Finding God’s Purpose Forward!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 10 May 2022, Lesson 13, (Final Study)
Dr. David Jeremiah, Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and
Purpose For Tomorrow
Devotional: Re-read, Chapter 7 (pp. 113-132)
Believing Today, For Your Tomorrow - Our conviction in Jesus Christ can take us to places we never imagined. How we serve God and appropriate our faith, really matters. We can discover God’s purpose forward, despite our lack of clarity. The Apostle Paul admitted, in this life we can’t fully understand everything we encounter. However, a time will come when we will experience greater clarity (cf. I Corinthians 13:12, NLT). In spite of life’s contradictions and challenges, our “faith” has greater value than what we encounter (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7, NLT). Our faith can navigate us through our crises and disappointment, and lead us onward. The apostles encouraged Christians to embrace a “forward” view of life. What they shared in regards to eternal life, had implications for a better quality of life here on earth. They were keenly aware of the words of Jesus when He said, “The thief’s purpose is to kill and steal and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (cf. John 10:10, NLT).” The pronoun, them, is for all believers. Jesus said, “Yes. I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved (John 10:9a, NLT). How we live today in this life, also determines how we experience a more rewarding present life, tomorrow! The Apostle John continues this theme and mentions a future life that is beyond our ability to describe (cf. I John 3:2, NLT). The passages we’ve referenced is support for the view that the Christian life is not intended to be static. Christ has promised us a dynamic, ever-increasing life of faith, and fellowship with Him. The scriptures emphasize a life, which is to be lived in community with our families and other believers, but not in seclusion. It is through our faith in tandem with these relationships, that we also find God’s purpose for our lives. In his book, Forward, David Jeremiah says: “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.” We also must seek solitude with our Lord, if we are to achieve “clarity” for the purpose and change we need. When Jesus healed a visually impaired man in the Galilee, he took him “out” of his village to heal him. It took a second time for the man to attain visual clarity. When the man received his full sight, he was told to avoid the village on his way home (cf. Mark 8:23b-26, NLT). Clarity in purpose, should lead us in a more efficacious direction! It can be noted from this narrative that the man was not taken from his home or familiar settings; but he returned differently, with a new vision of life. When we move forward, it does not always mean that we will leave every setting that’s familiar to us, but we will avoid unproductive areas.
Seeing And Moving Forward – In the story of Jesus healing the blind man in the Galilee, we note that upon receiving clarity of eye sight, he moved forward with his life. Similarly, when we receive clarity in our vision of God’s purpose, we can proceed in a new direction. David Jeremiah encourages us to set our focus on the “one thing” we have come to discern that God wants us to do. He says, “You’ve been blessed with talents, resources, and a dream for the next phase of your life. Once you’ve prayed about that dream and set the right priorities to achieve it, your next step is to focus your life on that main thing.” The prophet Elisha certainly believed he could defeat the enemy if His trust in God did not waver. Elisha’s assistant was frozen by fear, and saw only the enemy and defeat. When Elisha asked God to give his assistant a better vision, the assistant saw things differently (cf. 2 Kings 6:15-17, NLT). None of us can move forward in life, until we imagine things differently. Like the psalmist, we need to ask God to direct us to the path we should take (cf. Psalm 25:4-5, NLT). It is our confidence in God and our willingness to learn from Him, that we merge with a strong sense of hope. Moreover, we must trust God to lead us, even when our faith is being tested. Moses reminded the Israelites that in possessing the Promise Land, they were still obligated to follow the principles and precepts God was giving them. Our purpose at any phase of life, is grounded in God’s eternal word! This is why David said, “I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and forever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments (cf. Psalm 119:44-45, NLT). When we trust God’s word, we will develop a vision that will give meaning to our purpose. David Jeremiah offers this perspective: “Your vision keeps your hopes alive; ’it’s your dream of a better tomorrow. Your purpose gives you strength to move forward even when times are tough. Purpose stabilizes your life. With a clear purpose, you persevere because you know there’s a reason, a cause. “Perhaps no one knew this better than Ruth the Moabite. Against all odds, she was determined to leave her home in Moab, and journey to Judea with Naomi, her mother-in-law. Ruth would be a Gentile living in a Jewish region. She was a widow, bereft of material goods. It was Ruth’s faith, determination, and perseverance, that led her to accompany her mother-in-law, and to find a new purpose. Ruth succeeded and so can we.(Cf. Ruth 1:14-18, NLT). We can all find and pursue our purpose forward. Inherent in today’s journey is tomorrow’s way forward!
What We Believe!
Our unswerving faith today, will lead us forward!
1. There are no tomorrows, that are not born today!
2. Our conviction of God’s promises, will lighten our load.
I Corinthians: 13:12, NLT
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me com-pletely.”
2 Corinthians 5:7, NLT
“For we live by believing and not by seeing.”
I John 3:2, NLT
“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know we will be like Him as He really is.”
Mark 8:23b-26, NLT
“Jesus took the blind man by his hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, He laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said. “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” Then Jesus placed His hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
2 Kings 6:15-17, NLT
“When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” The young man cried to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him, “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”
Psalm 25:4-5, NLT
“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”
Deuteronomy 11:31-32, NLT
“For you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take that land and are living in it, you must be careful to obey all the decrees and regulations I am giving you today.“
Ruth 1:14-18, NLT
“And again, they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. “Look,” Naomi said to her, “Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us…” Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her…”