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Bible Study Notes 3/15/22

Word Alive! ©2022 Winter Series Finding God’s Purpose Forward! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 15 March 2022, Lesson 8, Part 1 Dr. David Jeremiah, Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose For Tomorrow Devotional Time: Chapter 6 (pp. 97-112) Pursuing: Discovering Why? – In order for us to understand where God is leading us, we must first understand why we’re important. God has a plan for each of us. The difficulty is discerning what that plan is. It’s difficult to find our purpose in life, if we’re not in relationship with the One who created us. One of the early church leaders, St. Augustine of northern Africa, said, “Our souls are restless, until we find repose [rest] in Thee.” This was part of a Augustine’s prayer, where he acknowledged our human anxiety, when we are overwhelmed by our own ability to figure out life; its meaning, and complexities. Augustine was correct when he said the true understanding of our purpose can be found only in relationship with God. The Scripture describes Jesus as consistently understanding His purpose, when others close, failed to grasp His mission (cf. Mark 1:36-39, NLT). In pursuing the steps forward in life, we must always remain close to God, to have the confidence in what is His will for us. It’s so important that before we engage in any endeavor, we come to know “why” we are here, and “why” we’re pursuing a specific course. In his book, Forward, Dr. David Jeremiah says: Now I encourage you to pursue your purpose. Your purpose is about meaning and motivation. It’s the reason behind your actions and decisions. It answers that nagging “Why?” question. Why am I pursing this…?” So often, human nature tempts us into pursing goals that will brings us worldly attention, fame, or fortune. God has a greater purpose for us, and the accomplishments He allows us to obtain, are to acknowledge His glory. Jesus taught the disciples that the kingdom principles He provided, are different from the cultural standards of human beings. Jesus said as disciples, they/we come to understand purpose in life by following His example (cf. Mark 10: 41-45, NLT). Jesus was keenly aware of His purpose and mission on earth. We will note that Jesus was aware of the heavenly Father’s will for Him. When we fail to have fellowship with God through prayer, and seeking His will for us in the scriptures, we will be distracted by secular pleasures. Dr. Jeremiah explains: “When you find your purpose, you stop chasing things that will never satisfy you. Instead, you find the joy of pursuing the next steps God has for you.” As we pursue God’s purpose, we are also wrestling with why God’s will is best for us. We must place God first. Jesus said when God is acknowledged first in our lives, a right relationship will be cultivated, and we will receive all things which are necessary to sustain our lives (cf. Matthew 6:33, NLT). Like Jesus, we will develop a passion for living according to God’s redeeming purpose (cf. John 2:16-17, NLT). Discovering Why I’m Important To God – Discovering God has created us for His purpose is a mark of spiritual growth. Cultivating a deeper relationship with God will bring us to this understanding. In His own temporary anguish, Jesus was confident of God’s purpose for Him. In his trials, Jesus would acknowledge God’s glory. Our Savior’s communication with the heavenly Father, was also to encourage others around Him (cf. John 12:27-30, NLT). Jesus was confident in His relationship with God, and we should follow His example. Dr. Jeremiah comments: “What if you could close out the day, the month, and the year knowing you’re fulfilling your true purpose and calling in life? Imagine being certain beyond doubt that your efforts weren’t wasted because they were God-centered, God-directed, and God-honoring.” The scriptures give us many reasons why we’re important to God: He loves us, cares for us, protects us, delights in us as His children, has created us for Himself, and much more! Dr. Jeremiah says what stands between us, and our knowledge of why we’re important to God, is our commitment to Him. He says, “How do you discover your “why?” Your journey begins by committing your life to God.” To fully commit ourselves to God, we must be willing to acknowledge God as greater than any fame or human achievement. Jesus sought no worldly ambition, for His sphere of influence was beyond human ambition (cf. John 18:36-37, NLT). When we place our full confidence in God, we acknowledge Him as Creator. Our lives have purpose and meaning. Understanding this purpose, will direct us to pursue what is pleasing to God. The Apostle Paul told the Christians at Ephesus, that they were created as God’s “masterpiece.” Our faith in Jesus Christ has brought us into relationship with God, and has made us a “new creation.” God created us to do good in life, and to attain the best possible (cf. Ephesians 2:10, NLT). Long before the Ephesian believers learned the reason “why” they were important to God, King David spoke of the great design God had for us. In extolling God, David said: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it (cf. Psalm 139:14, NLT).” We are challenged to change our way of thinking, if we are to learn why we are important to God. As Christians, we must take a counter-culture approach. We must not become influenced by a culture where values and behaviors are contrary to God’s will and purpose (cf. Romans 12:2, NLT). Dr. Jeremiah says, “Life isn’t about pursuing God for your purposes. It’s about God using you for His purposes.” God leads us forward! ________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________ What We Believe! Pursuing your purpose, begins with why am I here? 1. Finding my purpose, is to learn why God is directing me. ______________________________KEY VERSES______________________________ Mark 1:36-39, NLT “Later Simon and the others went out to find Him. When they found Him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So He traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.” Mark 10: 41-45, NLT “When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked they were indignant. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be the [servant], and whoever wants to be first among you must be the[servant] of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.“ John 2:16-17, NLT “Then, going over to the people who sold doves, He told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a market-place!” Then the disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.” John 12:27-30, NLT “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray: “Father, save me from this hour?” But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder while others declared an angel had spoken to Him. Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine.” John 18:36-37, NLT “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is truth.” Ephesians 2:10, NLT “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Romans 12:2, NLT “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person. By changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

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