The last three Sundays I had the privilege of teaching at my church, Connections Church, in SE Portland. These three Sundays were great days in which the presence of God showed up and I believe lives were changed and the Word was brought forth. As we all know the Word of God nevers returns void, so when the Word is brought forth things happen. For this reason I wanted to share the messages with all of you. I will write a short summary of what I preached on but I encourage you to check out the link below and hear the messages themselves. There are also outlines for each message.
Now for the summary:
Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
This is probably one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. we quote as an encouragement thinking, "Wow, the God of the universe thinks thoughts about me!" This is an amazing thing but often we stop there. We never take the time to find out what thoughts He is thinking, what is His future that He has planned out for us. We use this as an encouragement but then we continue on living our own plans for our life.
So How do we find the plan that God has for our life? God gave me three steps that became three sermons.
Step #1: We have to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus
Hebrews 12:1-2 refers to this life as a race and tells us that as we run this race we need to keep our eyes fixed on Him who is the author and finisher of our faith. This is our first step towards finding the calling that God has for us. We need to focus on Him no matter what the circumstances or situations around us. We need to trust Him that no matter what storms come, He has promised that we would make it through as long as we keep our eyes on Him!
Step #2: We need to recognize our gifts and use them.
Romans 12:6 says "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:..." We need to start using the gifts that God has given us, taking advantage of every opportunity. Often we get focused on trying to improve our weaknesses and end up forgeting our strengths. God wants us to focus on using our strengths and allow Him to work in our weakness.
Step #3: We need to pursue the vision God has given us
Proverbs 28:19 says "Without vision the people perish..." Literally this means 'Without Godly sight the people run wild without moral restraint...' We can see in today's society a lot of people running wild without any sense of morality holding them back. For this reason it is important for the church to rise up with vision and lead people into God's presence and Word. According to 2 Corinthians 4:18 we need to be people who see those things that are unseen. We need to have faith enough to see what God has promised and to see those promises come to pass. We need to be people of vision.
This is just a short summary of each sermon so please go to the website and take some time to listen to the series. http://www.connectionministries.com/media-files.html