We are beginning a new series I am calling, “Gifted to Serve – A Study of Spiritual Gifts.” Through this study you will see that (1) you matter to God and that He loves you. (2) Because of His great love for you, He wants to have an intimate relationship with you, and (3) if you are willing, He will enable you to have a significant part in His epic plan.
Your search for significance is over!
Everyone has a desire to find meaning and purpose in life. We want to know that we matter. We need to feel that our lives made a difference. We all consciously or unconsciously search for meaning and purpose – for significance. Well, I’ve got good news! Your search for significance is over!
You will know how God has gifted you as well as your place in His plan
If you follow the simple principles we will share from God’s word, you need never wonder if your life matters. You need never to face the emptiness of a life lived without meaning and purpose. You will not have to come to the close of your life and ask, “What was it all about? Did my life matter?” And you will know how God has gifted you as well as your place in His plan.
The purpose of this series is not to provide self-help, build up your self-esteem, or help you make self-improvement.
But before I go any further, let me be careful to point out to you that the purpose of this series is not to provide self-help, build up your self-esteem, or help you make self-improvement. There is a whole industry devoted to self-improvement, self-help, and the like. And no doubt, if you look carefully, you’ll find principles that are true and helpful. The selection of these resources has grown exponentially to include Christian authors, pastors, and speakers. While I know many of these are based on sound biblical principles and worth reading, others are little more than a type of “baptized” Oprah-esq philosophy.
So please don’t lump this study from Scripture along with the positive thinking, self-centered resources. What’s the difference between our study and most self-help writings?
The Bible does not say, “God helps those who help themselves”!
First, our study is God-centered, not self-centered. Most self-help resources are just that…SELF HELP! The Bible does not say, “God helps those who help themselves”! He does not tell us that we already have everything we need to live a full and meaningful life. Contrary to the humanist, God does not talk about the “indomitable human spirit” that can accomplish anything!
“We can’t. He never said we could. He can. He always said He would.”2
On the contrary, He shows us that only when we admit our inability and are surrendered to Him is He able to do “immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine”!1 As Adrian Rogers said, “We can’t. He never said we could. He can. He always said He would.”2
Furthermore, and this may come as a shock to some, God’s word does not teach that life is all about our fulfillment, satisfaction, and success. As it has been said, the Christian life is “so not about us!” Our study will show what God has planned for us is bigger than ourselves
God spoke through Isaiah (55:9) and said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Yesterday morning, I read from John 12:25 where Jesus said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
The Scripture is full of paradox. The steps to a fulfilled life that Jesus described are juxtaposed to our normal way of thinking. When Jesus’ disciples answered His call and chose to follow Him they had to have a major paradigm shift and so will we.
We need this study because it contains timeless truths that form principles upon which we may stake our lives!
We need this study because it contains timeless truths that form principles upon which we may stake our lives! We will truly be successful and significant not because of the fickle and fleeting applaud of crowds, but because the One True God will look upon us after this life and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” We will have the applause of Heaven!
If that is what you want, get ready, because God is going to do it! God has brought you to this specific time in your life for just this moment because He loves you! He has plans for you!
So, let’s get started!
1 Ephesians 3:20
2 Adrian Rogers. Overheard during message preached at Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, TN.