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Watch 2022 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - Finding Your One Thing In Life - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - Finding Your One Thing In Life - Part 2


Robert Jeffress - Finding Your One Thing In Life - Part 2
TOPICS: Meaning of Life, Purpose, God's will

Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to Pathway to Victory. Of all the images that the Bible uses to describe the church, the most frequently used image is that of the human body. Christ is the head and we're the members of that body. But very few Christians truly understand where they fit into this intricate organism. Today, I'm going to show you why finding your unique purpose in life is not only the key to your own fulfillment, but it's also key to the local church reaching its potential. My message is titled "Finding Your One Thing In Life" on today's edition of Pathway to Victory.

What he said to Adam and Eve. He said, "I've created it, but your job is to cultivate it and to keep it. I've done my part. Here's your part". Or remember God said to Noah, he said, "Noah, I'm going to send a flood and destroy the world. I'm going to save you and a select few. That's what I'm going to do, but it's your responsibility to build the ark". God said to Nehemiah, "Nehemiah, I'm going to miraculously change the king's heart and allow your people to go back to Israel. That's what I'm doing, but I want you to build a wall around the city". And God has said to you and to me, "I am have sent my son Jesus Christ to offer the greatest gift of all time, the gift of salvation. That's what I'm doing, but I've commissioned you to go and share that Gospel with as many people as possible". And in case anybody misses what that mission is that we need to connect to, listen to Jesus' final words to his disciples before he ascended into heaven.

Matthew 28:19 and 20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age". You know, you read through the New Testament and you'll find one of the metaphors used extensively throughout the New Testament is that of Christians being a soldier, being a soldier. For example, 2 Timothy 2:4 says, "No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier". How many people in the military, since we're reaching a military audience now, how many people in the military do you know who wake up in the morning and say, "Gee, I wonder what I ought to do today? I wonder how I can fill my hours today? I wonder what I would like to do"? Nobody's going to survive in the military with that kind of attitude.

The military, people in the military have one job, and that is to obey their commanding officer, to make his commanding officer's agenda his agenda, and it's the same way with us. You know, in Paul's day, a Roman soldier had one goal, and that was fulfill the emperor's command, and that is to go and expand the territory of the kingdom, to expand the Roman Empire, and it's the same way with you and me. We've been enlisted by God to expand the king's empire. That is the job for which we have been called. God didn't leave us here in this world to accumulate a lot of money. He didn't leave us here to have a successful career. He didn't even leave us here to have a happy family life. God left us here to expand the kingdom. Now, what have we seen? First of all, God has created you for a unique purpose.

Secondly, your purpose should be connected to God's kingdom purpose, and that leads to a third truth. Now, hang onto your pews here, 'cause it's going to get a little bumpy for a moment, but I want you to hear me out. Your purpose is to be centered within the local church. Now, that statement is made with two assumptions. Assumption number one, every Christian is to be involved in ministry. Do you know, most Christians don't understand that? They think, "Well, my job is what I do 60 hours a week, but then I come to church to kind of relax and soak in some spiritual truth". No. Listen to Ephesians 4:11 to 12. "And Christ gave some to the church as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastor-teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ".

You know what my job is as pastor-teacher here? Ryan's job, Ben's job, what our job is here? It's not just to do the work of the ministry. It is to equip you to do the work of ministry. That's what that word equip means. Katartismos. It literally refers to the loading up of a ship with supplies before it sets out on a long journey. And a lot of people think, you know, the goal of our church service is to see how many people can be saved. That's not the goal of the church service. You know why I say that? Lost people very rarely come to church to begin with. You may have a few sprinkled out there, but lost people, by definition, don't come to church. I always present the Gospel in a service, 'cause I know there's some unbelievers who stumble in for one reason or another, but the purpose of this church service is to equip you, to give you the tools that are needed to go out and reach the people at your work, the people in your community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I see Dee Simmons down there. Nobody does a better job of being an ambassador for Christ in our church than Dee Simmons. This is the place she gets the equipment, the resources she needs to go out and fulfill her life purpose. Equipping the saints for the work of service. You see, God's plan was never for just a few paid professionals to do the work of ministry. We're to be equipping you to do the work of ministry. You know, I think about the late bud Wilkinson, professional football player who, after he left the NFL, became the chairman of the president's council on physical fitness under Lyndon Johnson, and at a press conference one time, a reporter asked Wilkinson, "Mr. Wilkinson, what contribution has professional football made to the health of the American people"? Wilkinson said, "Absolutely none". He said, "Think about it. In football, you have 22 men on the field desperately in need of rest being cheered on by 80.000 spectators in the stands desperately in need for exercise".

And you know, that's a picture of the average church. You've got a few people out there on the playing field, the pastor, the staff, a few deacons, but the members are in the stands. Now, if a church is doing well, they cheer them on, "Go pastor, go staff, go deacons"! But the church starts to go south, no longer cheers, but jeers. Boos, hisses, call in the second stream. Now, that may make for exciting football, but that is a lousy way to run a church. God never meant for just a few people to be on the field playing the game. God's purpose is to equip all of us, you, the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. That's why I say every Christian has to be involved in ministry, and secondly, our ministry is to be centered in the local church.

You know, people have a funny idea about the local church today. They kind of think of it as a second-class Christian organization, a necessary evil. Oh yeah, I guess we ought to support the church, but there's this group over here that's doing such an exciting work for God, and this group over here that's doing this great... This is where the action is, but you know, I'll give a little pittance of my time and money to the church, but this is where the excitement is. No. The Bible says the church is the one organization that God himself created to fulfill his great commission. You know, there are many fine Christian organizations outside of the church, but they all have one thing in common. They were all created by a man or woman, and they all will end one day. Only the church of Jesus Christ was actually created by God.

In fact, in Ephesians 3:21, Paul says, "To him, God, be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever". It was God who thought up the idea of the church. It was God who thought up the idea of a pastor and deacons. It was God that gave to the church the commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. In fact, when you read the New Testament, you can't find one person in one ministry or one missionary who was not under the authority of a local church. God's plan to fulfill his mission is through the local church. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't good organizations out there that do great work. There are. You know, that word para-church, that word para means alongside of. Some of these para-church organizations do a great work of coming alongside the church to help it more effectively fulfill its ministry.

You know, I'm going to miss some here, I know, but a lot of the greatest para-church organizations in the world today were started and are still run by members of this church, First Baptist Church, Dallas. I think of Ron Harris and media alliance, a group that trains people to run radio stations and TV stations around the world. I think of Gill Strickland and marketplace ministries. That was birthed by Gill as a member of this church. I think of Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation Research that helps people understand God's plan and creation of the world, and I think of June Hunt and hope for the heart that equips people to share God's practical teaching for problems. But you know what's interesting about each one of those people who started those ministries? Every one of them has a ministry right here in this church. They are working in this church, using their gifts, and they would see their ministries as a way to strengthen the local church and its ministry.

Our ministry is to be centered within the local church. You know, we talk about that with giving. You know, we say, I say often, our Mission 1:8 Generation now giving, I call it one-stop giving, because anything and everything you could be concerned about is taken care of when you give through our church. If you care about the needs of the homeless or the destitute here in Dallas, a portion of your offering goes to Dallas foundation. If you're concerned about those unwed mothers who need to be encouraged, involved for life receives a gift from our church that you're a part of. If you want to be a part of missions, you know, we support 6.000 missionaries through the cooperative program. If you want the Gospel sent around the world, a portion, a small portion of your offering goes to support "Pathway to Victory". If you're interested in discipleship, evangelism, youth, children, all of that is ministered through our local budget. That's why our church ought to receive the bulk of our giving, but it also offer received the bulk of our time in ministry. God's purpose is to be lived out in the local church.

You say, "Well then how do I find my ministry in the local church? How do I know what my ministry should be"? Let me share with you this simple formula that I think will help you find the unique place of ministry God has for you through his church. Simple equation. My gifts plus my passion plus the church's need equals my ministry. My gifts plus my passion plus the church's need equal my ministry. Let's break that down. First of all, your gifts. What do I mean by your gifts? You know, when you were saved, you not only received the gift of forgiveness. The Bible says God gave you a unique spiritual gift, a divine empowerment to be used to spread his message to other people.

In fact, in Romans 12, the Bible lists the seven gifts, and says that we have one of those motivational gifts that is our basic motivation to want to share Christ's message with others. In fact, look at Romans 12:6-8, "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly. If your gift is prophecy," that's the first one. "According to the proportion of his faith". "If service," that's the second one, "In his serving. If in teaching, according to his teaching". That's number three. "He who exhorts, in his exhortation". That's number four. "He who gives with liberality". That's number five. "He who leads," leadership. That's number six. "With diligence: and he who shows mercy," that's the final gift, "With cheerfulness". In the past, I have preached a three-part series on discovering your spiritual gift where I explain this in depth. So first of all, your place of ministry begins with your gifts.

Secondly, your passion. My gifts plus my passion. You know, this is one of the greatest discoveries I ever made about finding God's will. One of the best ways to know what God wants you to do is ask yourself, what do I want to do? The fact is, one of the ways God leads us is through the desires he places in our hearts, and it's true in ministry as well. You know, you may see that there's a need for workers in the seventh grade, and that may be a legitimate need, and you may say to yourself, "Well, you know, I'd rather have my left arm cut off than go work for seventh graders, but if the church needs that, I guess that's what I'll do". Let me encourage you, you know. Be kind to yourself, be kind to those seventh graders, and don't go teach there, please. If you don't want to be there, they'll be the first to know it, and you'll be the first to know it. No, if God is calling you to do something, he's going to give you a passion for it.

You know why these wonderful men and women sing in the choir and play in our orchestra, devote countless hours to doing it? It's not because they feel like martyrs and they have to do it. They love doing it. They get fulfilled by doing it, and that's the way it ought to be. You know why missionaries leave here and go serve in a third world country? It's not because they're miserable doing it, or they want to be martyrs. It's because they love doing that. They wouldn't be happy anywhere else, doing anything else. There's nothing wrong with that. God leads us through the desires that he places in our heart. Pastor, where do you get that in the Bible? Philippians 2:13, Paul said, "For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure". One paraphrase says, "For it is God who is working in you, giving you both the desire and the power to do his work". Ask yourself the question, if I could do any one thing in the church, I would... And fill in the blank.

As you look around here, just ask yourself, if you could do any one thing in the church, what would you do? Your gifts plus your passions, thirdly, plus the church's need. Yes, you ought to look at where the needs are in the church, to see where your gifts and passion meet a need. Now, we've seen that every Christian has a purpose. Our purpose is connected to God's purpose. Our purpose is to be centered in the local church. Finally, living your purpose is the key to fulfillment in life. Living your purpose is the key to fulfillment life. It's the key to present enjoyment in your life.

Psychologist Carl Jung in his book "Modern Man in Search of a Soul," wrote, "About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be described as the general neurosis of our time". Even though Jung wrote those words more than 100 years ago, they're just as true today as they were then, that sense of purposelessness and meaninglessness. I mean, think about it. People are searching everywhere for meaning and purpose in life. Some people try their jobs. They spend 60% of their waking hours at their job, and yet they're not happy and fulfilled there. If you don't believe that, listen to these statistics. One third of Americans say, "I hate my job". Two thirds of workers say that they have chosen the wrong career. Most suicides occur on Sunday nights. Most heart attacks occur on Monday mornings. Not finding fulfillment in their work, people think, "Well, I'll try pleasure. I'll try addictions. Or maybe I'll try accumulating money and having a luxurious life". But that's empty as well.

Solomon, the richest man who ever lived, tried every pleasure under the sun, and he came away saying in Ecclesiastes 2:10 and 11, "All is vanity and striving after wind and there is no profit under the sun". Why is it that people keep searching for some new pleasure, some new achievement, a new mate, but they never find that satisfaction? Here's the simple reason. Eternal beings can only be filled with the eternal. Eternal beings can only be satisfied by that which is eternal. Think about it. You couldn't fill the pacific ocean with a bucket of water, can you? It takes more than that, and it's the same with us. Solomon said God has placed eternity in our hearts. Whether you're a Christian or non-Christian, you have a sense of eternal, the eternal, and only that which is eternal can fill that eternal void. That means we need an eternal companion, one who transcends this life. And secondly, we need an eternal purpose to give our lives to. Living out our purpose is the key to fulfillment in this present life, but secondly, it's also the key to future reward.

2 Corinthians 5:9 to 10. "Therefore," Paul said, "We have as our ambition, whether home or absent, to be pleasing to God". Why? "For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, so that each one of us may be recompensed, rewarded for what we've done in the body according to what he has done, whether it is good or worthless". We're all going to stand before that Judgment Seat of Christ, and we're going to be evaluated on whether we invested our life in fulfilling God's purpose or our own. I love the way Randy Alcorn has put it. He says, "Because this life is so brief, we might easily conclude it's also inconsequential. Our brief stay here may indeed seem unimportant, but nothing could be further from the truth, for the Bible tells us that while men may not remember or care what our lives have been, God remembers perfectly and cares very much, so much that the door of eternity swings on the hinges of our present life on earth. Eternity will hold for us what this life has invested in it".

Let me ask you this morning. What are you investing your life in? Really? What are you investing it in? Where are you putting your money? Where are you spending your time? Where are you dreaming your dreams? Are those things invested in that which is temporal, or that which is eternal? Is your life about fulfilling your dreams or God's dreams? Is your life self-focused or God-focused? It's one or the other. It can't be both. On the wall in my study for many years was a little plaque, Ben, your grandparents gave me when I went to my first church, and I looked at it every day. "Only one life will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last". That's secret to fulfillment in life.
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