around
telling the story this is just all they
did they would go from town to town and
village to village and they would tell
people that jesus christ was the son of
god he came to earth and he died on a
cross and rose from the grave so that we
could be forgiven of our sins and have
the hope of eternal life and all we need
to do is place our faith in him and he
will wash us and make us new and turn us
into something different and adopt us
into his family and we will have eternal
life
and they would tell that message to some
people and some people would be like
okay i'm in but many people would turn
and go no thank you
and they would go okay and then they
would go over to somebody else and they
would say hey i just want you to know
that jesus christ is the son of the
living god he came to this earth he died
on a cross and he rose from the dead so
he could wash us clean of our sins
regenerate regenerate us and make us new
so that we could have the hope of
eternal life and some people would
accept it and some people wouldn't and
then for the people that rejected it
they'd say okay and he moved to somebody
else
and in the wake of that early church
what began to form in the wake of the
message
was the church it was just a group of
people who had been forgiven of their
sins washed and made new had the hope of
eternal life and they would come
together
as one
to be that hope
for the rest of the world
now
later on the apostle paul came back and
he began to give instructions and they
were very much building the plane in the
air
right it wasn't like jesus left and he
was like okay here's 27 things that you
need to know in order to run a church it
was just hey i'm leaving you're going to
have the holy spirit good luck
like that's basically what it was and so
they were like the church was like
growing like crazy and it was a movement
that was happening and it's still
happening all over the world
and what began to happen with form was
the church and they were describing the
church as it was being built and as it
was growing and so that's what the
epistles are the letters that paul would
write is coming back and saying okay but
this is how it functions and this is how
it works and in one of these moments he
explains kind of the functionality and
how the church can be at its absolute
best so here's what he says in first
corinthians
chapter 12
he says just as a body he's going to use
a physical illustration here saying just
like a human body
the one it's all one piece
has many parts
but all its many parts form one body
so it is
with christ
now i don't want you to miss this you
might have heard this before people call
the church the body of christ or
wherever the body of christ is and i
think sometimes because we say it a lot
we sort of lose the power of that what
he's saying is is
when the church comes together when the
church is operating and functioning the
way
god wants it to it is
literally jesus here on this earth
it is
the effort of god in the world you need
to take a pause and remember that
there is no other effort that god has on
earth
it's not a political party it's not a
nation it's not any other organization
it is only his body coming together and
functioning
as one
so he says yeah there's different parts
all over the place but they come
together and they function
as one then he continues on
he says for we were and he's talking to
christians he's saying for we were all
baptized we talked about baptism last
week people people who are being born
again and getting this hope of eternal
life we were all baptized by one spirit
so as to form
one
body
whether jews or gentiles slave or free i
just want to take a minute and recognize
that he's talking about the very same
thing we should be talking about today
for us it's not jews or gentiles for us
it's
it's black and white and it's different
political parties and it's like people
from all kinds of different backgrounds
and then he says slave or free he's
talking about the same stuff we talk
about
talking about economical backgrounds
rich and poor
he says we have all come together and we
are united as one and we were all given
the one spirit
to drink
in other words he's saying it is my
spirit living in you you're all coming
together as
one you are one
body
and then he kind of diagnoses some
issues that happen uh in the bible he
continues
he says the eye
cannot say to the hand
i don't need you and the head cannot say
to the feet i don't need you
on the contrary those parts of the body
that seem to be
weaker
are
indispensable
i don't want to carry the analogy out
too far of what paul's saying here but
like we we have a tendency to sort of
elevate different parts up
in church world we usually have a
tendency to take church leadership we
take pastors we take senior leaders we
take teaching pastors we take people and
we say well those are those are the
people that god figured that's what the
church is basically if you can see it on
the stage
that's what the church is and i attend
the church
i think if paul walked in and saw that
he'd look and go
what what are you guys doing
like we're one body
i could make the argument that maybe as
teaching pastors we are the face
can i tell you as i thought about the
least important part of the body it's
probably the face
especially when you have a face like
joe's but when you have
just kidding i'm just kidding
or mine when you uh
your face is probably the least like it
doesn't make your organs function or
anything like that people kind of
recognize you but it's not it's not the
most important thing we have a tendency
to elevate those things up and he's
saying no i want you to hear this like
every every part has to function in
order for the body to work
i knew a lady one time that was mowing
her lawn and as she was mowing her lawn
she kind of got into a ditch and then
the lawnmower kind of fell down and i
don't know how she did this but it ended
up chopping off her big toe she got
under it
whacked off the and not just like the
tip like just
the whole thing and some of the side
she showed me the scar i was like i
won't see that you know she took her
sock off anyway
and i was uh i was looking that and she
talked about how hard it was to learn to
walk again
without this much flesh on her without
that big toe she was like it was
incredibly hard in fact the doctor told
her a lot of people that lose their big
toe
never really walk normal ever again
we need every part of
the body to do
everything that's paul's only point and
then he goes somewhere kind of weird
let's go somewhere weird this isn't me
going somewhere weird this is paul going
somewhere weird
he says in the parts that we think are
less honorable we treat with special
honor
and the parts that are unpresentable are
treated with special modesty i just want
to take a note here that he's covering
he's covering all the parts he's talking
about kind of like the no-no zones right
like he's saying like we he's like i'm
gonna carry this analogy out we don't
there is every single part of the body
we need
and then he continues on
he says while our presentable parts need
no special treatment but
god has put the body together giving
greater honor to the parts that lacked
it so that there should be
no division in the body but that its
parts should have equal concern
for each other
in other words i i started out this way
in the series i want to i want to say it
again
what we do here on the weekend
this isn't really church
this is a production this is an event
that the church puts on
the church is actually the body of
christ and each person has a place
a part to play in that now here's how he
sort of wraps up this thought and this
is what i want to hit
today
he says if one part suffers
every part suffers
with it
before i even read on i just want you to
think about do you
do you believe that
if one part of the body if one group
if one person
isn't
isn't functioning or can't function or
is spiritually dying on the vine do you
believe as a whole
we hurt
because that's what paul's saying
if one part is honored every part
rejoices
with it
we are intimately dependent on each
other as
a body
now
you
are the body of christ and each one of
you is a part of it i want to read that
line again
because i think it's super important
he says now you are the body of christ
and each one of you is a part
of it
i hear quite a bit
people come in and be like hey i like
your church i like your church this is a
good church i like to i like the church
242 is good and i was like cool how long
you been coming oh i don't know what
have we been coming
two two three years
i was like why are you calling it your
church like why are you doing that why
are you referring to it as my church
like as if you're not a part of
the church
like when you if you have that same hope
that same message that same belief and
that same eternity like you
you are the church
and
we don't have membership here so like
there's no weird membership like i don't
know if you've been to a church where
you go to membership class and then they
ask for they ask you to believe all
these things and do these things and
take a blood sample here and like do all
that like we don't
we don't have that because whether
you're a member or not or what whatever
you are a part of the body of christ
that's just the way
it works you're already signed up
whether you signed up or not
and he's saying
all of us are a part
of it in the book of ephesians he takes
that whole concept and he simplifies it
into just one verse
he says from him
talking about jesus the whole body
joined and held together by every
supporting ligament grows and builds
itself up in love
as each part does
its work
i want to make the point
today i want to take some takeaways from
that passage and the first takeaway i
just want to like hit home with you is
you have a gift
you have something that god has done and
he has gifted you and it is meant for
the building up of the body
now that's important step you have to
believe that you have to believe that
you have a gift so turn to whoever
you're with if you're near somebody
today and just say you you have a gift
yeah
now say i have a gift
that's right that's good
that's essential
because that's what god's telling us
he's telling you i have given you a
special meaning and purpose that serves
the church which is the doorway and the
gateway to eternal life it's the one
thing that truly
truly matters in this life
now i think sometimes when we think
about gifts we have a tendency to think
of it maybe wrongly like like i have
this one little gift and i have one
little expression of it
but i want you to know the gift that god
gives you
has many different expressions i would
say i hope i hope you're paying a i hope
this is real for you i feel like one of
my gifts is explaining scripture to
people and kind of putting it on the
bottom shelf and teaching people you're
sitting out there going i don't think so
but anyway i feel like that's one of my
gifts and one of the expressions of that
is on a stage
one of the expressions of that is the
small group that i lead
in fact
if i had to pick between probably the
stage and the small group i love the
small group
i love to answer questions and talk and
we were i was leading a rooted group
this but now we're a small group and i
was leading the group and like these
questions came up they popped out of
nowhere
just about like all kinds of different
stuff in the bible they had nothing to
do with the material and i was like
let's go there that sounds like fun
let's talk about that
and we talked about that and it was so
good and so that's an expression
sometimes it's just one-on-one sometimes
it's sitting down with somebody and just
having a conversation with them
and trying to connect that biblical
stuff in their life
whatever your gift is it's not just this
one gift you use in this one little way
it's a gift
it's a gift that has many different ways
that you express
that gift
now you might be sitting out there going
i don't i don't really know what i've
got is a gift
sometimes we try to compare it to our
job it's like well you know i know a lot
about computers and stuff and that's not
that's not not a thing but it's probably
a more spiritual gift than that
it probably has something that
interacts with
other human beings in some way maybe
that's leading them maybe it's
organizing maybe it's just being an
empathetic person maybe whatever that is
maybe you're a truth speaker like you
love to speak truth into people's lives
in a loving way like
you probably have a gift that god's
given you
and it may not feel like this big bold
gift
and that may just be
because you haven't
you haven't used it enough
in fact paul tells timothy
this he says
for this reason i remind you he's
talking to his apprentice timothy he's
like i remind you to fan into flame i
love that he says remind that means he's
told him this before i'm going to tell
you this again timothy
i remind you to fan into flame the gift
of god
which is in you through the laying on
of my hands
just a couple quick things there
the gift was was given to him or it was
asked for it was prayed for it was a
need
it was something that was necessary
it wasn't like harry potter and the
sorting hat right like we're just like
we try to figure out what house we're in
you know i don't connect with anybody
but anyway
it's not like that it's like
it's like if there's a need then there's
a gift that god will give you to develop
that that gift
the other thing is he reminds him to fan
it into flame like it might start off
some and the reason that you may not
feel like you have a strong gift is
because you haven't
you just haven't used it
you just haven't gotten good at it you
haven't practiced it enough and god
wants you to do that
now today when you leave here joe
mentioned it we're going to ask you to
go out and if you're not signed up on a
team we would like to ask you to sign up
on a team to be a greeter to help out in
students to help out in kids to be
security like whatever that looks like
and you might think is that really what
paul's talking about when he talks about
like the body
like giftedness
is holding the door open and smiling is
that what he means
i just want you to know no that's not
what he means
he means something bigger than that but
those things are all expressions
of that gift that he's given you
and i got to tell you there's all kinds
of people
that come in and out of these doors and
you may be one of these doors who
desperately need you to use your gift to
learn and to grow and there's no better
place than on a team to learn and to
grow and understand how to express
that gift
and so we all have a gift and we need to
fan it into flame and the best way to do
that is to start by like serving and
working with other people that are
discovering that so today that's what
we're going to ask you to do if you're
not already on a team let me also make
this point from that passage
if your gift
doesn't benefit people eternally
it's wasted
again going back to that filter if
you're trying to figure out like what
what actually matters like man if
if your gift doesn't actually benefit
people eternally if it doesn't if it
doesn't show them the love of christ if
it doesn't give them something hope if
it doesn't connect them to a truth if it
isn't if it isn't something greater than
the stuff we find in this world
then it's really going to be a wasted
gift
so how do you use your gift in again in
people to connect them with something
that matters and the only thing that
matters is eternity
and then the third thing from that
passage is just
people need you
desperately
and we don't always recognize it we come
to buildings like this we go to
different events and we just see people
and we're just like ah everybody's good
like everybody's good i mean i'm sure
people got more problems and
then i'm aware of but
that's not that's not real
we had a guy come one time to the taylor
campus and
he walked around the building
and we gave him a tour he's just such a
friendly guys
he's just been in the military just come
back from overseas and we took him a
tour and he was starting to connect he
only came for like two weeks
and his parents told us at one point
that he had come back and he was like
listening to worship music and stuff and
that was just out of character for him
and
he was having problems with his wife
and so we got to know him basically when
i say i got to know him i got to know
his first name and i shook his hand one
time
so i didn't i didn't really know him
and then
he came to church for two weeks and at
the gas station actually next to my
house
he shot his wife and he shot himself
and he was looking for some hope
and he was drowning in darkness
and we couldn't see it
because we thought oh he's good
i just want you to know people flock in
and out of here every day and you might
have a tendency to look at people and go
they've got it figured out or they're
all christians or
whatever and
someone said no no
that's not how it is at all
and we need every part of the body
to do
its job
because eternity is on the line
for everybody that walks in this door
and that's what christ
has called us each part
to do
so let me end with just a question
are you burdened with eternal purpose
when you look at another human being
are they a frustration to you
are they somebody that you think
somebody else is going to connect with
do you hope the professionals the faces
do you hope they're connecting with them
or are you burdened with eternal purpose
today what i want to invite you to do is
very it's a very simple action step it
may not feel revolutionary but i want to
invite you to to serve
to serve on a team
and to get to know people you might just
be at the beginning of your journey of
faith
jesus jesus turned to peter and john and
he said hey i want you to i want you to
come and be fishers
of men
he said that too i want you to be
fishers of men and they didn't even know
who he was
and they joined him
it wasn't until several chapters later
in the bible that they actually said
that we believe that you're jesus christ
the son of the living god they didn't
even know that and they were already
participating
in the kingdom of god and doing the work
of god
so don't buy into the lie that you're
not good enough or you're not ready or
you're not ready to lean into that just
make that step so that you
can do your part as the body to discover
what your gift is
and to find the many different ways of
expressing and fanning that gift into
flame
let me pray for you
father god i pray
i pray tonight
that we would be burdened with eternal
purpose god that
as we're going to our jobs and we're
we're putting in driveways and we're
doing all these things that we have to
do
god i just pray that we wouldn't confuse
get confused that it matters
god i pray that you'd help us to be
focused on
on the people that you created in your
image
the people that you gave up your life
for the people that you are in heaven
waiting on
god i pray that we would be burdened for
them
and that we would get outside of
ourselves
that we would lay down our lives
and together we would figure out how to
use this gift that may bring us no glory
may may give us nothing
but it might be the gift that builds up
the church that offers the hope
of eternal life to the world around us
and i pray that in christ's name amen


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