Why Am I here: Purpose is found in serving Christ.

So I’m giving the lesson for my youth Group Sunday Night and the Series we’re doing is “Why Am I here”.   My topic is “Purpose is found in serving Christ”.   Which is my passion.  This is my lesson for Sunday.

Intro,

When I was 17 I was working at a Christian camp in MD. for the summer.  Since it was a Christian camp, every week we had different speakers and chapel every night.  I remember near the end of camp I was sitting in chapel partly listening to speaker, but mostly interested in the girl sitting next to me (let’s be honest).  I don’t’ remember who the speaker was or what his topic was, but I remember that it was the first moment I “felt”/understood that I wanted to spend my life working with teenagers and doing youth ministry.  Now, at the time, my understanding of youth ministry meant being a youth pastor, and being paid to do youth ministry.  SO I went to LU, left after a year and joined the army, then came back three years later.  As I said the last time I spoke, I never graduated from LU, and as you can tell, I’m not a youth pastor.   I’ve applied to and even been interviewed for a couple of churches but God has never opened that door.  For quite a few years I honestly struggled with the belief that I had screwed up GOD’s plan for my life, that GOD had set me on shelf, and that maybe I was even wrong about being called to youth ministry.   Tonight we’re going to look at what it means to Serve GOD.  We’re going to look at COL 3:18-25 real quick and then we’re going to dive right into what GOD has taught me about serving HIM.

Colossians 3:18-25

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21 Fathers,[a] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

 

Looking at that section in context you’re probably thinking what 18-21 has to do with serving GOD, and at first I had to agree with you, I originally felt like it had nothing to do with serving GOD, but then as I prayed and dug into it, I realized that service to GOD begins first in the home.  If you’re not showing honor, loving, serving those in your home, are you truly prepared to serve GOD outside your home.   

(Slide point:  If you’re not showing honor, loving, serving those in your home, are you truly prepared to serve GOD outside your home)

Now we get into the meat of this lesson.   Verses 22-25 basically tells us to go all in on, well pretty much everything.  Now, it’s addressed to “slaves” and it was directed to slaves who had converted to Christianity in the city of Colossae in Asia Minor.   Fast forward that, and take out the word slave and insert your name into that block and you have how that passage applies to you today.  Let’s take a look at verse 23, specifically the first word “whatever”.   Now, is there a qualifier in that statement?  Is there a title?  There’s no “youth pastor/pastor/children’s minister/worship pastor” in that title, it’s “Whatever”.   Whatever you choose to do in life, then do it for the glory of GOD because ultimately, we, as Christians, serve CHRIST first and foremost.  

(slide pt 2: You can serve CHRIST in whatever field you choose to work in)

GOD didn’t call us to serve in the church, HE called us to be the church, and part of being the church is serving him in the workplace.  How do we serve HIM in a secular workplace that is increasingly hostile to Christians it seems?  By being the church.   By being the bride of CHRIST, and understanding that everything we do should be to GOD’s glory.

I Peter 4:10 states

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

We are called to serve others.  That is our calling first and foremost.  God has given us talents to use to accomplish that and enhance our serving, but most of all….serve….Not just man….but serve GOD.

There is a quote that I love by an author named Brennan Manning from the book Ruthless Trust in a chapter title “The Geography of Nowhere”.  He states:

The music of what is happening can be heard only in the present moment, right now, right here. Now/here spells nowhere. To be fully present to whoever or whatever is immediately before us is to pitch a tent in the wilderness of Nowhere. It is an act of radical trust—trust that God can be encountered at no other time and in no other place than the present moment. Being fully present in the now is perhaps the premier skill of the spiritual life.

There is only NOW…real living is about…experiencing who or what is immediately before us…to live in the present moment requires profound trust that the abundant life Jesus promised is experienced only in Nowhere.” —Ruthless Trust , pp. 150-158                              

Living/Serving NOWHERE is what Christ calls us to do.  We are to live and serve Now, and Here.   Now is immediate, and Here is wherever GOD has planted you.

(Slide pt 3:  Live/serve NOW/HERE)

Conclusion:  When I first read that passage it hit me like a punch to the gut.   I realized that my calling to serve doesn’t depend on whether or not I am “hired” by a church.  I am called to serve no matter what I do as employment.   Serve first at home, second at my work, and then in my church.   Whatever I do, I need to do all to the glory of GOD.  It took me a long time to come to that realization.  “BUT Kevin, I’m a student, and I don’t have a job?”  Um..who cares….WHATEVER you do, student, athlete, toilet bowl scrubber, WHATEVER you do, do it for the glory of GOD.

Small Group Questions;

Read Jeremiah 1: 7

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you

  1. Do you think serving GOD has an age requirement?  Do you think “the church” puts an age requirement to service?

 

Read I Cor 10:31

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

  1.  Explain “Whatever”.   Do you think serving GOD requires a degree/certification/license etc?
  2.  Does the concept of Living/Serving Now/here make sense to you?  Explain what that concept means to you.  
  3.   Why do you think it’s important to serve first in the home and do you agree that if you can’t serve in the home, it’s going to be hard to serve others outside your home.

    5.  What does it mean to follow GOD’s “Calling” on your life?  DO you truly understand what that means?  (For the Leader: GOD has called us first to serve HIM, the manner is personal and to some extent incidental, the discussion isn’t about getting the answer, it’s about making them think)

It’s a work in progress, I’ll probably edit and tweak it up until Sunday afternoon.

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