[Written by our friend, Carol Kline, and received via email yesterday. It was just too good not to share.]
In the church service this morning at St. John UMC, our music director, Tim Cain, designed and arranged a very musical, Bible-based program without really presenting a sermon to us. Our pastor, Rev. Ron DeGenaro, is having surgery this week and was off in preparation for that. Keep him in your prayers, if you will.
Pastor Tim is an ordained minister from (I believe) the Church of God as well as a minister of music, and he built the entire service around certain Old-Testament verses from the Psalms along with verses from the first and third chapters of the Apostle, John. Tim’s overall message in verse and song was shared in a most meaningful way, and I simply felt led to share it with you.
Because of the fact that God has made everything around us (and us included!), we are all part of a very perfect plan designed and given to us by Him. He knows our every thought, our words, decisions, disobedience, our choices (good or bad, they’re ours); our going out and out coming in. He knows all of that and yet He allowed His Son to die for us in order that we may, at some point in our sinful lives, choose to recognize, revere, and return to God by seeking His forgiveness and dutifully keeping His Laws.
One of the most eye-opening yet awesomely beautiful factors of the entire message this morning was: not one of us was an accident. It got my attention!
Think about it and, when you do, consider some of the things happening in our World today. Now consider the depth and breadth of what is being said here: We are in God’s plan, we are God’s plan, and all that we do is based on God’s plan for us from the outset and even before that. Of course, it’s what we do with God’s plan and how we sometimes get it all wrong that sets us apartfrom Him. But, if we just let it, His plan that He has given to us does draw us closer to Him. That’s the beauty of it!
Listening to the explanation from Pastor Tim as he led us to that rather climactic point, I knew I had heard these verses and their explanations many times before. It was the clincher of what Pastor Tim said that hit home. Not one of us was an accident, and each one of us is given a Divine purpose to fulfill from the very start.
For some, their lives are dedicatedly driven to fulfill God’s purpose and plan from the outset. The very Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself, was the exemplary purpose given life sent to us by God Himself. It was His way to show us His forgiveness, and His gift of eternal life if we but believe in Him.
Billy Graham comes to mind, too, as one who chose to follow God’s calling early on. By so doing, he made a huge impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands during his many evangelistic crusades. He shared the Gospel according to God’s plan and drew lost souls to the Lord. There are many others who have so affected lives in a variety of ways, yet still furthering the Word and God’s purpose for them.
But, for those of us who have stumbled, fell, tried again and again to do better, yet often “did it our way” and not listened to God, the truth hits home when we wake up at some point to God’s purpose and “given” plan. His plan is for each and everyone us... no matter what our situation nor how bad our circumstance is right now.
The words in Pastor Tim’s brief message this morning made me stop and think: Where are we going today in our so-called “purpose given life?” That question alone could open up a whole discussion in any coffee shop, any Bible study, and group setting where people are just now beginning to question what is happening to us, to God’s people (those who accepted, trust and believe in Him personally), and to America in general. For without the strength from the God we have chosen to serve, how can we completely and fully accept the premise that we were never an accident when we were born, but that we are God’s chosen child from the outset. It is our own undoing that takes us away from Him and His plan for us.
But the beautiful part of His plan is: once we say yes to Him and seek His forgiveness, He will never forsake us. He is always there for us. In the darkest of times, He is our Light. But those who mock Him, demean Him, tear down His church, or turn away from Him, will be lost to Him forever.
When you listen to the old hymn, “Jesus Loves Even Me,” you begin to understand the magnitude of God’s presence in our lives through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s “purpose” was “given” to us to live it for Him, and to tell others.
His “purpose” is our everlasting security and life with Him, and we should continually praise Him and be grateful to Him for that eternal blessing alone. And, clearly, when we can freely, deeply sing God’s praise with our whole hearts is when we have found the peace that passes all understanding – another promise from the Maker of all of heaven and earth. And, based on the closing thought from today’s Our Daily Bread,”....
I hope you will accept the “purpose” God has “given” you for your life, and that you will count on Him to carry you through.
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We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).