In this sermon, our guest preacher, Reverend Jim Byrne, encourages us to run the race like Paul, striving to glorify God. Here are some excerpts:
Paul, who wrote a third of the New Testament, had a clear desire. His clear desire was to know Christ and the power of the resurrection. That was his focus. And what we have in the scripture is this picture of transparency. Him being real. Here he is, a man who has much to brag about, saying I have not attained it. I do not fully understand it. I do not completely understand what I am writing about. This is the man who’s written more about it than anybody else. And he’s saying, I don’t fully get it, but I’m on this race and I’m reaching for it to understand it more and more and more and that is spiritual maturity.
Spiritual maturity is not arriving, but it’s pursuing. It’s the journey over the destination. What’s the destination? To give glory to God. and to understand why he has embraced you. Each of us in this sanctuary has unique gifts and talents that are to be used by God for building his kingdom. And it is not possible to say you’re not important. It’s not possible to say I don’t have anything important.
Don’t Forget Your Purpose
You know, as you saw in the video– everyone wants to be loved and everyone wants to be important. And those two things can be found in Jesus Christ. In fact, I make the bold statement that these things can only truly be found in Jesus Christ because He’s the One that gives us true unconditional love and He’s the One who gives us a purpose.
But if you head into to this next year without a purpose or forgetting your purpose or going on, it’s like spinning wheels in snow or in mud. We start out and we say, this year I’m going to serve God, this year I’m going to love God. This year, I’m going to struggle to be more and more Christlike. And then we forget…
But instead, stop and ask yourself– what is my purpose in life. And when you make your purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, you bring other people in to that purpose and it can transform their lives. That’s everyone– the clerk at the store, the man that picks up your garbage, the one that you do not like at work. That you recognize that purpose– so write it down. Figure out why God has grasped you and write it down. And when we do that, like the apostle Paul, we go on. We go on…