Do Something Pt 3: The Purpose
Pastor Don Prewitt
The last couple of weeks we have been in a sermon series called “Do Something”. Pastor Terry started out the series talking about the 6 P’s of doing something for God. Let me recap what he has been sharing with us:
God has a PLAN for every one of us. Sometimes we will experience pain in the process, but it doesn’t eliminate the fact that God has a plan for our lives.
- God has PREPARED us to do something for Him. He has given us the Holy Spirit, The word of God, prayer and faith in Him to be able to accomplish whatever He would ask of us to do.
- Today I am going to be sharing with you the third P in this series, which is PUROSE. Purpose, which is simply a reason for which something or someone exists, is important if we want do accomplish anything for God in our lives.
Our adopted village in El Salvador are getting running water and toilets this year. For this reason, one of the things that we are doing is creating a mock toilet campaign with the children to teach them about the benefits of a toilet. Why? Because many organizations have learned that just because you supply a toilet to a third world home, it doesn’t mean that they will use it. Many well-intended organizations have come back the next year after installing toilets and found out that the bathroom has become a closet or a chicken coop. Why, because even though a toilet was installed, it doesn’t mean that the people of that village know the purpose or benefits of having such a luxury. The same is true for us, unless we get our purpose-what the plan if for us while here on earth, we may end up just being a closet full of earthly things that don’t really matter in the end.
In Matthew 19, starting at verse 16 we read a story about a rich young ruler who wanted to know how to obtain eternal life. Lets read it together:
“Now behold, one came and said to Him, Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
- Matt. 19:16-22 (NKJV)
This young man was asking the simple question of Jesus, “What do people DO that want to go to heaven”. The Pharisees and teachers of the law laid heavy chains of bondage on the shoulders of their people, making sure that they lived out every law to its fullest. This young wealthy man said that he had kept all the commandments since he was a youth and yet unsure of where he would spend eternity, he asks this compelling question. Maybe this man reminds some of us of ourselves. We want to know what it is that we have to DO, or what ELSE we have to do, to get to heaven. We work hard trying to obtain a right standing with God and yet there’s an uneasy feeling inside of us…”Is this enough?”
The uneasy feelings come from the fact that we can NEVER do enough to obtain heaven. Everything that has to be done has already been done when Jesus died on the cross to take our punishment. When He said “It is finished”, its exactly what He meant!
So, as we approach this next portion of the DO SOMETHING sermon series, I want to remind you that as pastors, we are not asking you to do more for the acceptance of God. We are asking you to see that each of you has something to do; something that God has called each of you to do in this world. We are asking you to see that you have a purpose for being. You are not just a closet full of junk waiting for the “end”.
In Matt. 22:34 The Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus into saying the wrong thing. They asked him what the greatest commandment was. In verse 37 He gives the answer to their question and the answer to our question of how to get to heaven.
“Jesus said to him, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it; ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
- Matt. 22:37-40 (NKJV)
The first thing that we need to know about your purpose in doing something for God is:
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT IS TO LOVE GOD
The one thing that God requires of us to get to heaven is to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind and love our neighbor as ourselves. This is our sole purpose while here on this earth.
The rich young man was confused and so can we be. He was doing all the obedient looking things, but doing obedient looking things doesn’t give us purpose, it just keeps us busy. Loving God is the only thing that will give us purpose in our lives.
Now love is an interesting concept. We measure what love is by our own human experience and relationships. But God measures our love by our obedience to Him.
Jesus says in John 14:
“If you love me, keep my commandments.”
- John. 14:15
“He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me, and he who loves me will be loved by my father and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
- John. 14:21
TO LOVE GOD IS TO OBEY GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS
God has promised us so much in the scriptures that prove His love towards us. Like the 23rd Psalm that says God will LEAD us beside still waters. How do we get to the still waters? We have to let God lead us; we have to obey his leadership to get to those still waters.
Accepting Christ as our savior whole-heartedly will save us, but we will still be judged for what we have done here on earth. This obedience is more than just observing the 10 commandments
I don’t think that Jesus was telling the young man in our first story that being rich was wrong as much as he was giving a direct command to the man. He was trying to break down this mans love for anything else besides Jesus himself. Because Jesus knew that the happiest and most fulfilled place this man could be was in deep obedience and love with Jesus.
Putting our faith and love in anything or anyone other than Jesus complicates our purpose here on earth. See, the rich young ruler did all the right things, but he loved his money. Jesus knew this and gave him a command that was the not easy…give up the thing you love more and obey me. Love me above your money, love me above your personality, love me above your desires, love me and I will bless you in ways that none of those things could ever bring to you!
So lets review:
- The greatest commandment is to love God
- To love God is to obey God and to keep His commandments
GODS COMMANDS ARE BASED ON TRUTH
Whether we obey God is not based on feelings or on our own understanding, but on truth. When I put my faith in Jesus, I don’t want it to be based on some emotional experience that I had but on the truth of the scriptures.
The same is true about the second part of Jesus’ response to the religious leaders: “Love God with all your heart, mind and strength and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”. We don’t love the homeless man that we pass by every day because we feel it is required of us to do so, but rather we love him because the scripture tell us to love him.
In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us a story about religious people, probably pastors, who did all the right things, had all the right gifts, but did not enter into the kingdom of God. This is because they didn’t really know God. If they knew and loved God they would have heard him say “feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, visit the sick and cloth the naked.”
GODS COMMANDMENTS OR TRUTH ARE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN
Obeying what God says in His scripture is truth, but what about the things that God only speaks to you about. The rich young ruler was doing everything that he thought God was requiring, except what Jesus spoke directly to him to do. This is true for us also. The things that God personally asks us to be obedient in are also His truth.
How many of you have things that you know God has spoken directly to you to do? How many of you are doing them? The scripture says “don’t lie”, so you try to not lie. But what about the still small voice of God that is telling you to forgive the person who hurt you, or go to your grouchy neighbor and invite them to your small group or to stop trusting in whatever it is you are trusting in and put your trust completely in God. These would be God’s commands directly to us and if we love God, we will obey Him in these things also.
1. THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT IS TO LOVE GOD.
2. TO LOVE GOD IS TO OBEY GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
3. GODS COMMANDS ARE BASED ON TRUTH.
4. GODS COMMANDMENTS OR TRUTH ARE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN.