Coming out of our series on the Names of God, we jumped into a new series leading up to our Anniversary, which we are celebrating next Sunday. In the words of Pastor Ronnie, ‘Are you excited?’
Anyway, I had the privilege of getting the Afternoon service started in this new series, talking about Life lived with Purpose. Going back to the point that I had back then, it’s obvious that we would do well to have a purpose – it enhances our lives in that we have direction. Our purpose is the answer to the question, ‘What value are we adding in this reality?’
The fact is that it’s this same reality that assaults us on the daily – whether it’s in the form of distractions, circumstances or other people, what we call our purpose is constantly being erased, if not perverted.
The Truth for us as Christians is that we have Christ. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Christ’s purpose was to give us life. I’m saying that if we’re lacking purpose, we take one step back and two steps forward, in that we take time to remember Christ and the purpose He fulfilled in and through His finished work – this is the foundation for determining our purpose at any given moment.
We were once proud of our claim to have started the Purpose Driven Life here in Baguio – now I say Christ is the Life that drives our Purpose.
This fallen world is ruthless. It does not stop at destroying our purpose, but it also tries to weigh us down at the same time. These past months have surely had us under a vise, and anywhere you turn, your senses are bombarded with news, fake news, news of news not being shared, news of individuals and communities broken by news… This fallen world is relentless is stealing our purpose and placing fear in its place.
Pastor Poppo’s message on Love captivated by Jesus’ Passion was equally timely. Recall that we are not only loved, but we are loved by no less than the Creator of all things seen and unseen, the Maker of the greatest galaxies and the tiniest of species. This love is the only love there is to be had, and it is a love that is eternal and everlasting.
This is a love bestowed by God upon Christ, proclaimed upon Him before men by the power of the Holy Spirit. And while you’re waiting for me to say that this is a perfect love that casts out all fear, I would like us to recall and always place into remembrance that Christ was fully aware of this love.
What am I trying to say? See, if we say that perfect love casts out all fear, this would work if we give place to fear – in other words, we can certainly say that perfect love casts out all fear when fear is present, but otherwise, this is the love that has us moving. By fear Christ was sweating bullets of blood, and by fear He said, ‘take this cup away from me’ – but it is because of the truth of God’s perfect love towards Him that He says, ‘not my will, but Yours be done.’
Jesus’ Passion was founded in God’s perfect love for Him. Our passion, therefore, is our response to the statement, ‘God values you,’
I feel this recap was important for me to share before I jumped into my actual point for today.
Our external purpose is derived at any given moment from the life we have in Christ.
Our internal passion has its roots in the love we have from God, through Christ.
You can see them as 2 separate aspects of our being, but like everything pertaining to our existence, they are connected.
Consider this: Before Christ, we were dead, and anything we were doing was out of a dead being, and therefore also dead. Dead people can only produce dead things. God said that our good works were filthy rags. We were incapable of doing anything of value in the light of eternity.
But at this moment, we give God all the glory, because He saw us at our state, and fully knowing our complete depravity, He sent His Son, who reconciled us by His death, and saved us by His life. You hear me saying this a lot, but we see it here from another point of view.
See, when Christ died, He took our death, and therefore, when he rose again, we took His life. Now, we not only have life, but we were given the opportunity to produce life. See here how this life that we have is not only un-death, but power… Christ gave us life, Christ gave us purpose, and Christ gave us potential.
Was it just potential that He gave us? Folks, understand that this is why we celebrate the Body AND the Blood of Jesus Christ – It is by the blood of Christ that we are assured and downright confident of God’s faithfulness and love towards us.
It is by the blood of Christ that we have been fully reconciled to the Creator of the universe, now and forever. Therefore, we know that God sees us with the same passion and love He poured out upon Christ, saying ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
Christ’s passion was birthed from this love, and it was a passion that had Him willingly lay down His life for all of us! This love was a multiplier that drove Him to reconcile Creation back to Creator, even if it cost Him everything!
And it is this same passion where we draw our own energies to live, move, and have our being – not just to sit on our hands and say ‘grace, grace, grace…’
Folks, Christ’s finished work gave us life and potential. Christ’s finished work opened our eyes to a love that multiplied this potential… exponentially.
It is from this multiplied potential that Christ has won for us that we lead.