Living Life ‘On Purpose”

“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder; a waif, a nothing, a no man…” Thomas Carlyle 1795-1881

Many people don’t have a clear sense of purpose and direction for their life. They don’t know who they are or why they are on this planet.

Everyone needs a strong sense of purpose and mission. Do you know what you are supposed to do with the one life – the ONLY life you have to live?

Every moment of our lives has value, and every decision we make either adds to our purpose and mission or takes away from it.

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. “ Paul understood why Jesus took hold of him…do you? Our task in life is to “lay hold of that which Christ laid hold for us.”

My purpose is to make plain the gospel so that people can enter into a relationship with Christ and grow to their full potential. I love waking up each day knowing why I have been created. I have a spring in my step and a smile on my face because not only do I know my specific purpose, but I am living it every day.

What is your purpose? Who and what are you living for? When you know your purpose, you live with energy and passion. Knowing what is truly important and living that way is a powerful position.

What changes in your life are you going to have to make to live out your purpose?

You are going to have to be more intentional in what you do with your time; what you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to. I am not saying that it is going to be easy because it’s not.

Please don’t wake up one day and discover that you lived your life for years but not according to your purpose!

Here are some things for you to do right away:
1 – Discover your purpose
2 – Develop your purpose
3 – Deploy your purpose

New Season Loves Our Community!

We have a great desire at New Season Church to touch our community. We want people to know that we truly care for them and the struggles they may be experiencing in their lives.

We began to pray a year ago about an event called Love Loud: Prayer, Care and Share where we will venture out to a specific neighborhood to interact with the people.

On September 20th, we will go into Vista Lake Subdivision to pray for the people. We are also asking our people to pray throughout the week for the people in the Vista Lake neighborhood.

On September 26th, we will host a corporate prayer meeting at New Season at 6:30 pm.  Our prayer team will lead this meeting as we gather collectively to pray for Love Loud.

On September 27th, we are throwing a huge block party for the Vista Lake Subdivision. We will provide a free barbeque lunch along with fun things like bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, popcorn, and sno-cones. The block party will last from 11:00 am-2:00 pm.

Then on September 30th, from 8:30am-4:30pm, the New Season parking lot will be transformed into a food distribution center. There will be a semi-truck loaded with tons of food to be distributed to local families.

All of these activities are being done to display our love and commitment for our community. We are blessed to be a part of Paulding County and we consider it a privilege to give back in a small way.

Walk On the Wild Side

When asked why they do not share their faith, 99% of all Christians say, “I’m afraid” or “I don’t know what to say”. They don’t know how to start the conversation or just can’t get  the nerve to dive in and share the gospel. Nothing is more exciting than seeing someone pass from death to life and nothing comes closer to living on the edge than sharing the gospel story!

This Friday night, September 12,  I am going to help you with those issues that hinder you from sharing.

Are you stuck in a mundane, average, "normal" life as a believer?

Does your spiritual life lack excitement, passion and fire?

Are you apprehensive to share your story with others? Fearful that you won’t know what to say or how to say it?

Come and take a WALK ON THE WILD SIDE! Friday night from 6:45 to 9:30 pm, I will share what you can do to develop confidence and boldness in sharing your faith with others. It will be a life changing time together.

Step out of your comfort zone and take a risk! You have family members and friends who are lost without God and are just waiting for someone to tell them! Will you be the one?

Mark your calendars and join us as I share material that has the potential to impact lives for eternity. Remember, this Friday, Sept. 12 from 6:45-9:30 pm…it will not be time wasted!

I will see you Friday night as we take: A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!

A Life Well Lived

15 years ago, I met a wild,crazy Sprit filled man who was totally in love with Jesus! He and I clicked immediately because he was the opposite of religious…He was raw and real.

He made me look like a choir boy compared to how he lived his life before Christ. He never got over what Jesus did for him and he and I became fast friends.

He was my neighbor for seven years. He was an incredible man. There is not enough time or space for me to share all the great things about this man.

Yesterday, I helped preach his funeral. Besides my own father-in-law, it was the hardest funeral I have ever had to preach.

Bill Dunn was my friend. Bill fought cancer for 4 years and taught me more about faith and perseverance than a thousand sermons ever could. I deeply loved Bill Dunn.

His wife Darla said to me, “I’m now a widow.” I lost it.

Bill lived a few years here on earth but made a huge impact and leaves an enormous legacy.

Life really is short and you never know when your time is up here on earth. James 4:14 says, “…you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Have you ever watched steam rise from a boiling pot? It is there and then it is instantly gone. That is the comparison that James is giving with our physical lives and vapor/mist. Yet, somehow, we feel that we are guaranteed a nice long life…84 years or so and we miss the emphasis of the comparison.

If you knew that your life was going to end tomorrow, wouldn’t you do things differently today?

Of course you would! You would spend the day with your family, savoring every second. You would make sure that your affairs are in order.

And I believe that you would get your spiritual house in order. You would accept Christ if you have never done so; you would ask for God’s forgiveness for sin in your life and you would make sure that heaven is your final destination.

Bill Dunn’s death reminds me again that life is short and we must live life to the fullest.

I love you Bill…thank you for being my friend. Thank you for a life well lived!

Demons

We are currently in a series at New Season called “This Is War.” We are dealing with spiritual warfare.

This Sunday, we are in Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 12 – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We will be talking about demons.

I was reminded of a book that I read a long time ago. I don’t know if you have ever read the classic, “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. It is an incredible book dealing with spiritual warfare and how the enemy works to discourage us. In one particular part of the book, the senior demon, Screwtape educates the junior demon, Wormwood on how to tempt a human “client.” Screwtape explains the tactic of using a human’s fatigue during a time of trial to persuade the man/woman to give up.

One of the main strategies of the devil is discouragement.The devil wants you to slow down, sit, stop and give up. He wants you to quit on God, your family, the church and your journey with Christ.

The battle is already over.We win! Don’t give up or back down! You’re on the winning side!

Three Things You Need to Know

I. Money will never satisfy or bring fulfillment.

“Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”  Ecclesiastes 5:10

Some people believe and live the accumulation of money will bring them the happiness and fulfillment they desperately desire.

II. Learn to be content in Christ through living a life of significance.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” I Timothy 6:7-8

As a young adult, we seem to think that material things and money are the key to success. Many times, our lives are consumed with our quest for this type of “success.” When you get a little older and wiser, you realize that is really not the key to success…you long for significance.

III. Be a giver, not a taker.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” -II Corinthians 9:7

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25: 35-40

My Pastor taught me that you are never more like Jesus then when you are giving.

Worry Wart

Have you ever been called a worry wart? Are you that person who worries all the time about everything?

There are so many things happening today in our world and in our lives that many people find themselves in a state of worry…

How much time have you spent in recent days worrying?

Worry – that emotion in which you feel anxious or concerned about something. It is the state of restlessness and agitation producing mental disturbance, uneasiness and uncertainty

Proverbs 12:25 says, ‘worry weighs a person down’

Worry is destructive
Worry is a destroyer of the soul.
If unchecked, it results in great anxiety or even mental illness
Worry in the mind causes shock in the body

Matthew 6: 27 – 30 says:  “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.
They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”

I Peter 5:7 says, “7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” He says be anxious for nothing – don’t worry.

Word “Anxious” (Careful) to be pulled in different directions – strangle – or to choke you.
Worrying – choke you, choke your joy, peace

Worrying can cause headaches, neck pain, ulcers, even your digestion and coordination.

Paul say, “Don’t worry about anything.” Instead pray about everything. Pray about everything; give it up to God; surrender control (that’s tough) and trust in your Heavenly Father.

Worry is the opposite of faith and trust. Worry wastes time, steals energy and prevents you from accomplishing anything.

What type of things worry you the most?
What is the biggest worry facing you today?
What is one thing you could do right now to change a worry into a positive action?

Making Things Right

In Matthew 5, Jesus told his followers, "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go.  First be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (vs. 23-24). 

In Matthew 18 he added,  "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother" (v. 15).

In the first case, you have sinned against someone.  In the second, someone has sinned against you.  In both, you are to initiate reconciliation.  You are to speak to the person, not about him.

What if he refuses to listen?  Jesus tells us: "If he will not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.  And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector" (Matt. 18:16-17). 

Relationships within the body of Christ are essential.  But it begins by going directly to the person, initiating reconciliation.

Who do you need to go to today and make things right?

Confrontation

One of the hardest things you will ever do is confront someone.

On the other hand, one of the hardest things you will ever do is not confront someone by taking the high road. Some things just aren’t worth it.

Some people will never listen, they are gossips. Others are garbage cans (they listen and take in gossip.)

The Proverb says, “do not give a fool the time of day.” If you are alive, then you know that confrontation is going to happen. Confrontation isn’t easy or enjoyable. If you like confrontation, then you are a sick person!

Matthew, chapter 18 gives us some very clear guidelines in dealing with interpersonal relationships.

There will be people who will reject your confrontation. Nothing is ever “their fault.” They will never take responsibility for anything that happens, they will always blame someone else or throw someone else under the bus. There are some people that just will not respond the right way, even after you have handled things according to Matthew 18.

Thank God there are those people when confronted, who receive the confrontation. They have a teachable spirit. They desire that their horizontal and vertical relationships be right. They repent and you have won over your brother/sister. They understand Proverb 27:2,  “wounds from a friend can be trusted.”

How do you respond when confronted over something? How do you deal with people who need to be confronted? Do you take the high road because it is the right thing to do or because you lack courage?

Do you follow Matthew 18 or do you just go with whatever feels comfortable?

Is there a person you need to go speak to or a situation that needs to be dealt with?

Only 1 Life…Make it Count!

I just had a conversation with my good friend Jason Dupree. We were talking about how fast life is going by. I just had a son turn 30 years old and Jason has a daughter who is a senior in high school.

The thought came and a discussion followed that we have about 30 years left to live if we live the average rate for a man. To think about that is quite sobering. Time really is the most valuable commodity.

When you read the book of Ephesians, especially chapter 5, you can sense the urgency in Paul’s writing. He says in Ephesians 5, verses 15 and 16, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Paul tells us to walk carefully, not as fools. Don’t act irresponsibly or unintelligently. Then he tells us to redeem the time.

Time is too valuable. Life is too short. We must buy up the time. We must take advantage of the God given opportunity that is before us. Paul is telling us that there is a fixed point of time.

There is a crack in the door and we must take advantage. We must take the risk, we must “go for it.” Why? Because the days are evil.

We are called to be salt and light. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The time is now so quit playing games, quit messing around!

Only one life, it will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. Seize the day! Redeem the time!

I desire to make the time I do have left really matter! Watch out next 30 years or so!

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