August 13, 2023

How do I know what God wants me to do?

Tune into this meaningful service - "How do I know what God wants me to do." Discover purpose like Jesus washing feet in John 13. Let's serve beyond weekends, and impact lives. Ready to jump in?

You might not want to share it. You might be a little embarrassed. I'll share it from my own life, but I think we probably all have had these moments, if we're honest. Have you ever been around your house, and you really need to find your car keys? There’s a lot of stuff going on and you just can't find them. Or maybe a pair of glasses that you can't find. Or maybe, for some ladies, a purse or whatever. You go around the house and, I mean, you're calling out to the kids and all of that stuff. And then it's unbelievable, but you realize that you're actually holding the keys in your hand. You all, maybe not, but I'm going to tell you that I've done that. Okay? You may not have done that. Or it’s right there on the counter, and it's like, “How did you miss it? How did that…”

It’s funny because, oftentimes, the things that we're looking for, or sometimes the answers that we're looking for, can be right there in front of us, but because of life, chaos, and all the things that go on, sometimes we miss it. We miss what's right in front of us. I say that because I think that this weekend, as we go through this message, that will continue to come back up. There are just things that are right in front of us that, sometimes, with the distractions, the noise, and the confusion of life — difficulties, problems, pains, anxieties, fears — sometimes we just don't see what's right in front of us. I want to just ask you to hold that. I don’t want you to put it in your back pocket. I want you to just sort of hold that out there for the entire message because I'm hoping that as we enter into this, you'll start to go, “Man, there are some things that are right in front of me that maybe I'm not seeing.”

I think it will be a blessing to all of us. So, that being said, we're in a series called “Don't Run,” and it's only a two-week series. It was last weekend and this weekend. The whole premise of the series was I knew that we were going back to school, and I knew that, right around the corner, we would have season coming back, people coming back, and these are the times, really, when, as a church, we do great things.

During the summertime. But as we go into the fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas time, there are just incredible opportunities to reach people. I wanted to take this time to take two weeks and just address how we are using our gifts and our talents for the Lord.

Last weekend, if you were here — if you weren't, you can go back and watch it — I sort of did a little diagnostic, internally, asking the questions, “How would we know if maybe we were running?”

Some questions that we might ask ourselves because, oftentimes, as you know and I know, when we feel like maybe God's calling us to something, or somebody asks us to do something for the Kingdom of God, we sort of recoil and say, “There’s no way God could use me,” or, “I don't have the talent,” or, “I don't have the ability.”

All of us have been there at one point. So, I wanted to sort of talk about that last week. Hey, here are some areas we might look at where maybe we're running. But this weekend, I wanted to answer a question that many people have that's just as important as the fact that sometimes we run or feel inadequate. There's a question that many of us ask, and it's a legitimate question when it comes to this whole thing of, “What do I do for God, or what am I supposed to be doing?” and all of this, and the question is this: “How do I know what God wants me to do?”

I mean, that's a great question. It's a question that maybe some of you all have asked. It's a question that maybe some of you all are asking right now. What I will tell you is it's like that key that you were looking for. You get so distracted with everything, and maybe, sometimes, the answer to that question is right there in front of us. I realize that with what I'm going to tell you here, you could go, “Well, Chip, there are some granular levels here that you're not addressing, or there's maybe some nuance, or there's maybe some other stuff.”

We’ll talk about that at the end part of the message because I have some really practical things that I want to tell you. But what I can tell you, as your pastor, is that when the question is asked, “How do I know what God wants me to do?” that’s not a very difficult question at one level because it's all through Scripture. It's what Jesus said He came to do. It's what He said the greatest of us would be if we really were great. The answer to the question, “How do I know what God wants me to do?” is to serve. That's what He wants us to do. He wants us to be servants. He said, “I didn't come to be served. I came to serve. I came to give.”

If you want to know what the greatest looks like, He never, ever, ever had a problem with you and I asking for something to be better, to be greater, or to want more out of life. When they asked, “We want to be great in the Kingdom of God,” He didn't say, “You shouldn't be great.”

He didn't say that at all. He just said, “Well, if you want to be great, the way you're going to be great is you're going to be the greatest servant in the room.”

Now, I realize you could say, “Well, what am I supposed to do in service?”

We’ll get there. I promise you, as your pastor. I'm so excited about this message. I feel like it's one of those really practical messages that we need to hear from time to time. I'll answer the granular levels and nuance. I'll give you some things to do that I think will help you out, but the real answer to what God would have you and I to do on Day One if we become a Christian is to be servants. It’s to serve people. It’s to do everything that we can to be a servant. So, what I want to do is break this up into two things. I want to show you out of Scripture what I consider to be — and it doesn't have to be what you consider to be, but it's what I consider to be one of the most powerful passages in all of Scripture where Jesus just shows us — like, man, how could you read this and not want to go serve? How could you read this and not realize that to follow Jesus is to be a servant?

I want to look at that. We're just going to look at that in context. We’re going to look at that and sort of pull it apart. It'll be a great Bible study and lesson. Then what I'm going to do at the end is I'm going to give you eight things that you and I can immediately do, right now, to help us figure out what it is and what area that God would want us to serve in, because there’s no question that He wants us to serve. So, as your pastor, one of the things that we've done around here is we've put all these pictures that have different things about what some of the values are that we have as a church. One of them is called “Engage In and Out.”

Now, this is what I believe. I believe this from reading Scripture, I believe this from experience with God, and I believe this from watching other people. I believe, and we believe as a church, that if you're really wanting to live the life that God has called you to live — and maybe you find yourself sometimes being dry, or maybe you find yourself sometimes not really feeling like God's close to you or whatever. I would ask you this: Do you know, right now, that you have something that you do in God's house on the weekend where you serve? If you say, “No, all I do is attend,” I'd like to challenge you to think a little bit about what God wants you to do. He wants you to serve.

So, we talk about serving. Do you have something “in?” We call it “Engaged In and Out.” Are you engaged here? Which may mean, for many people, that you would attend one service and serve another service. You go, “I don't want to do that.”

Can I just, as your pastor, tell you something? There are people who walk in here every single weekend that do not know Jesus. Do you realize how important it is to put aside some of the things that maybe we want to do, serve the Kingdom of God, and lay up treasures into eternity rather than just laying up treasures here on the earth? Do you follow what I'm saying? I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm just saying that if you don't have something that you go, “This is what I do on the weekend. I serve.”

And outside of the walls of the church, do you have something where you serve, where you can go, “This is where I serve?”

If you don't have those two things, I want to help you try to find those areas. We’ll talk about that a little bit later, but I want to create in us an inspiration to want to be so much like Jesus and to want to serve. So, the passage that strikes me more than any other — and there are plenty of passages where Jesus serves. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of passages in Scripture where people serve, but the passage, to me, that is just overwhelmingly a pause moment — like, “Wow.” Every time I read it, I don't know the words to say because this is the Creator of the universe, this is the King of kings and Lord of lords, this is the One that spoke everything into existence, placed every star in the heavens, and formed you and I in our mothers’ womb. The most powerful person. Paul says, in Colossians 1, that the whole world is held together by Him. This is Jesus, and Jesus, in John 13, washes feet. It's one of those, like, “Wow. I wouldn't have really seen that coming.”

I want to set this up because we probably, many of us, have read John 13, but maybe you’ve never really seen some of the beauty that's there, some of the depth that's there, because it’s powerful. So, I want to look at that, and then we'll talk about some real practical things that we can do to help us out in learning to serve. Are you with me? Three people. Okay. Three.

I'll be here tomorrow, as well. So, if you’re not with me tonight, you can come back and finish.

So, in John 13, to set it up, we have to understand that John 13 does not live by itself. It's not an island. There's stuff that comes before and stuff that comes after, but the stuff that comes before is really, really powerful. So, in John 12, which moves into John 13, Jesus is talking about a lot of things. He's talking about how the ruler of the world has been cast out. He's talking about the fact that He’s going to give His life, and everybody sort of has no idea what's going on. Nobody’s really quite syncing with who He is and what He’s called to do. And John quotes Isaiah in John 12. He says, “Hey, when Isaiah was called in Isaiah 6, he said, ‘I'm a man of unclean lips,’ and God touched his lips. He said, ‘I want you to go and share. Who’s going to go?’ And Isaiah says, ‘I'll go. Send me.’ He has this moment. He says, ‘Now, when you go and tell people, many of them are not going to listen to you.’”

John is quoting this. Okay? So, it’s important to go back and maybe look at Isaiah 6 for just a second because then John really quotes something out of Isaiah 6 that really sets up John 13. So, let me take you back to Isaiah 6 because he's quoting this. Oftentimes, when we're reading Scripture, and we see that there's maybe a quotation from the Old Testament, we may not be that familiar with the Old Testament.

But in Isaiah 6:1, we’re told, “In the year King Uzziah died…”

Now, King Uzziah was a very beloved king. You know how it is when you have somebody that's very popular, everything’s been sort of smooth, there's not been a whole lot of war and all kinds of stuff, when a leader dies, that starts to make other people surrounding you think maybe you could be weak or whatever. So, there was a lot of anxiety and a lot of uncertainty. King Uzziah has died, so we're here sort of in the funeral dirge, and Isaiah tells us something that's powerful.

He says, “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne,”

Why is that important? Because what is central to you and me in our faith is that when things are going on that bring anxiety, fear, questions, and uncertainty, it's important to realize that God is still sovereign and in control. That's why he saw a throne. In what seemed to be so uncertain, he had a moment where he said, “Oh, God's in control. He's on the throne. I thought He’d gotten off, but He’s still there.”

It’s important for us to remember that, whatever's going on in our life — because when we don't think that God is sovereign, it's a scary place to be.

He says, “…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”

Now, these are not throwaway words. Most of you probably go, “Oh, he had this vision. Okay. Whatever. Next.”

But in the Ancient Near East, to the people who would've read this text at the time they read it, there's a profound theological concept going on here. Kings, when they would defeat another king, what they would do is, oftentimes, drag the king before other people so that they knew that they were defeated. What they would do is they would cut a part of their garment, and then what they would do is they would sew it onto theirs. If you were a king that had two or three stitches on, you'd have done some battles. You’d beaten a lot of people. Here in this moment of the uncertainty of, “Our king has died, and there are other kings. Are we going to be conquered? What’s going to go on?” Isaiah sees the Lord on a throne, but he also says that the train of His robe filled the temple. The reason he says that is because every single king has been defeated by Jesus. Every single thing that would be a problem has been defeated. His train fills the entire temple because every stitch is on there. There is nothing that He has not already defeated. Do you see how powerful that is? It's powerful. It's not just throwaway stuff. It's really important. So, we see this, and then there's this interaction with Isaiah and all this stuff. But here's what John says in John 12. That's so important.

He says, “Isaiah said these things…”

He just quoted Isaiah before this.

“…because [Isaiah] saw his glory and spoke of him.”

Who did Isaiah see in the temple in Isaiah 6:1? He saw Jesus. That's who he saw. When we talk about grace here, we talk about how Jesus is the central part of everything in Scripture. We mean that because that's exactly what John is telling you in John 12. It's also why I tell you that if Jesus is all through Scripture, and this is all about Jesus, then the Scriptures have to be important. They can't just sort of be that we pick and choose whatever we want. I mean, the Bible is absolutely God-breathed to you and I, and we need to pay attention to it because there are so many riches in there that we can't just get wrapped up in not spending time. In fact, I saw an article. I said this to some of the staff members. The greatest sign of Christian maturity in churches — this is hundreds of thousands of people who have been surveyed at different churches and everything else. This is what they found. They found that the churches that have people who read Scripture more than four times a week are the churches that are growing the most, spiritually, out of anything that they could do. That's why I'm really big on teaching Scripture, because I want you to get a passion and a hunger to go, “Man, I want to go dig through this stuff. This is cool.”

My dad always says, “Man, I've read this stuff. Where are you getting this stuff?”

I'm like, “Dad, I just make it up on the weekends.”

He jokes. But the point is it gets you excited. So, all that being said, knowing this, knowing that we've talked about Jesus high and lifted up, all this stuff, all these things, he saw his glory and everything, now we're really ready to hit John 13 and see how powerful this is.

We're told, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

Let's pay attention here. So, “Before,” — this would be before supper had started. We’ll get into the supper here in a minute. But before the feast, before they'd gotten there, when Jesus knew — He knew, He was aware — that His hour — if you read John, all the way back in John 2 it starts. He says, “Woman, it's not my hour. It's not my hour. It's not my hour.”

His hour hadn't come. It's His hour. There's a moment. Can I tell you something? Don't get discouraged in your life when it's not your hour. Your hour will come. Your hour will come where the things that God has said about you that He’s going to do will happen because He’s faithful, He’s sovereign, He’s on the throne, and the train of His robe does fill the temple. This is His moment. This is the moment that Jesus really came for. All the other stuff is important, all the other teachings are important, but this is the moment where He’s now going to enter into His suffering, and then, on the other side, there will be glory. He knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father. He was going back to where He’d come from. And we’re set up. We know where He is going back to, where He’s on the throne, where He’s defeated every king, and all of that.

It's important to see this.

Then he says, “…having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

That’s a little ambiguous because it probably means both things. It means He loved them to the end, saying that He loved them to the uttermost, as much as anybody could love anybody, but He also loved them to the end, right up to the point of where He had died. So, we're left in this moment, and then the drama builds.

“During supper,”

So, they've gotten together. They’d have been like in a U-shaped environment. They'd been laying on their sides. Jesus had called the supper and they were all there.

“During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,”

So, you can imagine, I mean, this is a drama-filled thing.

You've got Jesus there, who is God in the flesh — a man who is God — and you have Judas there, who is a man who Satan, we're told in the other Gospels, has entered into. Can you imagine the stare between these two enemies there at this table? This is thick with drama. I mean, it's thick. He knows who He is, He knows He’s victorious, and He's staring him down here. I mean, it's thick. It is powerful.

It says, “…Jesus, knowing…”

Those are not throwaway words. John wants you to remember that He knows where He’s going. He knows who He is. He knows these things.

“…knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,”

Knowing that. Assured.

“…and that he had come from God and was going back to God,”

In this moment, the tension there, all of a sudden, something happens.

It says, “…[He] rose from supper.”

Now, you’ve got to understand something. This would've been a sort of moment because everybody's there, they probably know that something's up, but that they don't know exactly what Jesus is saying. There's a lot of uncertainty because Jesus has told them a lot of things, and He stands up.

We’re told, “He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.”

Now, this is why this is powerful. When you had a supper like that, there would've been a servant in the room, and when you came in, they would've washed your feet. Nobody would've gathered around the table with their dirty feet. There wasn't a servant there. You would've thought the disciples, having traveled with Jesus for three plus years, one of them would've said, “Do you know what? I'll just do it. I'll just wash feet,” but nobody's done that at all. Nobody stepped up. So, this is a moment because, as they're watching this, the last person at one of these suppers that should be washing feet is the one that's holding the supper. He rises, He lays aside His outer garment, He takes a towel, and He ties it around His waist.

“Then he poured water…”

You can see here that John is using these verbs quickly to make some points.

“Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

The one who Isaiah saw high and lifted up, the one who was on the throne, the one who had defeated all kings, the one who was going back to His glory, what was on His mind? Serving. And Peter's the only one who really, honestly, gets something right? He's like, “No way. You’re not washing my feet.”

He knew that's inappropriate. Jesus should have been the one washing the feet, but Jesus says, “Look, if I do not wash your feet, man, you’ve got nothing to do with me.”

He says, “Man, pour it all over. Give it all. Put it all on me. Do whatever you’ve got to do.”

But it's dramatic because that's who our Savior is. Rather than having power, telling people what to do, and fighting for all that, He washes feet. That's why I say to the staff, all the time, “Don’t go for a title. Grab a towel. Serve, serve, serve.”

So, what I want to do is, knowing that's true — like, a casual observer would be able to go, “Yeah, it would sort of be hard to be a follower of Jesus and not serve. I see it. I wasn't liking it at the beginning, but yeah, he sort of made a point.”

So, let me give you some very practical things. This is where I get excited because I get to be a teacher, I get to give some instruction, and help to get people to move forward to finding those places where you can serve, because I want you to live the life that God's called you to live, I want you to feel the presence of God in your life, and to see how God wants to use you. So, here are eight things that I've laid out, and they're all different. They have different things, so some of them will hit you differently than others, but these are what I consider to be things that we need to think about when it comes to stepping out and serving. We’re going to serve, so how do I figure out some of the places that I should serve? I want to give you a list of some things. They attack it in different ways, but they’re things that are important. So, here we go.

The first thing I would tell you is that to really be able to step out of the boat, at some level, we have to acknowledge that what God says is true. At some level, we’ve got to know that the future is secure. You know, you really can't turn the other cheek and love your enemy if you don’t really believe that there's something other than this life. There has to be some point where you go, “Do you know what? I'm in.”

You may not fully understand it, but at some point, you’ve got to go, “Do you know what? God's really God. He is God.”

I mean, we do it all the time. We were away for summertime, and we went snorkeling. I mean, I don't know if you've ever been snorkeling in the Caribbean, but sometimes the outfits you go snorkeling in don't always look like they've been OSHA-inspected or that the Coast Guard has done their deal, and all that stuff. You sort of start wondering, “Have they cleaned the snorkels?”

Do you know what I'm saying? You have that moment, but at some point, you go, “I'm in. I'm in.”

There’s some uncertainty there, right? So, what I'm saying is, at some point, you’ve got to start asking the question — and you see this here. “Jesus, knowing.” He knew. He rose from supper. There was something about that acknowledgement of knowing. I'm here to tell you something. Listen to your pastor here. I am telling you, for a fact, that God wins in the end. You don't have to worry about that. He does. No matter what it looks like, He's going to win. So, here's where I want you to hear me. We're really free to serve when we're trusting Jesus.

So, here's what I want to give you. A quick, little thing because some of y'all may need to hear this. If you're a follower of Jesus, forgiveness is true in your life whether you think it is or not. If you've accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you're forgiven of your sins, past, present, and future. Period. End of story. He said it's finished. He didn't say it might be or it could be. It's done. Christianity does not start with what we do. It starts with what Christ has done. Okay? He's put His Spirit within us, so whether you feel it that way or not, if you are someone who has said, “I'm a follower of Jesus,” and you’ve said, “I believe He died on the cross for my sins and I believe He rose again on the third day,” and, “Lord, I want to do life Your way, not my way,” He's placed His Spirit within you, which means you have the ability to do things for the Lord that you would not have had before. It's there. Not only that, but you're right with God. You may not feel like you're right with God, but you’re right with God. You're also a child of the Most High, and you also are secure in your salvation. Those things are true.

So, to know the future is secure gives us the ability to step out. Why did only one person get out of the boat? They were like, “Man, it's safer in here.”

It wasn't. It was actually safer out there with Jesus. The reality is it's safer to trust Him than to trust all the other things that we may think or feel. But that's the first thing. The second thing is we need to learn to become obedient. Obedience has nothing to do with our salvation. Salvation has to do with what Jesus did for you and me and our trust in Him, but obedience has to do with walking out what Christ has done in us. And when we're not obedient, we don't put ourselves in the place of blessing and favor that we should. The if/then statements of the Bible. If you do this, then this will happen. That's called obedience.

Listen to me because this is important. When we're disobedient and doing everything our way, it's very challenging to discern where God wants us. So, you're saying, “Okay. I know what He wants. I want to serve.”

Well, start off with taking a moment.

“Do I trust Jesus? Yeah, I trust Jesus. It's a little scary, but I trust Jesus. Well, am I going to be obedient or am I going to do things my way?”

That's why Solomon says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Do you know how many Christians in America are leaning on their own understanding, right now, rather than what the Bible says? He says, “Don’t do that. In all your ways, acknowledge Him,” and what'll happen? He will make straight your paths. He’ll get you where you need to go. So, you’ve got to be obedient.

Third. Listen to me. This is important. They're building here. Pay attention to our fears. You go, “Okay. God wants me to serve. Where does He want me to serve? How do I know where I should go? I’ve got to trust Jesus. I need to be obedient because it’s really going to be difficult to be…”

I mean, very rarely have I found people who are living for themselves, not for God, who walk in and go, “I want to serve wherever you want me to serve.”

That doesn't happen. It usually happens when people start to say, “I want to follow God.”

Then they're obedient. But pay attention to our fears because our greatest fears are, oftentimes, the exact place God wants to use you and me. I didn't say all the time. I said oftentimes. But our greatest fears. Sometimes when we do it a little introspection of, “What am I fearful of that God would get ahold of?” that might very well be the place that God wants you to serve. See, He specializes in taking the areas of our weakness and showing His strength. Pay attention. Let me just give you some examples. So, people have a fear of failure. Well, God uses that to show success. That's what He does. He specializes in taking that fear and showing you what He can do. People have a fear of public speaking. Do you know how many great preachers had an incredible fear of public speaking before they decided to follow God, and then God started doing His thing that He does? He takes our fears, and He uses them. Or maybe you have a fear of loss, or you think you're going to lose something. God can show you abundance or He can show how you can be secure in Him. But the bottom line is to pay attention to those areas in your life. When somebody like me gets up and says, “Hey, God wants you to serve,” and you go, “Oh, I hope He doesn't call me here,” that's probably exactly where He’s going to call you. So, be careful. When you go, “I'm not going to go overseas and be a missionary,” that’s when, all of a sudden, you'll be on a plane. So, what I'm telling you is to pay attention.

Fourth: Throw yourself in service to things that attract you and give you life.

You say, “Chip, how do I serve? You got me. You got me. I know I’ve got to serve, but how do I find that spot?”

Okay. Here's the answer. Find some areas in your life that attract you. You go, “Yeah. I know there's this stuff going on here. I'm sort of social. I could greet.”

Or, “I don't know. I could serve coffee, I could drive a golf cart, or I could teach a class.”

If you're just blank right now, serve in the nursery. That's the place to go. We need help there. Children's ministry. Just go there. God will sort you out, but I'm telling you the real way. Find things that attract you and give you life because what God wants to do in your life is He wants you to bear much fruit. He didn't call us to be famous. He calls us to bear fruit. That’s what He wants from you and me. We're probably going to bear more fruit in areas that we want to get involved in and we find life in. Some of you all have those areas. Just throw yourself in. I'm telling you, you say, “I’ve got to serve. That's not even a question. What does God want me to do?”

He wants you to serve. If you're not serving, you need to be serving. You say, “I don't want to serve.”

You need to be serving. Part of following Jesus is being a servant.

“So, how do I know what to do?”

Well, I'm giving you some help here on how you can figure out those things. Next thing: Find a need, fill the need. This is a great place to start. When you're walking around here, and you go, “Oh, there's something here on the floor,” pick it up. It's amazing. You might pick something up, and that might be where the person sitting next to you goes, “Hey, it was nice of you to do that.”

“Yeah. I just thought I'd pick it up.”

“First time here.”

“Really? First time here? How can I help you?”

You have no idea. I'm telling you, activity and stepping out breeds stuff. Look at how Jesus did this. It says that He saw the crowds and He had compassion for them. So, what did He do? He healed them. He fed them. He found a need and He filled a need. In a place like this, there are plenty of needs. Find the need and fill the need. Step out. What will happen is, when you do these things, you may step into an area that's not the final destination, but you'll step into an area where God will start working around to get you into that sweet spot. And everything you learn as you go through all that stuff will prepare you for exactly where it is that He wants you to be.

Sixth: Surround yourself with other believers who have your back and are a season or more ahead of you. If you don't have people in your life, if you go, “I'm a lone ranger, Chip,” talk to me here for a minute. Listen. The Lone Ranger also had Tonto. You can’t do it on your own. You cannot do it on your own, okay? It's impossible. You need people in your life who you can pray with, and say, “I tried this, but it didn't work,” who will pour into you, who are maybe a season or so ahead of you who you can get in your life and will help you as you figure out what it is God's called you to do. Because I'm going to tell you right now, as your pastor, my deal here at Grace is that I don't want spectators in these seats, but I want participants. I want people who walk in here and go, “Do you know what? I want to get equipped. So, as soon as I get done, I can put my helmet on, put my shoulder pads on, and get busy, down and dirty, serving for the Lord.”

So, if that's not where you're at, let me kindly say to you, please pay attention. The Lord wants you to serve. You're not going to be as happy in your relationship with God if you don't have a place that you're serving.

Seven: Let the body confirm the call. This is a big one. Over the years, you have people who say, “God's called me to do this,” and it's like, “No, God's not called you to do this because you can't sing.”

Then they get mad, and they're frustrated. But it's like when some of these singers get up here and sing, all of you all just melt. If I started singing, you would leave. See? The body doesn't confirm that I'm called to sing, but you all gather, pay attention, come in here and listen to me preach because that's my gift. That's what I get to contribute. It's no better than anybody else's gift. That's the gift I have, and the body confirms that call. Let the body confirm the call. It's amazing, in Scripture, how this works. This is just one passage, but it says, “While they were worshiping the Lord together as a church, and they were fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I've called them.’”

This is what happens. When we get together, worship, and pray, God starts calling people to do things. The body confirms the call.

Last, and I'll end here, is this: Hold dearly to the Savior’s love for you. This is something that the longer I pastor, the more I talk with people, the more I realize how desperately people need to hear that God loves them. Even those of us who have walked with God for a long time, because we carry a lot of things. Maybe we've said some things or done some things in our life that we are really embarrassed with. I just want you to look here for a second. As these verbs are laid out — whether Paul and John ever had any conversation, we wouldn't necessarily know, but we know that these verbs are used in other ways in Scripture, and I just want to just take these verbs for a second and remind you of something. Jesus laid aside His glory. He rose from supper. He also rose, we're told in Philippians 2, and came to us. He laid aside His glory for you and me. Paul says it this way. He says, “Even though He was in very nature God, He didn't cling to it. He didn't exploit it. He emptied Himself. He laid aside His glory, and He took on the form of humanity, He took on the form of you and me, and He became a servant.”

Just like as He’s doing this here. He’s tying this around His waist, and He's taking on the role of a servant. Not only that, but He poured himself out for you and me. He washed away our sins, and He promises to wipe away all of our tears. The Lord is good, and He wants us to do the things He’s called us to do not because He’s trying to make life difficult, but He just realizes that when we follow Him in service, when we are willing to wash feet, there are things He does in our life that are incredible. I just want to challenge you to step out. If you're here, if you go to Grace, and you don't have a place that you serve here and serve outside, call in and come visit us. You can stumble around in eight different areas of ministry. That's fine with us, but we want to help you connect and find those areas. I guarantee you that if you did all those eight things, there's no way in the world that over the next week, two weeks, month, or whatever, you wouldn't find the place that you need to be because God calls all of us to do something for the common good. Which means when I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing or you're not supposed to be doing, it costs us in some way. So, I just ask you humbly, no matter where you're at, believe that God is a waymaker, and believe that He can make a way for you to do the things that He's called you to do.

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