Two Wednesday ago, our midweek topic was on revival. Without a shadow of a doubt, as individuals, households, and as a church at large, it is vivid that we need revival. It is upon that premise that God gave me the theme for the month (revisiting purpose and calling) and the message of today. This message is to revive us, rekindle His fire upon us, awaken us spiritually, etc.
Mt. 24:10-13 – And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
The Almighty God does not do anything without a reason. Whatever God does, He has a reason for doing it. Just like other creations of God, man was created for a reason(s).
We must know the reasons for which we are created so that we are able to put ourselves to best use in the hands of God. It is my assignment this morning to bring to our remembrance some of the reasons for which God has created us; with the view that some of us, if not all of us will find our purpose and also embrace it.
Why did God create Man? From the scriptures we can extract some reasons:
For His glory and power. The creation of man is most complex. Higher level, not like other creatures of God.
Isaiah 43:7 – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
To have dominion over all other creations of His.
Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 2:15 – The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
For His pleasure
Rev. 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
To demonstrate His wisdom to rulers of the darkness
Eph. 3:9-10 – And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God
To reveal His image through Man.
Gen. 1:27 – So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
To do good works
Eph. 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
To declare His praise.
Isaiah 43:21 – This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
To have His will done on earth as it is in heaven.
Mt. 6:9-10 – After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Eccl. 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
To extend His fellowship beyond heaven.
Gen. 3:8 – And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
I Cor. 1:9 – God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
In both the Old Testament and New Testament, whenever God saves a man, He does so for a reason.
Ex. 8:1 and 9:1 (Israelites) – And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Mt. 4:18-19 and Mk. 1:17 (Peter and Andrew). – And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
1 Peter 2:9 – But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
The conversion of Apostle Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus is a good example of how a child of God should respond to the call or the purpose of God for their life.
Paul was born into what we can call today as a good Christian family. He was very passionate about Yahweh and about the things that pertain to God, which was passed down to him by his ancestors. His father was a Pharisee.
Paul was very learned in the law of God and the law of men. He was very zealous for God. He was open-minded. He was, however, prosecuting the followers of Christ in error; because he did not realise that God’s dispensation for saving men had changed from the blood of animals to the blood of Jesus.
Phil. 3:1-6 – Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
As he was going to Damascus to make more arrest of the followers of Jesus; Jesus Himself appeared to him.
Acts 9:1-6 – And Saul, yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Paul knew that the Person he had an encounter with must be very powerful and must have spoken from heaven. So, he addressed the Person as Lord.
When he asked who it was, he must have been shocked to know that it was the same Jesus whom he was prosecuting His followers. He could have been killed if so wished.
Having realised this, he did not just say he was sorry and walked away. As an intelligent man, he knew this encounter must be for a reason. So, he asked the Jesus that cornered and called him “What will you have me to do?”
Jesus advised him to go into the city, and that there, he will be told what he must do. It was Brother Ananias that was sent to pray for him, and gave him instructions, not an apostle!
– You may not be a deacon, a/p or pastor. You can be used mightily by God.
– All of us have been cornered by Jesus in one way or the other, have you asked Him what He wanted from you, or what He wants you to do?
You are not called to salvation alone. You are called unto other things as well. You need to find out what these are.
It was only after Paul’s assignment has been delivered to him, and he embraced it, that his eyes were opened (Acts 9:7-19).
There is an assignment that God would want a man to do here on earth; if one does not know or do it, it is possible for that person to remain ‘blind’ or be in the dark for the rest of their life.
John 9:39-41 – They were ignorant of their true state with God, they remained as blind men.
Apostle Paul did fulfil the will or call of God for his life. God was able to use him to reach both the Jews and the Gentiles, and even kings. He was able to endure the sufferings that came upon him for the sake of Christ.
2 Cor. 11:23-33
With all what God had invested in you and I, are we also fulfilling the will of God for our own lives? Your knowledge, your exposure, your connection, your skills, your life experiences, your health, your wealth, etc. Does God benefit from any of these?
Of what purpose can my life be to God?
Romans 12:4-8 – For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So, we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
I Cor. 12:27-31 (AMP) – Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].
For example, I know my own purpose is to offer help and give counsel to people to become better of them, to organise and administer resources, to inculcate knowledge: both Divine and secular, to reveal the mind of God, to demonstrate love and kindness, etc.
I don’t try to be what am not. But what is your own purpose?
How do you know you are called?
As soon as you became born again; you have been called already. You have access to all that is in Christ, including fulfilling purpose.
Acts 2:38-39 – And Peter said to them, “Repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways, accept and follow Jesus as the Messiah] and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is for you and your children and for all who are far away [including the Gentiles], as many as the Lord our God calls to Himself.”
How do you know when to start?
You will be notified by God.
Rom. 8:29-30 – For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].
E.g. in Ex. 3:1-10 – Moses
How can you know your calling/purpose?
The calling of a man is usually not far from what he is doing or what he is led to do. You will naturally gravitate towards your purpose. Most times, a man’s calling lies in his passion.
Moses was passionate about delivering the oppressed. Israelite/Jethro daughters.
David was passionate about looking after sheep. After killing Goliath, he still went back.
Samuel was passionate about ministering as a priest from childhood.
Though it is possible that God may allow some to experience a radical change of purpose from what their initial passion was as Elisha was a farmer and not a son of prophet.
You have prayed, but still, do not know what your purpose is. What should you do?
Speak to whoever God has placed over you. A leader or a mentor. They will guide you.
I Sam. 3:1-14 – Samuel spoke to Eli.
Once I have been notified of my calling. When should I start working on it or serving my purpose?
The answer us now. Tomorrow may be too late.
John 9:4 – We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
Eccl. 9:10 – Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
4 things that can stop you from fulfilling your purpose for the Lord?
Your past. If you are not careful. Your past will haunt you for a lifetime. You must break free from it. The following people did not allow their past to stop them.
Paul was a murderer (Acts 7:58-60).
Moses was a murderer (Ex. 2:11-12).
Zacchaeus was a fraudster (Luke 19:1-10).
Peter was a failure in business (Luke 5:1-10).
Your present. Life has a way of getting us busy. Again, care must be taken to fulfil our purpose in life.
Elisha – commercial farmer. 12 yokes of oxen… He was doing well (I Kings 19:19-21). His success did not deter him.
James & John Zebedee – in a family enterprise. Father is old (Mk. 1:19-20). That did not deter them.
Luke 14:16-24 – Certain invited guests were bid to come to the banquet: inspect the land, try out 5 oxen, attend to a new wife, etc. unfortunately, these guests did not fulfil their purpose.
This is a call to the purpose of God to you. Will you go and inspect land?…
Bible says whoever does not work, must not eat.
Again, it says he that does not provide for his household, worse than an infidel.
Whatever your hands find to do, do it with the whole of your might.
As much as God wants us to be industrious, whatever we do must not overshadow our purpose and calling in life.
Genesis 5:25-27 – When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus, all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.
Of what importance is such a life? He begat no purpose. His father, Enoch only lived for 365 years, what an amazing account about his life (Gen. 5:21-24).
Your future. Anticipations of the future might rub one of fulfilling their purpose from today.
King Saul – the position of the king messed him up (I Sam. 10:17-24).
Jonah – his likely perception by the Nineveh to be seen as a false prophet messed him up too (Jonah 4:1-4).
Your temperament or attitude to life issues.
David – angry at God for the death of Uzzah (2 Sam. 6:1-10). Sent the Ark away.
Elijah – discouragement of being isolated (1 Kings 19:1-18). Wanted to die prematurely.
The man with 1 talent – envious of others. Lost his purpose entirely.
Some people have refused to serve God any longer because they had a misunderstanding with a fellow brother/sister. Tell me who is losing? Is it God? No. Not even the other fellow.
Some can even go to the extent of showing solidarity to an aggrieved friend and as such stopped serving God. Unbelievable! But it happens.
Luke 9:62 – And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Why is it necessary that I fulfil my purpose?
– Life and living will be a waste without it. (Our Certificates, buildings, cars, stocks and bonds, etc) are all useless without fulfilling our purpose in life.
The bible tells us what we happen to all that we see now at the end of age.
2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
No wonder King Solomon of all people, after so much enjoyment, said life is vanity upon vanity.
– There are eternal rewards for those that fulfilled their purpose.
2 Tim. 4:7-8 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
I have said a lot today. If you do forget many of them, don’t forget the topic “Lord, what will you have me to do?” may you fulfil your purpose in life in Jesus name.
Rev. 3:6 – He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Father, what will you have me to do for your kingdom here on earth?
Father enable me to do all you have purposed for my life here on earth.
Father, when I stand before You in the afterlife, let me be commended and not condemned.
Father help me not to lose my first love for you.
The sermon was delivered on September 1, 2019.