The Lord made us to glorify Him. We are saved for the purpose of God’s service. He never wastes any seasons of our lives. It took us 40 years of preparation to get Moses out of Moses. Have a vision—a mental outlook toward a desirable future. Mark 10:42-45
Speaker(s): John Love
7:00 PM on 11/9/2022
P. Love –
Good evening. Praise God! We’re just gonna go right into the message, okay. Then we’ll have announcements and
then take the offering at the end of the service. In the offering, well, that will reflect on
whether you liked the message or you didn’t. If you didn’t like it, we’ll get $5 offerings tonight!
Let’s open with a word of prayer. (Prayer).
Mark 10:45, we’ll begin reading in vs. 42. Think about the reason why God saved you. We know,
we can cross off the list, it wasn’t because we were good. Amen! Because there is none good,
not even one that is good enough to stand in the presence of God. So, it wasn’t because we
were good. It might not really even have been because we could be useful to God, because
sometimes we can be and other times let’s be honest about it; we can be anything but useful.
We hope and pray that we will be more useful to God rather than useless, but sometimes it
doesn’t work out that way.
Well, I think one of the reasons why God saved us is just to reveal to our hearts how good he is.
Amen. And how gracious he is. In fact, I’m sure that’s one of the chief reasons. Ephesians 1:6 reminds
us that we’ve been accepted in the Son of God’s love to the praise of the glory of his grace. So, I
think that lends some understanding as to why God saved us, so that we would glorify him for
his grace. I mean, after all, we were made for that purpose. Amen. Made to glorify God. And
yeah, God has been very good to us. Better than we deserve. Amen.
Imagine, imagine and people say it all the time about other people when they hear about
trouble or calamity that might come into their life. You hear it said so often. They are getting
exactly what they deserve. Whenever I hear that statement, sometimes I even speak up. I say I
for one am glad I am not getting what I deserve, because that’s the nature of God’s grace.
Amen. Grace can only be given to the undeserving. So, we have clearly a grace crowd here
tonight. That’s us.
But when God did design us, when he created us, he did so with this goal and this objective in
his heart that we might be here on the planet and we might make a difference. No question
But we live in a culture that is in the process of conditioning us and what’s the conditioning
process like in the culture? It’s basically this: get as much out of life as you can. That is so
counter to the culture of the kingdom of God which is what? God says give as much to this
culture as you can. Don’t try to get as much out of the culture as you can. Find ways by the
Spirit of God to give, too make a difference, to serve, to add to life here on the earth. Not just
to take from it.
The Bible says we are called to have a ministry. Every single one of us. And this one has a
ministry because they preach or they teach or they’ve been on the mission field or they are going on the mission field or they’re planning on it or they have a ministry in a nursing home or
a Bible study during the week. And that’s – sure, that’s a ministry. But never lose sight of the
fact that every single one of us without exception has a ministry. No matter who we are, we
have a ministry. God made us for that purpose. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us of that. It says vs. 10.
And then it says we are his workmanship in Christ Jesus. I love that word. It means, it speaks of
the fact that we are God’s unique creation.
One Bible translation says we are God’s masterpieces. I think I said that recently on the Grace
Hour because I got a very nasty email from someone who said we are not masterpieces. For a
few days I have been contemplating should I call them back, should I write him back, should I
say something to him? I thought, what would I say to him? Well, hello my dear friend, you
replica. You print. God doesn’t say that we are replicas or prints. He says that we are
masterpieces, each one of us. Unique. One of a kind. God’s piece of work. Jokingly I said my
wife always refers to me as a real piece of work! Every time she does, I say, that’s true. God
says so. You are only believing together with me.
Think about it. Think about what God said to the prophet Jeremiah. Because what he said to
Jeremiah is true of everyone of us. Jeremiah 1:5, listen to these words. God had a relationship with
us before he formed us in the womb. And then it says before you were born – how about this – I
sanctified you. When? Before you were born. Then it says this, I ordained you to be a prophet
to the nations. All of that happened before Jeremiah showed up here on the planet. All of that
happened. It was like God choosing Jeremiah before his parents even laid eyes on him and the
same way with each one of us. God redeemed us.
According to 2 Timothy 1:9, he redeemed us so each of us could be actively involved in his holy work his holy and high calling. Now, we know this and we are certain of it. none of us are saved by our service. Amen. No one.
Because that would mean that there’s a salvation that God puts on the table that a person
could receive on the basis of works. But there is no such salvation found like that anywhere in
the Bible. So, we know a person is not saved by their service, but all of us have been saved for
the purpose of serving in some capacity. In God’s kingdom, you have a place, a purpose, a role,
a function to fulfill. And then, part of life as a believer is discovering what that is.
Allowing God through time and through tests and through some challenges to kind of pull back
the veil so we can see ever more clearly what it is we are supposed to do in our place, with our
purpose in his kingdom. Peter reminds us, all of us, not just some of us. In 1 Peter 2:9, that each
of us are called to tell people about the excellent qualities of God. I love that. Called to show
forth him. It’s like God called us into the advertising business! And we can be like God’s
Madison Avenue advertisers. We can say how wonderful he is, how patient he is, how kind he
is, how gentle he is, how merciful he is.
This is true of a church in China. This is what they do. They welcome new believers into their
local church by saying these words to each one of them, “Jesus now has a new pair of eyes to
see with, a new pair of ears to listen with, new hands to help with, and a new heart to love
others with.” Isn’t that a great way to welcome people into your church. You can greet them
and ask what they’re name is and say we are so glad to have your new eyes in our church. And
your new hands and your new feet and your new heart. All of those can be used now by Christ
to minister to this world. Great way.
But this call, this high and holy calling in this service to God, I think it’s developed in a few
different ways and a few different phases. It’s the calling, absolutely. And then it’s the
equipping. That has to happen. And then it’s the sending.
Wouldn’t you agree with me that when God calls, he very rarely sends right away. I’m not
saying that he can’t. But usually, there is some time, some preparation. There is a work that
needs to be done before we fulfill that mission and that purpose, which might mean we
encounter some delays, some hardships, some uncertainties just to name a few. For instance,
delays. We’ll have them. I think we’ve all had them, right?
God gave young Moses for instance a vision that he would deliver his people from Egypt. And of
course, we know that that was going to happen. I’m sure Moses was ready to take on that task.
He was aware of it. The Bible says when he came to a certain age, he began to understand
more clearly who he really was, even though he was raised in Egypt and raised in Pharaoh’s
house. He understood who he really was. He got his identity from God. And he knew that he
was to deliver his people from Egypt.
But after killing an Egypt which he thought everybody would understand and everybody would
get behind him and everybody would say you are the man, let’s get going. He saw one of his
fellow Jews being beaten by an Egyptian and you know the story. He killed him, hid his body in
the sand but the next thing you know he fled like a fugitive from Egypt into the wilderness.
Why? Why didn’t it all go well when Moses took these matters into his own hands?
The answer is simple. God couldn’t use Moses at that time because there was what? Too much
Moses in Moses. And can’t we all say that there was a time in our lives and maybe some of us
are still there where we could say there is too much of me still in me. And a lot of that has to be
driven out and God chooses the ways in which he drives that out, that we don’t get in the way
of what God wants to do and how God wants to use us.
So, to the wilderness he goes for 40 years. But that wasn’t wasted. That was a time of
equipping. Sometimes when we are sidelined by God or to use a sports analogy, we are put on
the end of the bench, it doesn’t mean he is done with us. It doesn’t mean it’s over. It just means
that there is more preparation that has to happen. More equipping that has to result in our lives. God had to work some things in Moses. He had to work some things out of Moses. But the
good news is this: God never wastes any seasons of our lives. And that’s good to hear because I
think there have been times in my life where I have accused him of that. God, what are we
wasting our time here for? There could be things to accomplish. Work in your kingdom could be
And God says, you know, I am much more interested in the character of my worker than the
work that that individual will do. Isn’t that true? Hasn’t God stopped some great works
throughout the history of the church in their tracks because something was wrong with the
character of the one leading that work? And God said, listen, remember something. I called
you. I chose you. You’re more important to me than the work you will ever do. Once that work
is done, we can be useful instruments in the hand of God.
Moses didn’t waste that time in the wilderness. Cause when God chose to send him some 40
years later, he was not filled with himself. He was not a proud man. In fact, the Bible says he
was humble. It says he was the meekest man on the earth at that time. That’s what 40 years in
the wilderness will do for you right? That’s what happens when we’re side lined or seemingly,
you know, put on a shelf. So, it appears that way to us sometimes, but God says, no. That might
be my best work in your life when it appears as though there’s idleness and nothing seems to
be happening. That’s when I carefully develop the character of my servants.
So, we should never ask God to send us until we are ready to go. Amen. And then when we are
ready to go, sometimes we get a little, a little lazy, a little confused, a little distracted. God will
find a way to push us out there by his grace. So, there will be delays.
There will be uncertainties as well. Think about it. when God called Abraham. He’s the father of
our faith. He called Abraham to leave his country. Genesis 12:1, go to a land I will show you. I love
what Hebrews 11:8 says about this same passage in Genesis 12. It says Abraham went out not
knowing where he went. Doesn’t that sound a lot like God? I mean, personally, I don’t like that.
There have been many times I can recall one just recently when I get in the car and my wife
says, let’s go out. I get in the car and of course my first question is, where are we going? And all
I hear, “just drive.” And it’s like I can’t just drive. I have to know when I leave the driveway, do I
go left? Do I go right? Do I leave the neighborhood or do I stay in the neighborhood? Do you
just want to see the neighborhood or do you want to go beyond the neighborhood? I mean, I
need some definition. I need some direction.
Imagine poor Abraham. God says, leave your country. Fine, Lord. Where shall we go? Don’t
worry about that. Just go. Uncertainty. He was going not knowing. I think especially for men,
that’s very frustrating. We want to know. We want directions. We want a GPS. We want to have
some timeframe in terms of when we will arrive and so on and so forth. But God gave Abraham a vision to go. And there was uncertainty attached to that vision. And there will be uncertainty
from time to time attached to the vision that God gives to each one of us. He also said I’m going
to give you a vision to be a father of many nations. And Abraham was, that’s wonderful. But
could we start with maybe one child?
No, don’t worry about that. You’ll be a father of many
nations. Great. How about just one boy to start with? Don’t worry about that. It will happen.
But what did Abraham do? the Bible says he just kept believing God. He just kept trusting God,
and years keep passing by. He’s about a 100. And his wife is close to that age as well. They are
beginning to wonder. How is God going to do that which he promised? But the Bible says he
didn’t stagger at the promises of God through unbelief but he just kept trusting. Which is all
that God ever asks of us. Amen. Just keep trusting. He gave him a vision.
Sometimes when God gives you a vision in your heart to serve him, we just have to pursue it no
matter how dim it appears, no matter how foggy it sometimes gets in our lives. Just keep
driving towards the vision because the vision rarely comes clearly. That sounds like what
Habakkuk heard, Habbakuk 2:3-4. He was told though the vision tarry, wait for it. And then the
promise, “for it will surely come to pass.” Sometimes that’s the nature of the vision.
I think that’s what’s so amazing and so wonderful about Bible college because I think when
people choose to go to Bible college, it helps to clarify their vision and their purpose and their
mission in life. I know that it did in my case. And I know that it did in so many other people’s
lives as well. Sitting under the teaching of the Word of God on a consistent basis and coming to
church and listening to the Word of God on a consistent basis cannot help but to clarify the
vision that God has given to each one of us. Keep moving towards it.
I love the fact – God does something very unique. He gives us enough of the vision to begin, but
never enough of it to finish. We wonder why. If you showed me the beginning of the vision,
why not show me the whole thing? Because God says if I showed you the whole vision, you
would never go there. You would be so frightened and so overwhelmed and so unable to
comprehend the grace that will meet you each step of that vision that you won’t even go.
It’s like God saying to David, David, you’re going to defeat the Philistine champion, Goliath, and
all of Israel will celebrate that great victory. And David says, woe! I’m in! And then God says,
and after that, Saul will chase you like a dog through the wilderness and you’ll hide out in the
woods and hide out in caves. And he’ll pursue you for a number of years and try to kill you on
several occasions. David would go, I’m out! Right? God did not reveal all of his will, his purpose,
his plan his mission for David, but just enough to take the next steps. Just enough to keep
moving toward the vision.
That’s how God works in our lives. And then, not only delays, uncertainties but how about
hardships. The ultimate purpose – think about it – the ultimate purpose of our services not for our benefit. But it’s for God’s purpose which is why God’s purpose so often includes hardships.
And I wish it were different. I wish that God would say I am going to conform you to the image
of my Son and I’m going to do it by putting you on a perpetual celebrity cruise! You will be
crossing the ocean in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean for a better part of your life. And
when it’s all said and done, you will step off that ship and you’ll be just like Jesus.
Well, he doesn’t operate that way, does he? He doesn’t do it through cruise ships. He doesn’t
do it through celebration after celebration. You know, one mountain peak experience to the
next, one great burst of joy only to bring us into the next great burst of joy. No, he takes a
different road, doesn’t he? And Sometimes it’s a challenging road.
I mean, again, what a perfect example we have in the Bible with Joseph. Think about it. After
his betrayal, after his mistreatment by his brothers and we know his whole 17 year long trial.
Seventeen years! What did he say to his brothers when it was all said and done? Ge. 50:20,
listen to what he said. He’s speaking to his brothers who he has been reconciled with. They had
been forced to Egypt to buy grain only to discover that he was the guy that they had to buy
grain from. He said to them what you did you meant for evil but God meant it for good.
And if you stop right there, it would be enough to celebrate, but listen to what he says next.
“for the saving of many lives.”
Notice that. It wasn’t so that just Israel could be saved and that
his brothers and his family could be saved and reunited and God would have a great blessing
there amidst the family of Joseph, but it was for others. It was for the saving of many lives.
What Joseph was able to do by the grace of God saved the world from a famine that would no
doubt have utterly destroyed the rest of the world as we know it. What happened was for the
saving of many lives.
When God gives us a vision to serve him, he’ll give you everything you need to fulfill it. You
won’t lack a single thing. His grace has promised to provide all that we need and then some. So
yes, there will be some delays and there will be some uncertainties and we will face them. And
hardships, absolutely. Of course, that’s going to happen.
The vision will never be experienced, the mission will never be entered into without opposition.
That should be the first clue that we are moving in the direction that God wants us to move in
because of all of the opposition that we experience. Throughout the years in this ministry, so
many people well meaning, people that thought that I was a little deluded and a little mislead
would always come to me and say, listen. You know, you just need to stop and think about that
ministry you are a part of, that church you are involved in. You think of it. Sometimes they get a
lot of bad press. Sometimes they say a lot of bad things about your pastor. Listen, your pastor,
sometimes he’s controversial. He’s in trouble. There seems to be so much opposition.
Every time I would hear that, I would say well of course there is because the ministry is of God
and anything that is of God in this world will experience opposition. And anyone that walks with
God in this world will experience opposition. Just ask Joseph. Just ask Gideon, Elijah, David,
Paul, Nehemiah, Abraham, Jeremiah and add your name to the list. Of course, there will be.
I remember the very first week in 1977 when I was introduced to the ministry. Within a matter
of 24 hours, somebody handed me an article in a magazine and said, I think you need to read
this. And it was negative. And it was critical. And at the same time, when I heard the message of
this ministry on the radio, I thought that message is from God. That message speaks to my
heart. I don’t care about the opposition. I don’t care about how many people jump on my
bandwagon. This is the vision that God has put in my heart. I’m going to keep pressing towards
it and I’m going to believe the best that God has for us as he has for all of us.
I mean if you ask anybody who has every done anything of real, eternal value, of any real
significance in the kingdom of God, did you ever experience opposition? What do you think
they are going to say? Oh, no, no. Life was just a bowl of cherries. Anybody that tells you life is
just a bowl of cherries is bananas! Remember that. Of course, there will be opposition. And
maybe, who knows. I don’t know. I hope it doesn’t happen, but maybe in this country of ours
we are preparing ourselves and God is even in the process of equipping us for opposition that
still may come. That’s okay. It’s par for the course. Amen. We expect it. we anticipate it.
So, as we move towards this mission, this purpose for which God called us and created us for,
remember some simple thoughts as we close.
Employ the means of guidance, whatever those
means might be. It’s your Bible. It’s prayer. It’s as we mentioned earlier, Bible college. It doesn’t
have to be a full load of classes. It could be a class or two that you just keep yourself spiritually
in tune. Keep yourself spiritually sharp with. Employ the means of guidance, all that God has
available for you. The Holy Spirit’s presence. The wise counsel of mature believers in and
around your life.
Another thing we can do is identify your motivated interests. What is it you love to do? What is
it you long to do? I love and so often refer to P. Bill Alexson’s testimony because Bill many years
ago – he still likes to think he’s a professional basketball player, but many years ago when he
played professionally overseas, that’s what he loved to do. He had a gift to play basketball but
he experienced a terrible injury and he realized that his professional basketball career overseas
at that time was going to come to an end.
So, he prayed. He turned to God and he said, God, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next,
but I do know this: I want it to be something that I enjoy. I want it to be something that’s in my
heart. I want it to be something that when I do it, I feel as if God made me for that purpose.
It kind of reminds you of that movie, Chariots of Fire. Remember that runner from Scotland,
Eric Liddell? He said that when he ran, he says I feel God’s purpose. And that was the way it was
with Bill and look at what he does today. He still ministers to world class athletes, but now he
takes them overseas, around the globe and they preach the gospel and they use that ability and
talent and gift to play basketball to glorify Jesus and he’s the guy that’ s leading the charge for
that. And I think that that’s amazing. You know, identify your motivated interests. Pay attention
to the desires that God puts in your heart because he wants to use them. It’s not an accident
that they are there. Keep driving towards that vision.
Someone said once what do you mean when you use that word “vision”? What does the word
“vision” mean for the believer? It’s a mental picture of a desirable future. That’s what vision is.
A mental picture of a desirable future. Have it in your heart. Have it in your mind. Think about
it. Look at it. And keep driving towards it.
And then of course, always employ the power of faith because without faith, we cannot please
God, Hebrews 11:6. They asked one time after – Pete Sampras, the great tennis player, American
tennis player, he had just won the U.S. open. He had just won Wimbledon. Two more
tournaments. I believe the French open and the Australian open. That’s what they called the
grand slam. After winning the U.S. open and Wimbledon, they said to him, do you think you can
win the grand slam? He said, no. Sealed his fate. Had no vision. And of course, that is exactly
The negative power of unbelief will cripple the vision that God has placed in our souls. So just
keep feeding that faith. Keep drawing near to God. Just keep taking steps of faith, ever closer to
the fulfillment of that vision. And then finally, take a few risks of faith. Take a few steps. You say
I don’t want to take any steps. I might fail. Wow. So, you would rather be perfect in your
potentiality instead of perfect in your actuality, right? You want to go through life and say I am
perfect – I will never fail because I will never try. Well, congratulations. I think God would say
why don’t you get out there and try? Why don’t you get out there and take a step of faith? Why
don’t you launch out into the deep and get out of the boat when you have a chance to walk on
the water with Jesus. Take the opportunity.
Again, that’s what Peter did. He saw Jesus in the water. Lord, is it you? Yes. Can I come out
there with you? Yes. When you get a chance, step out of the boat. Otherwise, you could go
through life and what would you end up being? I don’t know. A lot of people in our culture
today are satisfied being couch potatoes. You could end up as a Christian being a boat potato.
I’m staying in the boat. It’s safe. I might get wet if I go out there. You know what Peter’s
probably thinking as he looks behind and sees the rest of the disciples in the boat? You know,
you could drown just as easily in there as I could out there. Jesus is out there. I’ll take a step out
of the boat. Amen. Let’s pray.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.
Post a comment