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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - The "More" You Were Made For

James Meehan - The "More" You Were Made For

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    James Meehan - The "More" You Were Made For

Well, hello and welcome. My name is James and I am so glad that you are joining us for Switch. Today's message is all about what we are all about. Before we get into that, here is my question for you. How many of you have ever felt like you were made for more? Like there's got to be more to life than the basic, everyday mundane monotonous tasks that have defined your life up until this point. Like there's gotta be more to life than just trying to make it through school and good grades so that maybe eventually you can get a good job and have a good life. There's got to be more to life than chasing after these relationships and friendships that always end up feeling superficial and shallow.

There's got to be more to life than the dysfunction that has defined my family for generations. There's gotta be more to life than feeling lost, stuck, empty, and hopeless. Pretty much my entire life, I believed that I was made for more. I remember as a kid dreaming of all the things that I would do when I got older of what my career would be of the different friends that I might have what my romantic life would look like the difference that I would make. But as time went on and things never really changed a lot of those dreams started to fade. I specifically remember the summer after graduating from high school, I was living on my own in Kansas about six hours away from family. I had been there because I was in a relationship with a girl and it was not healthy or good by any means.

But when that relationship eventually ended I realized that I had no vision for my future. Like I wasn't sure, should I go to college or should I just try to start working? Should I try to move back home with my family or should I stay where I am? And this went on with just this overwhelming sense of lostness, like I know I'm made for more or at least I think I'm made for more but I don't know how to find it. And and maybe as you are hearing this you find yourself in a similar situation where going into this year you were like this year's gonna be different. I'm gonna do things in a way that is so much better than what I've had the past several years, but right now this year feels like more of the same. Or maybe you found yourself in a relationship that in the beginning was so exciting and energizing and you were getting to know this person and they were getting to know you and everything seemed amazing.

But all of that has kind of slowed down. The fire has started to fizzle out and now you're questioning whether or not you keep being in a relationship with that person or not. Or maybe for you this was the year that you were gonna break out of your old reputation as the perfect student or the person who just does what everybody thinks they should and you were gonna finally be yourself and be honest about the things that you cared about. Once again, you feel yourself conforming to other people's expectations instead of actually stepping into the person that God has created you to be. If you've ever felt like you were made for more I want you to know that you are in the right place. Because here at Switch, we are obsessed with helping you discover the more that you were made for because we believe strongly that you were created by God for a purpose that is so much bigger than yourself.

We believe that you were crafted by God to become the kind of person who loves him with all that you are who loves others well and who actually lives a life that makes a difference. We call that becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ and that is our mission to help you become that kind of person, somebody who loves God, loves others and makes a difference. Now, maybe for you, you're not even a Christian. So this whole idea of loving God is a little bit strange. I want you to know that I'm just glad you're here, that here at Switch this is a place you can belong even if you don't believe. So, if you're not a Christian welcome if you're kind of sort of a Christian, also welcome.

If you are an all in committed Christian welcome it is actually through our different perspectives and experiences when we come together in conversation and relationship that we become stronger and better and wiser. And so your voice, your contribution matters. You are a part of what makes Switch so special. So what I wanna do today is tell you what we're all about because we wanna help you discover the more that you were made for and it was all built on this idea that God loves you and he wants you to love him. God loves you and he wants you to love him.

Now, I'm very aware that as I say those words that there are different things going on in your brain right now, and unfortunately it's because of the fact that our understanding of love in our modern world is completely broken. Like to call what we have an understanding would be totally lying. Like it is a misunderstanding of what love really is. And because of that we don't really know what it means to be loved by God or even what it means to love God because just to call it what it is, when we talk about love most of us are really talking about what other people or things can do for us to make us feel better and meet our needs. Like hypothetically speaking, you're in a conversation with your friends and you're talking about your favorite activity. Like you love football. Football is a game, right? Like it's not a person. There's no real relationship there.

And so when you say you love football, what you're describing is you really enjoy this activity probably because you have fun doing it and maybe it meets your needs for physical activity. You're saying, I enjoy this thing because of what it does for me. Or maybe you're like, "Bro, I love my PlayStation 5". Come on somebody, all the Xbox fans you're still welcome here at Switch but PS5 is the way to go. But the thing is PS5 like football not a person, no real relationship. So to say you love your PS5 is to say I enjoy this thing because it brings me fun times maybe with friends or maybe you're a single player gamer whatever that is, that's not really love. Or maybe you're like, "I love Dutch Bros Coffee because it's way better than that Starbucks stuff".

Once again, what we are describing is a thing that makes us feel good because it meets our needs. Here's what gets dangerous though, is when we start talking about people and loving them the way that we love things. When we start saying, "Hey, I love you because you make me feel good and you meet my needs". Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody who only loves what you can do for them? I'll bet you have. Relationships like that aren't really fun because the entire time it just feels like that other person wants something from you rather than actually wanting what's best for you. And that's why it's important for us to acknowledge that love is not just desiring something strongly because of what it can do for us or how it makes us feel and when it comes to the love that God has for us I am telling you his love is nothing like the way you love football, PlayStation 5 or Dutch Bros Coffee.

As a matter of fact this is what the Bible says about God's love in what is the most famous verse in the Bible. John chapter 3:16, we read that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". God so loved the world that he gave his only son his closest companion, God the Father willing to give up God the Son who has existed with him for eternity. God the Son willingly being given up to die as a sacrifice for your sins and for mine. That's the kind of love that God has for you.

So what is love? Love is not about using other people or things to get what we want. Love is choosing to sacrifice yourself for the good of others. That's the type of love that God has for you the kind of love that was willing to give up everything to bring you back to him. God is not an insecure middle school boy who only loves you because of what you can do for him. God doesn't need you, but God wants a relationship with you because God knows that you were made for more. And a big part of the more you were made for is a relationship with him. What is love? It's not using other people or things to get what we want. It's choosing to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. Not John 3:16, but 1 John 3:16 written by the same guy happens to be the same chapter and verse but it's it's a different book. He says this, he says, "This is how we know what love is that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters".

Love is not just how you think or what you feel. Love is about how you live and what you do. It is more than romantic affections strong desires or positive emotions. Love is choosing to lay down your life for the good of another person. And so I wanna come back to the big idea that we are all about here in Switch. It's the idea that God loves you and he wants you to love him not because he needs something from you but because God understands that you are made for more that he the creator of heaven and earth crafted you for a specific purpose and to live eternally in relationship with him. So how do we do that right? How do we actually believe and live in alignment with this idea that God loves us and he wants us to love him?

The first suggestion I would offer to you is that you've gotta receive God's love. That if you want to become the kind of person who lives for the more you are made for it all starts with receiving God's love. And it's so important for us to understand that the love that God has for us is not something we receive once we have achieved. No, that is not how it works. It is all about grace this gift that we didn't earn and we cannot deserve. That's why the love that God has for us is something that we receive when we believe. It's all about faith trusting in the character and the goodness of God. Ephesians chapter 2:8-10 tells us this "That it is by grace that we have been saved through faith. And this is not from ourselves. It is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast because we are God's handwork, His masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do".

Receiving God's love isn't something that we get through achieving. It's something we attain through believing. It's all about faith. But it's important for us to recognize, especially those of you who maybe have been following Jesus for a while that receiving the love of God is not meant to be a one time thing. When we first enter into a relationship with God it is actually meant to be an every day, every moment, way of life, where every day we are receiving the never-ending love that God has for us. So that every decision we make, every step we take, every word we say is infused with his love. And here at Switch, we're really passionate that this idea of living from a place of being loved by God isn't something that happens from just trying harder or being better or just like hulking out until we finally get it.

No, no, no. We don't try to receive God's love. We train ourselves to be aware of his love that is available every moment of every day and we train ourselves to live from a place of that love. We do it through practicing what we call spiritual disciplines. These are the habits of Jesus that when we make them our habits we actually learn how to be more aware of the never ending love that God has for us. Two specific habits that I think could be really valuable for you if you are embarking on this journey of joining this movement, we call Switch. If you are trying to discover the more that you are made for, the first one is something that we call silence and solitude. It is creating space to experience the presence of God creating space in our calendars, in our hearts, in our mind, in our day, so that we can get alone, we can get quiet and we can relax into the love of our heavenly Father.

That's the first thing. The second thing is something that we call prayer. It's a classic Christian practice that has been around from the very beginning that was modeled by Jesus himself. And prayer is simply having a conversation with God. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be that simple. It's talking to God like he's a friend, imagining that you are face to face with your good and loving father. Telling him what you need, letting him know what's on your mind because if it's on your mind you can bet that it's on his heart because God loves you and he wants you to love him. So what we do is we start by receiving God's love but then we have to move to actually respond with love because the love that God has for us is for us but it's not meant to just stay with us.

So first we receive his love. Second, we respond with love. 1 John chapter 1:19 tells us "That we love because he first loved us". Now Jesus, who is the greatest person who ever lived the son of God, who lived a perfect and blameless life who is the one that laid down his life so that we could know God and be forgiven of our sins he told us that the most important thing in the world for us as people of God is to love God and love others. As a matter of fact in Mark's gospel chapter 12:28-31, we read about a teacher of the law who came and heard Jesus debating and noticing that Jesus had given a good answer. He asked Jesus, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important"? and Jesus answers the most important one is this here, oh, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. There is one God and there is no one like him.

Now, love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength. The second is this, love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. What does it mean to love God? Follow your heart, soul, mind, and strength. First, I would make an interesting observation that the Greek words that get translated into heart, soul, mind and strength are words that can refer to a specific part of us, but also can refer to all of us. And so four different times, Jesus is saying the most important thing is this love God with this part of you that's also actually all of you. And then this part of you that's also actually all of you and this part of you and this part of you that are both also actually all of you.

So four times Jesus is saying, love God with part of you and also all of you, this is the thing that matters most. And a second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. So what does it mean to love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength. We would suggest that loving God with all of your heart means desiring God more than you desire the things of this world, that loving God with all of your soul means trusting God even more than you actually trust yourself. Loving God with all of your mind means knowing him deeply personally, and intimately. He's not just some abstract idea. He's a person that you can be in relationship with. And loving God with all of your strength means serving God with your very best, devoting your entire life to him.

This is what it's really all about. This is the more that you were made for because God loves you and he wants you to love him. And the way that we do that is we receive his love and we respond with love. Before any of us knew Jesus, we were separated by sin, but because of Jesus when we put our trust in him, we can come close to God. But God's great desire is not simply for us to be close to him, but for us to be one with him. Jesus, God in human form became one of us so that we could become one with him. And when we receive God's love and we respond with love with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind all of our strength, our lives are wrapped up in the love of God until we become united with our creator. This is the more that you were made for not to simply just go through the motions but to experience the unconditional radical love of God this is kind of love that changes everything.

It's kinda love that completely changed the trajectory of my life because I mentioned to you that there I was that summer after my high school graduation feeling lost and feeling stuck. And then through a phone call with my mom she invited me to move back home. So I did. She got me back in church and I went. She even got me involved serving at my church on the weekend as a volunteer. And let me be honest with you, at the time I didn't even believe in God, but I did it anyways. And through receiving the love of God's people I started to believe that maybe there's a God who loves me. And before my mind was ready, my heart was open to the truth of who Jesus is and how life with him changes everything. And now here I am having a conversation with you about the God who changed my life because God loves me and I know he wants me to love him, and God loves you. And I know that He wants you to love him too because when you do, when you receive his love and when you respond with love everything changes for the better.

So what I wanna do is I want to actually pray a prayer over you that is straight out of the truth of God's word, about the radical, the ridiculous the relentless love of God that changes everything. So in Ephesians chapter 3:16 here's what we read. "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his spirit then Christ will make his home in your hearts. As you trust in him, your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God who is able through his mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, forever and ever. Amen".

Now, maybe there's some of you who are watching this message and all of this talk about the love of God is something that maybe sounds good but you just aren't sure if it's true. You're not sure if it's real or maybe you're just not even sure that it's for you. I wanna remind you that God so loved the world. That means all of the people in it. That means God so loved you that he sent his son Jesus to die on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins, so that when we put our trust in him through faith, we would be safe. That means we would be forgiven of our sins the wrong things that we've done that have separated us from God, that we would be made right with God our Heavenly Father, and restored to our place as members of his family.

This is what you were created for. And this is what God is inviting you into to discover the more that you were made for life with him. And it begins with you choosing to trust in Jesus, to receive God's love. And maybe that's why you're here today to begin a relationship with Jesus that will change everything. And if that is you, the Bible says that all you've gotta do is believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. And when you do, you will be saved. And so if that's you and you're ready to make a decision that will change everything in the moment this is the moment for you to say yes to a relationship with Jesus.

If that is you and you wanna begin a relationship with him to receive his love then simply type it in a comment down below saying, "Jesus I give you my life. I want a relationship with you". And as people are choosing to make that decision what we're gonna do is we're gonna pray together. Because here at Switch, we are a family. And even though you had to make that decision on your own you don't have to pray alone because you are a part of God's family. You are a part of switch, and we wanna pray with you as you step into this new relationship with Jesus. So please out loud all together pray with me saying:

Heavenly Father, forgive me. I'm turning from my sin. I'm turning towards you. I need your love. I need your grace. I need your mercy. In Jesus' name, amen and amen and amen.

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