God's Plan for My Life Romans 1:16-17 - 5:1-5
Romans 1:16-17 - 5:1-5
by Cooper Abrams
INTRODUCTION: The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The reason is these animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.
Our message is the last in a four part series on God's Plan for my life - We have been each Sunday addressing the matter of a person growing in Jesus Christ.
The first message established from God's word that God has a plan for each of our lives. Whether we live the best life we can, or accept something less depends on first...receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior and then growing to maturity as we live by the word of God.
The second message addressed the progression of spiritual growth which makes God plan for our lives possible.
Last week we addressed the vital matter of letting Jesus Christ be the Lord of our lives. It is a matter of being a disciple of Jesus and letting Him guide us through life. We then are filled by the Holy Spirit God's will for our lives is accomplished daily.
Today we want to look at faith's part in living God's will for our lives. Our illustration of the African impala points to the fact that many people never really grow much in the Lord. They fail to realize that we are to live by faith. However, the illustration has a flaw....the impala will not jump where he cannot see. The Christian does not have that problem, because God does not tell us to take a "leap into the dark" either. God's word explains to us the ways of God, His instructions to us on how He works in us. He tells us in clear terms what is right and wrong for us. He gives clear principles to guide us through any situation that we encounter in life.
So biblical faith is not jumping where we cannot see, but jumping or better living as God has told us. We can jump 30 foot fences in faith and land safely on the other side. Or, we can live small dull little lives....held within the little fences of our lack of faith.
2. On the other hand, some express a different attitude. Some read the Bible, know that is what God has said and yet respond by saying, "God, you have a good thought, I appreciate it, but you don't understand my circumstances".
However, when things are not exactly convenient or the going gets tough, as it will, many become anxious lose sight of God's presence. Some just continue on doing little or nothing and really going no where. Some panic, and begin to question their salvation and God's promises.
Both responses are human. But in Christ we can overcome just being human. We have the supernatural power of God to encourage, guide and strengthen us. To be anxious or to panic is human, but it is not an act of faith. When anxiousness and panic and uncertainty come, in the believer's life...faith should immediately take over.
That means we then do what the Bible says to do...we obey God and He then takes over.
John 5:10, says "he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar".
This is the last message in this series on "What is God's Purpose for My Life." This however, . . . I believe is the most important message and is the foundation of finding and living God's will for our lives. God has a purpose and that purpose is found in with biblical faith. Without faith Hebrews 11:6 says "it is impossible to please God."
One spring when he was hauling some logs, his truck's wheels sank down to the axles in mud. Try as he would, he couldn't get the truck out. Frustrated, he sat down atop the logs, viewing the dismal situation. He was trying to figure out what next to do....
Soon a neighbor who had always felt uncomfortable with the farmer's worn out defeated testimony came along and greeted him. He chucked to himself and could not resist the opportunity to respond the farmer's silly past statement.
He smiled and said...... "Well, brother Jones, I see you're not making much progress, but you must be content because you're well-established!
This reveals the problem. Some look upon their situation and are content with it. Others give up and do nothing. I think most of us accepts that we should grow in Christ.
God in James 1:2-8 explains what we should do when the trials come.
1 John 1:8-10 tells us what to do when we fail the Lord and sin.
1 Corinthians 10:13 explains God's active part in our lives when we are tempted and subject to failure.
The problem is two fold. Some people are not aware of these instructions from God. They don't know what to do.
The others....and this is really sad....know what God says and will not follow it.
What do you think the word means in the New Testament Greek? Well...it means the same thing!
God says those who are righteous meaning saved by grace and born again "shall" live by faith. What does "shall" mean?
When I was a boy my dad would give me "shall" commands. He would say, "Mickey cut the hedges." He did not use the word, but I knew that he was saying to me...."You "shall" cut the hedges." By the way of all the chores my dad gave me...this one was pure torture. My dear mother had planted then to border our front lawn and they extended at least a hundred and fifty feet in length. I had to trim them into a box. Level on top and straight on the sides. We had them down the back yard too, but after a few years Mom pulled them up.... Oh, the joy of seeing those bushes pulled up and burned! It still left a hundred feet...which was my "thorn in the flesh."
God does not say....I suggest you, as a child of Mine, live by faith, He says you SHALL live by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Folks God loves us and wants the best for us...so He doesn't beat around the bush...He states it emphatically to Christians....you SHALL live by faith.
Nothing could save him, for his salvation was in a parachute that he had not buckled on. Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Trying to live our lives in our own strength by our own wisdom will always end if tragic lost. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the uncertainly of living our lives.
C. The verse says that the Just Shall Live...by faith. This is a fact and is a undisputable truth. A life that is lived without Christ is a tragedy. It will end with God's condemnation.
Turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 3:10 and lets read this passage. You follow with me as I read aloud.
The passage say that our works, that means the way we live our daily lives will no day be judged. We will stand before the Lord Jesus and our works will be place in that fire. That which we did in faith, which brings honor to the Lord will bring reward....gold, silver precious stones. The life we lived ignoring the Lord...living our lives without Him will be there too, but they will be burned up in a great flash....wood, hay, wheat, stumble.
I will be honest with you this morning I really do not know how to challenge each of you to live God's plan for your life. I do not know how to motivate you to want to live for the Lord. I have heard great speakers who preached God's word tell people of the wonderful grace of God and the wonderful live God has for them and I have seen people walk out the door and continue on with little regard for accomplishing God's plan for their lives.
But it is no conciliation to me...but I know that I am certainly not a great preacher, not really even a close and ....people have rejected the messages I have preached from God's own word over the years also. I wish it were not true...but I believe more rejected God's reaching out to them...that who accepted His calling. But you are not rejecting me, if this message is touching your heart strings this morning. It is the Lord Himself who is seeking you, to give you a fulfilling life. It is He who loves you and is even now compelling you to live for Him.
I cannot say, but I suspect there are a number here who love the Lord and are seeking to live for Him. You realize it is the only way to live and God is a reward of those who diligently seek Him as Hebrews 11:6 says. I can say to you without any reservation...there is waiting in the future a wonderful day when you see the Lord face to face and He says to you "Well done, thy good and faithful servant." You also have His uplifting presence to sustain you daily and provide for you and your family.
My prayer this morning is that no one leave this place without making that commitment to the Lord. To live for Him and to accomplish His will for our lives, by living by His word.
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