Session 10: Getting the Best out of Life…Part 1
1. A Clean Slate, with a purpose
- Have you ever felt like you just wanted to start fresh? To start with a clean slate? To put the past totally behind you? Can you imagine what it would be like to live a life that’s full of purpose, where your attitude to even the mundane things of life is full of meaning?
- It’s unfortunate however that people are drawn by the lure of money, where getting rich is the only purpose and ambition that they ever have. The likes of Bill Gates and his desire to give away his wealth have showed us that wealth can be dangerous (he even said that it’s not good for his children!).
- The Bible already warns against this – the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
- We should never let money be our purpose, especially since God has already told us that He will supply everything that we need (Philippians 4:19) and that He will give us an abundant life (John 10:10)
- A purposeful and abundant life doesn’t mean that there will be no troubles; it just means that God will see us through those troubles and that we have a reason to live.
2. What is Commitment?
- Kony 2012 was one of the “largest” campaigns launched worldwide, drawing a then-record100 million views in 6 days. However, this doesn’t mean that people were committed to it. Watching and sharing a video, in the big scheme of things, probably doesn’t mean as much, especially since the record has been shattered by a ridiculous music video.
- Commitment also goes beyond just saying we’re Christians, as evidenced by the Barna research survey done in 2011.
- Jesus however knew what His purpose and commitment was.
- His purpose is to come and seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), knowing very well that God’s will was that everyone would be saved and raised in the last day (John 6:40). His commitment is ultimately sealed at the Cross, when He willingly died and went all the way to the grave for our sakes.
3. The Great Commission – Purpose + Commitment
- The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is God’s charge to us; in it He gives us our purpose and seeks our commitment.
- The essence of the Great Commission can be summed up into 1) Go, 2) Make disciples / teach, and 3) Baptize
- Go simply means action; we won’t get the best out of life without doing anything!
- Making disciples involves following Jesus and what He did – Jesus summed up the “Law and the Prophets” as loving God, and loving others (Matthew 22:37-40). Our purpose is simply to follow Jesus in all His precepts and instructions, and to teach everyone to love God and to love others.
4. Purpose + Commitment in action
- Jesus has said (John 3:6, Mark 16:16) that there must be both an inward and an outward display of commitment. One without the other is simply incomplete.
- The thief on the cross, even though he wasn’t baptized, was saved simply because he had this inward and outward display of commitment after he really met Jesus on the Cross. He had no opportunity to be baptized, but Jesus took him where he was at.
- Likewise, the Ethiopian eunuch also had transformational account with Jesus in the Bible; his reading was no longer just informational and he sought to be baptized (Acts 8:31-39). When he came up out of the water, he went away rejoicing, now having discovered a new purpose and commitment through this transformational act.
- Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, also had an incredible transformational experience. His purpose and commitment was to stamp out Christianity; he persecuted and killed Christians (Acts 22:4-5). However, God got a hold of him, and Paul was baptized and became a great witness for God (Acts 22:7-16). He now had a newfound purpose and commitment that truly gave him the best out of life.
- Jesus was also baptized; this was when He outwardly acknowledged His purpose and commitment and launched into His ministry. He was baptized not because He needed to be cleansed and forgiven, but because He was to set an example for us, joining His purpose and commitment to us through the body of Christ, the church, in baptism (Galatians 3:27, Colossians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 12:13).
- Because of this, we as a church can and should share the same purpose and commitment.
- However, it all begins with each one of us making an individual commitment. As Devon Franklin has decided that he will put God first no matter what happens, so should we because God will open the doors “where our faith will fit through”.
The Bible says that when we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death, but also that we will walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). Intertwined and linked to the Great Commission – we can have a purpose and commitment that will truly give us the best out of life.