A Greater Purpose

by | Oct 8, 2023 | Podcast, Sermons

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Preacher: Pastor David Ball

Scripture: Acts 25:13-27

As followers of Jesus Christ we are a part of God’s greater purpose for the salvation of the world. Somehow in our lives we tend to lose focus of His purpose and become more focused on our own purposes. Our own career, health, family, success become the our primary purpose in life. When this happens we begin to circle the wagons and become more and more insulated from the very people that God has called us to reach. When God’s greater purpose remains our primary focus it has the power transform the most difficult life events into new opportunities for His greater Gospel purposes in this world.


You know a couple of weeks ago uh we were looking at uh Paul’s life and specifically the uh the courage that he took and the confidence he had because of the very specific calling that God had placed in his life Jesus had called him and given him a very specific purpose that he was to be a minister to the Gentiles that he would suffer and that he’s going to be going to Rome to proclaim the good news of the Gospel there uh and I know that that Chuck preached that sermon on on that purpose uh and I know it rang rang really it hit a lot of folks thinking about what is my specific purpose and how powerful purpose is in our lives and I know a lot of folks were wanting to talk about you know what what is my purpose where can I find that meaning to draw from and to be encouraged by to know what it is that that God’s calling me to but you know not all calling and purpose is uh is that specific you know I do believe we all God has a call for us individually uh I know he has that uh but just because if it’s not specific doesn’t mean that there isn’t a general calling that and a general purpose that every single one of us is called to and that calling gives us incredible purpose purpose and meaning uh in our in our lives acts is teaching us that there’s this greater purpose we’ve been reading about it now for for over a year one that’s Universal for every single follower of Jesus Christ we’re all called to be Witnesses for Christ to be part of God’s plan for the Redemption of the world you know it can it can it certainly can be more spefic specific than that right like okay that’s the bigger that’s the bigger purpose uh where am I specifically supposed to be about that work but it’s never less than that it’s never less than that your greater purpose and my greater purpose in this world is to share the love of God through his son Jesus Christ with people who are desperately lost to people who were wandering in darkness but somehow I think along the way in life we definitely lose sight of our purpose somewhere along life gets in the way of things maybe it’s our career maybe it’s family maybe it’s uh some sort of uh physical infirmity to our health maybe it’s age maybe it’s uh you know just being overall too busy and and our purpose get gets all muddied our purpose becomes succeeding in business right or uh or raising a successful family who are going to thrive in the world or or you know preserving or you know trying to regain our health that becomes our our main purpose or managing our own care in our old age that becomes our purpose and as our

Focus dims on the greater purpose that God has for our lives we become uh more and more insulated from the world we become more and more self focused as our greater purpose dims and our own selfish purposes grow stronger little by little we can’t see that greater purpose for God in our lives anymore and in some ways it’s like death itself it’s a slow death of that of that burning candle and light for the gospel in our own Hearts you know what is it that that kills a church more so than even probably bad teaching that does it certainly or or or bad music or bad preaching it’s when the greater purpose is lost the church is dead we die we become like a ship without a Rudder right Thomas uh Carlile was a a Victorian author uh and and he wrote this a man without purpose is like a ship without a Rudder wave a nothing a no

man without our greatest purpose Our Lives slowly they go a drift every storm blows us further and further off course without our greater purpose every difficult situation every bad situation that that we face in life it fills us with fear and bitter disappointment and when the fear and the bitter disappointment consumes us it causes us only to further insulate ourselves from

people we go into this self- protection mode we circle the wagons right trying to protect ourselves and insulate ourselves from every danger and every possible attack that could possibly come to us from outside but this morning our reading from Acts 25 it’s all about the power of living in God’s greater Universal purpose for your life you know it’s good to work on that specific purpose right uh to gain even and more clarity uh but for now just the greater purpose that every single one of us is called to how when your life is Guided by this purpose to join God and his plan for the Redemption of the world bad things happen they do continue to happen but they’re all part of something bigger than ourselves bad things while while still bad and still being unwanted are actually now just opportunities to live further up and further into the greater purpose that God has called us to amen but when we lose focus on our greater purpose and we’re just focused on our own selfish purpose each one of those bad situations that happen to us are crushing they’re crushing and they’re consuming in Acts 25 we have two men living very for a very different purpose a very different purpose and the result in one is fear and uh and indecision uh and ultimately Injustice and the result in the other is peace and confidence and

Assurance it’s the power of living into the purpose of God’s greater plan for the Redemption of the world that he’s called each and every one of us to and so I want to go through this passage together uh as we look at this uh and I hopefully gain encouragement about walking in God’s purpose for our life so I invite you to open up uh your your bulletin or your uh your Bible I’m not going to go through it verse by verse uh this morning uh but just kind of the in the general holes or the whole of it the holistically um so what is happening we’re still in the midst of of Paul being imprisoned in cesaria and he’s still on trial uh this thing has gone on for quite a while right uh now we’ve got uh fesus has uh took over for the governor Felix uh he’s trying to figure out what to do with this Paul the accusations are still being lodged against him uh against Paul by the Jews and he’s he’s accused of instigating a riot being a troublemaker being a leader of an obscure te uh sect uh violating the temple worship uh he’s been he’s been accused of all these things but we were told they haven’t been able to prove any of it any of it against Paul uh not to a way that Felix can just you know do something about it uh I’m sorry Festus here uh but what the issue here is what about Roman law because that’s what fesus cares about what Roman law has been broken here what am I supposed to do about this uh what and then eventually what am I supposed to actually send to Caesar to justify the trouble that I’m sending this prisoner all the way to him for see fess’s problem was is that he can’t find a charge against Paul he can’t find one he finds the issues that are going on is he perceives them to be theological within this one religious group so in other words it’s their issue it’s not unlike today right if uh if churches uh go have a dispute amongst themselves and they go to court uh most cases the court doesn’t want to hear it they’re like most of these issues are stuff that’s in your own poity these are your own theological differences you all deal with this according to your own order uh but here he sees this your theological issues against Paul this isn’t Criminal there’s nothing criminal here it’s not easy uh and so and he doesn’t really fully understand the theological issues that are at play in order to be able to make a decision about it uh so he needs some sort of concrete reason to pass on to Caesar about why he’s sending Paul to him but here’s the issue without evidence in Roman law the judge is supposed to dismiss the charges the right thing for fesus to do here is to dismiss Paul and to release him that’s what he’s supposed to do but he should have dismissed the charges uh but he didn’t and why didn’t he he didn’t because he desperately wants to appeal to the Jews he wants to make them happy he wants to he’s his his greater purpose right now is his own career uh and what’s going to be best for best for fesus here and so he’s trying to to do anything he can do to make them happy and to appeal to them he’s trying to appease these Jews Jews he’s trying to find a reason he lacked the courage he lacked the Integrity to do the lawful and right thing and to declare Paul innocent and to let him go he was afraid he was afraid of alienating the Jews sending Paul to Rome was actually a really convenient way out it was a really convenient Paul helped him in that uh it was a convenient way out of the situation but now he’s got to be able at least explain it he’s got to explain why he didn’t dismiss the case in the first place and do what he was called to do by law best’s greater purpose again was his own his own career and success and in the face of this struggle that he’s going through he was full of fear and

indecision and he couldn’t do the right thing so why is a grippa then a help to him well a grippa was you know the king of king of of Israel he was king of Israel therefore he was knowledgeable about all the religious ways or at least supposedly uh he would have known it all and so Fest is decided that he’s the man who’s going to be able to help him to figure out and all this religious talk that he doesn’t really get uh what’s the real issue here uh help he went to help fesus to figure out uh grippa could help fesus figure out why Paul was such a threat to the Roman peace because that’s the only thing that’s going to justify him sending Paul to the

emperor what is the real threat here now as difficult as all this situation is and as frustrating as all this is it created an incredible opportunity for Paul to preach the gospel think about this the chief captains the principal men of the city are all going to be gathered they’re going to be gathered to hear this because agria happened to come to town the king all the important people around and Paul’s going to have a chance to uh to to preach and to proclaim the gospel to all of the national leaders that are all gathered here in this one place you know it’s it’s important to recognize that the spread of Christianity so far has been mostly in the the middle working class citizens you know th this is the first time it’s been it’s harder to get into to and get before the that higher class Elite society and here Paul has the opportunity now secondly Agrippa was from the royal family but he was not only from a royal family he was from the royal family that has been opposing Christianity for

Generations they were deeply corrupt and immoral I’ve talked about them in the past we go all the way back to Herod the Great uh at the time of Jesus uh murdering children trying to kill Jesus then you have his son Herod Antipas who uh who executed John the Baptist and then you have grandson Herod or grippa I first who killed the Apostle James and Paul now has the opportunity to proclaim the gospel to this royal family and all these uh all these ruling people and leaders but especially this family who has been violently opposed to Christianity so far but think of all that had to happen for this moment to come to fruition all the things that had to happen Paul going back to the beginning of this issue in Jerusalem right Paul had to be willing to appease the Jewish Christians by doing the purification rights in the temple he had to do that or this wouldn’t have happened Jews from Asia who would recognized Paul just happened to be in Jerusalem and at the temple at the same time that Paul presented himself there in order to instigate this Riot with the false information number three the news of the riot had to just happen to reach the Roman Garrison it just in the nick of time so that they could save Paul from being beaten to death then the news of the assassination plot remember that just happened to reach Paul’s nephew’s ears just in time for him to be able to share the news so that they could rescue him and if not for the plot Paul wouldn’t have been taken to cesaria in the first place how about the the Roman Commander Claudius lissus he was fair he was just he thought it right to save Paul to make sure that he’d get a a fair trial as a Roman citizen you got you got Felix Felix was scrupulous and unjust he should have just let Paul go but he didn’t he let wanted a bribe left Paul in prison for two years vesus now finds himself in that political bind over Paul caught between political uh pressures of the Jews and the rules of Roman Justice and doing the right thing but he just won’t do it and Agrippa just happened to come to the capital to visit at this time if lissus had been unjust and Felix had been just none of this would have happened none of this would have happened think of all these things these aren’t coincidences right all these things that God had to put together for Paul to have the opportunity to proclaim the gospel to this Elite group but think about it how many of these events were bad especially for

Paul you had the Hostile Jews from Asia the Assassins the corruption of Felix the cowardice of fesus you know God used the wickedness of all these people for his further purposes Paul was beaten within an inch of his life in the riot he was continuously in danger for two years probably worrying that something was going to happen and someone was going to come for him at any moment uh he faced unfair vicious accusations against him he had to endure two years of imprisonment falsely Paul went through physical mental emotional pain and guess what it was all part of furthering God’s

purposes so how does this help us how does this help us now well you know the uh Paul wrote it himself and you know this uh this passage well because you probably have it printed on your wall and uh you know crocheted on something on your wall or on a pillow or something uh and Paul wrote Romans 8:28 and we know the we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who were called according to his purposes right we we we know it we we’ve heard it we we know it well bad things happen in our lives there’s Injustice we Face there are wicked people that we have to deal with there’s corruption we we all have to face danger at times we Face loss

Brokenness we lose our own health and because of it the freedom that we’ve en enjoyed as we as we grow older but here’s the thing that Paul recognized through it all we never lose purpose amen Paul faced all these things but his life was guided by a greater purpose to Bear witness to the love of God through Jesus to others and because of that purpose he was able to endure with confidence with courage with Assurance friends Roman 8:28 doesn’t promises that all things are going to work together for our

good although that’s the way we usually read it

right now ultimate good yes but we often want to read that is for our good right now in the way that we want it to be meaning for our success for our happiness for our wealth for our health and for our families and loved ones that everything’s going to go right and well but all things do work for the ultimate good when you’re called according to the purposes of God when you’re part of his greater purpose for this world because the p the purpose of God is good it’s for the Salvation of the world and you and I as followers of Christ are part of that plan and being part of God’s purpose means that no matter what we’re going through in life our purpose remains sure and true life’s trials and tribulations they’re hard sometimes and they are unjust but by God’s greater Providence there are they are just opportunities for sharing the good news of Jesus with others the loss of a a job an unwanted diagnosis loss of a loved one they’re all bad and and we’re not called just to sit there and endure these things by the way God’s not saying that we’re we’re we’re to fight against them we’re to try to do something about them but when we’re called in accordance with God’s purposes for our life those are just opportunities now to share the gospel with people that we never would have interacted with before for Paul it was an opportunity to share the gospel with the elites of Israel his own suffering all the circumstances that had to go along the way the the wickedness the corruption it all gave birth to this opportunity to preach the gospel fulfilling God’s purpose for us it might be the opportunity to share the share the good news with those who were in the unemployment line or maybe those who were in the hospital with us or maybe those who who were in The assisted living facility with us a is teaching us that we’re part of a greater purpose we’re part of the purpose of God and as long as god reigns over all our lives are always full of purpose and meaning it never ends friends Jesus he knew the purpose of God for his own life he

suffered he suffered Injustice ridicule abandonment but he endured it all because he knew it was part of God’s greater plan for good for the Salvation of the world may the Lord even if we don’t have that specific purpose yet if you haven’t locked in on that specific purpose of the Lord for your life this so specific as Paul had received that he was to be a minister to the Gentiles right even if you haven’t gotten that specific yet you’re part of the greater plan the greater purposes of God you are a part of it he’s called us to be his Witnesses in this world to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who so desperately needed if you find yourself getting more and more self-focused if you find yourself Circle in the wagons insulating yourself from the world around you may the Holy Spirit light a fire in your heart that you would risk the hurt you’d risk the disappointment you would risk the pain and have real relationships with people people who don’t know him that you might be his witness that I might be his witness and that his kingdom may continue to grow and his will be done amen


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