Discovering Your Place

Do you like trying new things?  Honestly…I don’t.  I know I know…that sounds boring.  But I just have to face the facts; I can be a boring person.  I’m not sure why I don’t like to try new things.  I guess it’s partly because I’ve always had a fear of the unknown.  Also, if I am not good at a particular task, I would prefer not to do it.  And I usually don’t.  Which makes trying new things extremely uncomfortable for me.  Let’s face it, the first time you try something new is usually not your best effort.  Most tasks take time to master.  Trying something for the very first time makes you vulnerable.  It opens up opportunities for failure.  None of us like to fail.

When my wife Lourae and I were first married, I worked road construction.  Hard to believe isn’t it?  I had no idea what I was doing.  Almost every task I was asked to do I was doing for the very first time.  One particular task I had to learn was to pull a 24 foot trailer behind a pickup truck.  I know that sounds easy.  But trust me it’s harder than it sounds.  Especially when it came to backing up with the trailer to a loading dock.  One day I had to back up the trailer in between 2 semi-trucks.  It literally took me 30 minutes but I finally made it.  I got better as time went on but that first time was brutal.  The point is, the more we do something, the better we become at doing it.

Think of all we miss out on by not trying new things.  I’m not talking about performing stupid stunts or dares.  I believe God gives common sense as a gift and we should use it regularly.  However, we shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to try something new either.  Especially when God is calling us to do it.

In trying to discover God’s purpose for our lives, we must be willing to try something new.  Even if it makes us feel uncomfortable.  Francis Chan writes in Crazy Love, “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.” (pg 124)  Gods not really concerned with our comfortHe is concerned with our calling and obedience.

We discovered in my last post that we are all created with a purpose.  We are not an accident.  (No matter what your older brother or sister has said!)  But just because you are not an accident, doesn’t mean that your purpose will fall into your lap.  It must be sought out.  We have to discover our purpose.  If the end result for us is to be “Holy” as declared in 1 Peter 1:15-16, what does that look like right now?  How do we get there?  Scripture gives us some answers here.

John 3:16 is a very famous and familiar verse.  If you are new to this church thing you probably know at least some of this verse.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)

According to this passage, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this world for one reason.  So that all might know Him.  It does not say that all will know Him but rather all might know Him.  There is a reason that you have been created.  That purpose begins with knowing Christ as Savior and Lord.  The Bible is filled with passages that support this truth.  Here are a few…

1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)

1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.” (ESV)

That last verse spells it out plainly.  It is God’s will that we be sanctified.  We don’t use that word much.  Do you know what it means?  Sanctification means to be set apart, to be free from sin, and to be made holy.  It’s God’s desire that you know Him.  Not just know about Him but really know Him.

How does that happen?  How do we know God or better yet, how does God know us?  You need to understand that God is pursuing you.  That’s why John 3:16 is so powerful.  Let me explain…

The Bible tells us that we are all sinners.  (See Romans 3:23)

Sin means that we have messed up.  We have missed the mark.  And because of this sin, someone has to pay for it.  God is Holy and cannot have anything to do with sin.  So we have a dilemma.   God is Holy, we are sinners, He desires a relationship with us, and He cannot look upon sin.  Insert Jesus.  God loves us too much to leave us without a chance to know Him.

Read Romans 5:8, “…but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (ESV)

Did you see it?  Even though we are sinners, God loves us.  Because we are sinners, God loves us.  Jesus died on a cross for your sins and for mine so that our sins would be paid for in full.  His blood pays for our sins.  All of them!  It is vital that we understand that.

Once we understand that, all we have to do is allow Him to save us.  We cannot do it on our own.  We don’t earn the right to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  If we could earn it with good choices we could lose it with bad choices.  Look at this passage…

Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not on your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

Did you see it? We are uniquely created by God for God.  He has a purpose and plan in mind.  He desires a personal relationship with each of us.  Not because we are good enough because honestly we aren’t.  We can’t earn or buy eternity.  It has nothing to do with what we do.  It is only by God’s grace and His mercy that we are saved.

So here’s what you do…

Understand that you are a sinner in need of God’s mercy.  Romans 3:23

Acknowledge the fact that God loves you and is pursuing you.  Romans 5:8

Ask God to forgive you for your sins.  2 Peter 3:9

Realize that you are now a new person.  2 Corinthians 5:17

1 Peter 1:14 warns, “Do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance (life).”  Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we change.  Some habits maybe hard to die but inside we have changed.  Life for the Christian has a new purpose.  We are no longer living for ourselves we are now living for Him.  We cannot walk with Jesus and continue to walk in the world.  Our old self is gone and we are now a new person.

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