© 2022 Winter Series
Finding God’s Purpose Forward!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 11 January 2022
Lesson 1, Introduction
Dr. David Jeremiah,
Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose For Tomorrow
Devotional Time: “Forward” (pp. 1ff)
Purpose Amid Chaos – The early decades of any century, or millennium, throughout history are characterized by chaos. The present time in which we live is no exception. The Apostle Paul hinted this in his letter to the Christians living in Roman territories (cf. Romans 8:22-23, NLT). Paul encouraged Christians to use their hope, to both navigate and move beyond their present circumstances. There are echoes of the words of Jesus in Paul’s language. Jesus spoke directly tothe disciples in the chaos of the days approaching His crucifixion. Jesus wanted them to look “forward” to promised joy, despite the gloomy present (cf. John 16:20b-22, NLT). This new study invites us to “look forward” to the promises of God. Like the scriptures, this study, Finding God’s Purpose Forward, is not about ignoring the pain and reality of our present journey; but, it does challenge us to look to God’s Word to discover more of His presence and purpose in our lives. The Bible is a forward-looking sacred Book. Within its pages we find the ultimate reality of life: becoming reconciled to God, and transformed into a new creation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 5:10-11, NLT). Finding our purpose amid chaos is possible when we engage in the scriptures. In this study we will look intently at the Gospel writings and the Epistles to see how God’s people moved forward in spite of their challenges and crises. Dr. David Jeremiah’s engaging book, Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose For Tomorrow, is referenced and recommended as a devotional tool to help us consider the practical application of the Word. Concerning the narratives we find in the scriptures, Dr. Jeremiah says: “All these stories – the dreams of men and women of God thousands of years ago – still inspire, guide, and affect us more than we know. And they remind us God wants to do the same with you and me.” While many may ponder the question, “What really is my purpose?” We should be more concerned with “What Is God’s purpose for me?” As we study God’s Word, we will discern those spiritual principles that will help us understand better God’s purpose for us. Often, we put our plans before God’s purpose, and in doing so we deprive ourselves of a more fulfilled life. The wisdom writer’s words are still instructive today: “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail (Proverbs 19:21, NLT).” Let’s discover God’s purpose!
Purpose Amid Chaos, 2 - The Epistles or Letters of the Apostle John were written late in the first century (96-100 A.D.) during a period of upheaval. One of the issues was people trying to discern God’s purpose amid the chaos of false teachings. John had warned Christians to be alert. There were many “deceivers” with great influence, who mislead believers (cf. 2 John 1:7, NLT). The inability to focus on God, and to be guided by His truth, will cause us to become vulnerable to teachings and information that’s untrue. In our current day, the unrestrained access people have to information, especially false news, contributes to an environment no different than the one John addressed. John warned Christians to remain alert, and not wander away from the truth they were taught (cf. 2 John 1:8-9, NLT). As we become more mature in our relationship with God through our faith in Jesus Christ, we will hold on to, and safeguard, the truth that we have been taught. The Apostle John was confident that the believers in the churches he addressed “knew” the difference between truth and falsehood (cf. I John 2:20-21, NLT). It is the important “difference” that is essential in discerning God’s purpose for us. We also must be careful with who and what we permit to come into our lives. Some people could bring assumptions, and have perceptions, which are contrary to God’s truth; whether in the church or in our homes (cf. 2 John 1:10-11, NLT). Each of us must discover our purpose in God, so that we can experience a “forward” journey in life (cf. Philippians 3:13b-14, NLT).In this study Dr. Jeremiah offers six major changes, he believes, God can help us attain, consistent with His purpose.
1. Expand your dreams.
2. Give you divine direction.
3. Plant within you a life purpose.
4. Equip you with tools to overcome fear.
5. Grant you great personal accomplishment.
6. Find a mission that will outlive your life.
What We Believe!
Rather than being stuck, God can help us move forward.
1. God’s Word speaks clearly to His intent for our lives.
2. Our faith in Christ aligns us with God’s fulfilling purpose.