Why are You Here? 26 September 2021

Why are You Here?
Series—Fingerprint: Discovering Your True Identity
Colossians 1:16-18; Isaiah 43:6b-7; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 Corinthians 12

Series Big Idea:
You’re a masterpiece created unique and special to glorify God and bless others.

Big Idea:
You’ve been given gifts, passions, and talents to discover, develop and share.

I believe the two most important questions in life are:

Who is God?
Who are you?

Every Sunday is an exploration of the first question. We will never be able to fully know and understand God, but it’s a wonderful journey! How great is our God!

Last Sunday, Pastor Mike addressed the second question. If you are a follower of Jesus, your identity is first and foremost as a child of the Most High God. You’ve been adopted into His family and like the Prodigal Son, nothing you can do can make God love you more than He already does…and nothing you can do can make God love you less. That’s unconditional love. That’s amazing grace!

Once we know who we are—and Whose we are—the next logical question is, “Now what? Why are we here?”

One of the best-selling books of all time is called
The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. What’s your purpose? Why were you created? There are two answers to that question. The first is a general response applicable to each of us. The other is unique for every person.

You were made by God, for God, and for God’s glory. This has been the mantra of our District Superintendent, Rev. Thomas George, for years. Paul wrote these glorious words about Jesus in the book of Colossians:

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:16-18)

All things have been created through Jesus. All things have been created for Jesus.

We could stop right now. You were made by God and for God. You have a purpose. You’re not an accident. But you’re also not God!

As I have said previously, the essence of satanism is not the worship of satan, but the worship of self. We live in a narcissistic, self-worshipping culture. The world says, “It’s all about you. You deserve. You choose. Have it your way. Whatever makes you happy. Truth is whatever you feel.”

It’s not all about you! You didn’t make this world. You didn’t create yourself. You are not in control. You are not God.

This is the inconvenient truth…and the reason there are empty seats in churches around the world today. Surrender and submission to God is offensive to the self-absorbed person who thinks the world revolves around them. Imagine more than seven billion people living for their own pleasures. No wonder our world is so broken!

You were made by God. Human life is such a miracle. I wish I knew how many former atheists were established in the delivery room of hospitals! It’s nearly impossible to look at the miracle of life and call it an accident, random chance, the results of something emerging from nothing. For further study, meditate on Psalm 139. You were made by God.

You were made for God. He is before all things. He holds everything together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning. He is supreme. It’s all about Jesus!

You were made for God’s glory. The LORD said to the prophet Isaiah:

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:6b-7)

You were not made for your glory. You were made for God’s.

When a painter paints a masterpiece, it reveals the beauty and creativity of the artist. You are a masterpiece. Like me, you are a broken masterpiece in need of restoration, created with a purpose. Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

The heart of our church’s mission statement is restoring God’s masterpieces. We were all created—and recreated in Christ Jesus—to do the good things he planned for us long ago. What are those things? I’m glad you asked!

But first, let me say it once again:
you were made by God, for God, and for God’s glory.

I tell this to myself all of the time, especially when I don’t get what I want, when I want it…especially when life feels out of control…especially when I want my circumstances to change…especially when…well, you get the point!

It’s amazing how quickly my perspective changes when I reflect upon this simple mantra.

What are You up to, LORD? How can you get glory through my suffering? How can you be strong in my weakness? How can I decrease and you increase in my life? How can my life reflect You and Your glory? It’s not about me!

These are daily questions. Jesus said,

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

It doesn’t mean that your needs and desires are unimportant, but they’re not the most important. Last Sunday we witnessed four people dying—to their old lives—and making Jesus their priority, their LORD. It’s not a one-time event, though. It’s a daily—hourly—moment-by-moment surrender.

You were made by God, for God, and for God’s glory. We all were!

But while that can be said about more than seven billion people, you are unique among the human population. Your fingerprint is special. There’s nobody else exactly like you…even if you have a twin or triplet! This begs the question, “
Why are you here?”

You are a unique masterpiece created for a purpose.

You’ve heard us talk about a tool called I highly recommend you set aside some time this week and check it out. There’s nothing magical about it, but it’s a helpful assessment that will ask you questions about you. This is one test you can’t fail! God has wired each of us up with a unique personality and heart. We have different abilities and experiences that shape us for loving others. He has also given every believer at least one spiritual gift to use to serve others. Several texts in the Bible talk about spiritual gifts. Romans 12 says,

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:3-8)

We are all different! Nobody has all of the spiritual gifts. We need one another. Every part of the body is important. I need you. You need me. If you haven’t discovered your gift or gifts and started using them, what are you waiting for?! This isn’t a pitch for volunteers, it’s an invitation to join the family, to get engaged, to experience the thrill of being used by God to bless others. It is truly better to give than to receive. Some of you love kids and are gifted to equip the next generation. Some of you can’t stand kids. You didn’t like yourself as a kid! Don’t serve in Kids Church! Please!

But maybe you’re gifted with singing, construction, finances, cooking, hospitality, sports, graphic arts, social media, technology, sound engineering, transportation, …the list goes on and on. We are a family and every member is important. Every member is to do the work of the ministry, …which reminds me of a remarkable scripture one of our elders discussed with me recently. I’d like to invite Doug Oliver up for a brief lesson on Bible translation.

Doug Oliver

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12, KJV)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-12, NKJV)

As I have often said, the role of the church staff is not to be the professional Christians doing the ministry. It’s to equip you—the saints—for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. I think the confusion behind this has been one of the greatest tools of the enemy to limit and even destroy the Church. If only the professionals could love, serve, make disciples, visit the sick, pray for the needy, and minister, we’d all be in trouble! Our staff would burn out and you’d miss out on the joy of ministry! Peter said,

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

To God be the glory! Keep in mind, too, there were few professional Christians in the early Church…or even today in many parts of the world. I feel extremely blessed to make ministry a vocation, but that doesn’t make me more spiritual than you. It just means God has called me to equip you to discover your purpose and live it out, which is what this sermon series is all about.

God has called us all to minister to one another and the world through our spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences.

We looked at 1 Corinthians 12 in our last series on our core values when discussing First Alliance as a family, but let me remind you…

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

And yet I will show you the most excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

That most excellent way is what follows: 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter of the Bible.

You were made by God, for God, and for God’s glory.

You are a unique masterpiece created for a purpose.

God has called us all to minister to one another and the world through our spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences.

Take My Life and Let It Be

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