Sunday Evening English Worship
July 1, 2018 - 5:00 pm
Messenger: Don Frank
Passion & Purpose
Bible Passage - 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Introduction: "What's your passion?" is a question that I've been hearing about quite a bit on the Internet recently. And the reason people are talking about that more is because of the topic of AI or Artificial Intelligence. People seem more concerned that AI is growing so fast that smart robots are going to take all of our jobs! And so the answer I hear many experts say is, "Find a job that fits your 'passion'." And it also seems that there are so many people in our world today that are doing jobs they really don't like. And the reason is because they just need the money.
The great radio announcer of the last century in America, Paul Harvey, shared a great comment on one of his radio programs. It was some advice to his son about work and it went like this... Find a kind of work that interests you and stick with it. I said work that interests you. No job is all fun or all easy or even all pleasant, but if your job isn't interesting, your life's going to be just that much harder.
Have you ever thought about your gifts or talents or your passion? How might they fit into God's Master Plan? Well, that's what I'd like to study with you for a short time this evening by way of our main Bible passage, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NLT).
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
1. What's Your Passion?
Natural Talents - Do you remember your dreams and passions that you had when you were five-year-old child? For me, I can remember that very clearly. I loved getting out and riding my bike all over the small town we lived in. I loved looking at things and exploring all over. I loved to listen to the sounds of nature, the sound of the river flowing through our small town and the sounds of all the birds as they were singing. I then grew up to be a very audio and visual person. I just naturally enjoyed listening to and playing music when I was in junior high and high school. And as you can tell by the PowerPoint that I use for my messages, I also enjoy pictures and video very much. I truly believe that these are the natural talents that God built into my DNA from the time I was born.
My younger brother is the same way. From the time he was a little kid, he loved animals. He would often bring stray animals back to the house in a cardboard box and keep them in his room. My mother would often get angry at him for bringing these animals home! And even today, his house back in America is filled with dogs and cats all over the place! He also got my dad's DNA and ended up being a really great repair man. Just like dad, he can repair anything he puts his hands to, cars, washing machines, computers, water pipes, anything!
Spiritual Gifts - Now, when it comes to spiritual gifts, we're talking about something completely different. When God's Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts when we become Christians, He also brings gifts for us to use. And that's what it says in our Bible passage that we just read, that same Spirit gives us different kinds of gifts that He personally chooses for us. Often these spiritual gifts are very different than our natural talents that He gives to us when were born. And often the spiritual gifts are quite surprising. For me, I was a fairly shy person before it became a Christian. But when I was born again, God blessed me with the gift of speaking and teaching. I can now stand in front of a group of people and speak and lead and teach as I never could before. Again, as this Bible passage teaches us, He gives at least one spiritual gift to each of us when we are born again.
So, let me ask you that question again, "What's your passion?" Maybe it's a natural talent that God gave you when you were born or maybe it's a spiritual gift that He gave you when you were born again. Whatever it is, are you using that passion for God? I think that should be the big question for all of us in our daily Christian lives. If we're using that passion for God, then I believe we are at the center of His will! And speaking of God’s will, let's look at another idea that comes from this Bible passage.
2. What's God's Purpose?
To Please God ~ and Us - Not only do you need to know your passion in life, you also need to know God's will or his purpose. So, if we think about our world in the coming days, when AI and smart robots might be doing our jobs, we also need to think about not only our passion, but God's purpose for our lives. What does God want us to do with our natural talents and our spiritual gifts? At this point, let me share a couple of other Bible passages with you. The first one comes from Philippians 2:13 (NLT), "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." As we can see here, he gives us these talents and gifts so that He can be happy. When our children do something good, it makes us so happy and God is the exact same way! But it's not a one-way street. Let's look at another Bible passage, this time from Psalm 37:4 (NLT). "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires." When we choose to seek God's happiness, He in turn gives us not only our necessities, but everything that will make us happy and increase our passion as well!
To Help Each Other - Now as we go back to our first Bible passage, 1 Corinthians 12, we see one more purpose of God. Look at verse 7, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other." God also wants us to put these talents and gifts to good use by building each other up in our fellowship in Christ. Another good Bible passage that reinforces this is Ephesians 4:12 (NLT), "Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ." As I think of about having more free time on my hands in the future, maybe because I will retire or because some smart robot comes and takes my job, I think about how I want to use my passion. And almost immediately, the Holy Spirit says to me, "Why don't you plan on spending more time encouraging other people and teaching and leading as I have gifted you?"
Conclusion: Now, what about you? Have you been thinking about your passion? Do you like collecting things? Do you like spending time talking with people? Do you enjoy getting out in nature? Maybe doing photography or gardening? What do you love to do? Well then, that has to be your passion! God wants each of us to use our passion to please Him, to please ourselves and to help each other. Let’s start planning to use our passions in some great new ways! Let's use our passions to bring glory to God and to help others to hear the great message of God's love to us! Let’s make a commitment together tonight to be passionate for God!
Closing Prayer: As usual, let's take our main Bible passage and read it together.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NLT). 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
Now let's take this and turn it into our closing prayer and pray it together:
Dear Lord, thank you so much for this lovely time together this evening to worship You and fellowship together. Thank You for the natural talents that You have built into each of us here. And dear Holy Spirit, thank you for the gifts You have given to each of us in this place. Help us to use our passions to serve you better everyday. Help us also to give our talents and gifts to making the Body of Christ better and better, day by day. We ask all these things now in Jesus' precious name, Amen.