like JFK, ask not …

I concluded our series on The Purpose Driven Life yesterday. (Click here to review the study notes).

 Now, to sum it all up, and in the spirit of JFK (listen & view the famous quote & video here)

  • Ask not what God can do for you; ask what you can do for God.
  • Ask not what your church can do for you; ask what you can do for your church.
  • Ask not what your community can do for you; ask what you can do for your community.

We tend to reverse the order. Our country, our parents, our God, our church – all are there to pamper and please us right? Wrong assumption! We are not alone in thinking this way as even those who hung out with Jesus 24/7 had to be reminded by their esteemed teacher that ‘first is last and last is first’.  They had to be reminded that even the Lord himself came not to be served but to give his life a ransom for many. Therefore we conclude: Jesus died for me – I’ll live for Him.

Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please him in all that I do,

yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free, this is the pathway of blessing for me.

 

O Jesus, Lord and Saviour, I give myself to thee; for thou in thy atonement,

didst give thyself for me. I own no other master; my life shall be thy throne,

my life I give henceforth to live, O Christ for thee alone.

Life is to be lived with purpose. Churches are to live with purpose. How do we stay on track?

  1. Let go of sin, release the weights that slow us down, avoid the stuff in life that distracts and entangles. – Hebrews 12:1
  2. Make church attendance a priority – it encourages others and stimulates good works – Hebrews 10:25
  3. Understand that the church is not about maintaining an image in the community but participating in a mission which will point the community to God. – Matthew 5:14-16

We look to history and make a list of saints to be admired – those who have given their lives in devotion and dedication; those through whom God has accomplished great things. We tend to forget though that these faithful servants of God started out just like you and me, asking God “what is it that you have for me to do with my life?” They discover their God-given purpose, and pursue their divine design with enthusiastic obedience. The Apostle Paul compares this kind of living to running a race. (1 Corinthians 9) – with intensity, discipline, focus.

 So I say to you as individuals, and to you as churches – ask not what ….

I want to get to heaven and be amazed by stories of how Christians blessed the people in their communities and around the world – relief work, education, food banks, water, meals, clothing, kindness …

Two very interesting things I found in my research today; hope you take time to consider what they say about the church and its purpose.

  1. Pastor Pete Wilson, visiting Harvest Church in Billings, Montana, reports in a recent blog post  that this amazing church is making an incredible impact in the community it serves. They actually have four campuses with one in Cody, Wyoming. They are in the process of raising money to build an Olympic size pool that they’re actually going to give to the city of Billings as a gift just to show their intent and desire to serve the community.
  1. Check out this video clip about a church project of purpose with global impact – bringing to life the instruction of Isaiah 58!
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About dougjohns

Doug Johns retired from ministry in Canada to devote more time to international work. Right now he pastors part time at the International Baptist Church in Bielefeld, Germany. He is a graduate of York Univ. (B.A.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Doug is married to Yvonne and they have four grown children plus eight grandchildren. Doug has had significant experience as a Presbyterian Minister in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick. He has served as Associate Pastor at West Congregational in Haverhill, Massachusetts; Doug is committed to international ministry in Romania; and he has taken leadership in Christian Camping as Executive Director of Camp Fireside, NH; Glen Mhor Presbyterian Camp, Ontario; Timberline Ranch, BC. .... avid baseball fan of the Toronto Blue Jays ... Managed American Legion Baseball Team out of Creston BC in North Idaho League. Doug is a serious runner with many international half-marathons completed over the last 6 years.
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One Response to like JFK, ask not …

  1. Singa says:

    I’ve been really exicetd to see PV’s mentality change just in the past year from bringing people INTO the church, to encouraging the church to go OUT. This year for Christmas, rather than doing the same Christmas program its done for over a decade, we’ve themed this Christmas Christmas to GO (picture a chinese to-go box as the image . Everyone in the Northland who has ever wanted to see The Singing Christmas Tree has come to PV to see it EXCEPT those who are homeless or in prison. So where are we taking the message of Christ? To the homeless and to prisons. I’m pretty exicetd about this I think this is one small way we see the Kingdom of God expanding in a real, and practical way.

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