Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Filled With Purpose

Filled With Purpose

Last week we started talking about the Corinthian church and we got a general picture of how that church came together.
 
            When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he was absolutely convinced that the second coming of Christ would happen in his lifetime. That one belief is huge. Whatever else the second coming of Christ may mean to anybody else in all the world in any age, it meant something special to Paul. He had met spiritual the risen Christ on the road to Damascus—in a blinding flash of light and Jesus wanted to know why Paul was persecuting Christians. It turned his life around. Paul honestly believed that in his lifetime he would have the chance to meet the living Lord in the flesh here on earth, face-to-face - and Paul believed he would be accountable for the way he had lived his life. That one conviction, that he would meet the Lord and would want to be accountable, gave his life extraordinary passion and purpose. It explains the zeal he had in spreading the gospel. 
 
            As time went on, Paul’s spirit began to get weary. Doors kept closing in his face, but he realized the purpose of Christ was pressing on; sticking with his mission, and then he began to change his fundamental assumption. He changed his belief to be, “Christ is going to come again. It may not happen in my lifetime but I know it will happen because of all the things that Christ is accomplishing in us and through us. That sacred purpose is moving toward an end, toward a completion, and Paul says to us: “I know that the good work that began in you will therefore one day be completed and will find its fullness when Christ comes.” 
 
      It was an incredible shift in his thinking but very profound. He knew the purpose of God was not confined to the purpose of his life; that his life was part of a purpose that was greater than his life. He was only playing a small part in it, but he knew that purpose was moving in the direction God desired.
 
            So, today,I am sure that the God who began a good work in you and in us will bring it to where God wants it. We also hear from Paul that purpose we are involved in is bigger than us, but we are playing an important part of that greater purpose.
 
           One of the wonderful parts of ministering to you is to see the maturity of your faith. I don’t have to try to convert anybody to the faith. You have lived it and are living it. You bring your faith here, not to be talked out of it or talked into anything else, but just to celebrate the faith that you have lived.
        Like Paul writes to the congregation at Corinth, I know that the future God has prepared for you.
As we begin a new year, another congregational meeting, we are on the threshold of an extraordinary adventure, but we have no idea what that adventure will be. 
  But Paul reminds us we can be confident that the purpose God is accomplishing through us will not fail; as long as we stay true to the Word of God.  
             
         Our passage from Corinthians reminded us that we are each one of a kind. There is no one else out there like me; or anyone else exactly like you. Each one of us is different. What gift we can give each other is the permission to be ourselves and to each do what God leads us to do in respect to the work of this church and the purpose God is guiding us toward. And it is is in that work, each doing what we can, working together, we can celebrate our life as the Sweetwater congregation.
             So I say one more time, in the words of Paul, “I am sure that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion in the day of Christ,”’

Amen!