ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE THAT LEADS TO ABUNDANT SERVICE. Ephesians 2:10. April 12, INTRODUCTION: Gloria Gaither wrote a Hymn in 1969:

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1 ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE THAT LEADS TO ABUNDANT SERVICE Ephesians 2:10 April 12, 2015 INTRODUCTION: Gloria Gaither wrote a Hymn in 1969: I will serve Thee because I love thee, You have given life to me I was nothing before You found me You have given life to me Heartaches, broken pieces Ruined lives are why You died on Calvary Your tomb was what I longed for You have given life to me What an appropriate text to follow one of the great passages on God s undeserved favor on those who have experienced His great salvation (Ephesians 2:8). Before we can do any good work for the Lord He has to do His good work in us. Realizing that salvation is all by God s grace, it is therefore not as a result of works. Human effort has nothing to do with it. Therefore, no one can boast, as if he had any part. All boasting is eliminated in salvation, except for boasting in the cross. 1

2 Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, good works have an important place, as Paul is quick to affirm. Although they have no part in gaining salvation, good works have a great deal to do with living out salvation. No good works can produce salvation, but many good works are produced by salvation. What a difference, what joy, comes to the heart of an individual when they begin to realize and understand that Jesus equips and encourages our service for Him. We were saved to serve (created to serve). We are gifted by God to serve and we are shaped to serve. In recent days I have taught about God s Generosity and how we too should be a generous people. I desire to be generous with my treasures, but also with my talents (gifts) and my time. This speaks loud about loving loud as I serve others. Eleven years ago, Elvis Presley s album of greatest hits was number one in the nation. This was 25 years after his death (38 years now). Now, in spite of enormous success, Elvis was, according to friends and family, an unfulfilled and unhappy man. 2

3 He died of obesity and drug dependency at the age of 42 (80 today). In an interview with his wife, Priscilla, she said this about her husband, Elvis never came to terms with who he was meant to be or what his purpose in life was. He thought he was here for a reason, maybe to preach, maybe to serve, maybe to save, maybe to care for people. That agonizing desire was always with him and he knew he wasn t fulfilling it. So he d go on stage and he wouldn t have to think about it. He just couldn t quite figure it out. Ephesians 2:10 NIV We are God s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. workmanship we get our word poem, a piece of literary workmanship. (POIEMA) describes that which has been made (created). The same power that created us in Christ Jesus empowers us to do the good works for which He has saved us. These are the verifiers of true salvation. Righteous attitudes and righteous acts (works) proceed from the transformed life. 3

4 I. YOU WERE MADE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION, NOT JUST TO CONSUME Elvis Presley sold 250 million albums; the only Grammy Award he won was for a religious album called, He Touched Me. One of the songs on the album expresses Ephesians 2:10. After the lightening and thunder After the last bell has rung I want to bow down before Jesus And hear Him say, well done, my son. He is the reason for living, He is my King of Kings, I long to be in His possession. He is my everything. Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 4

5 God made each of us unique (no copies, only originals), yet it is not for our benefit. 1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. NKJV 1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. NIV Serve Others Your talents, gifts, abilities, background and experiences are not for your benefit. It s not about you! It s for the benefit of others, to be used by serving others. Psalms 49:15-20 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), 5

6 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish. II. WHAT MATTERS IS NOT HOW LONG YOU LIVE, BUT HOW YOU LIVE Jim Elliott, missionary martyred in Ecuador over 50 years ago said, He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose. That s an Eternal Perspective. Randy Alcorn, In Light of Eternity said, A moment after a man dies he knows exactly how he should have lived. The absolute certainty of death gives the Gospel its urgency. Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the 6

7 things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. At the Judgement Seat (BEMA) the Lord will evaluate believer s lives for the purpose of giving eternal rewards. It is where the athletes that won their games went to receive their crowns. This speaks of actions (works) which happened during the believers time of earthly ministry. III. WHAT MATTERS IS NOT THE DURATION OF YOUR LIFE, BUT THE DONATION OF YOUR LIFE We re all meant to give something back. We are stewards responsible for another s resources. Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." We were created to be like our Creator. We were made in His image. Philippians 2:5 - Let this mind be in you speaks of selflessness, humility 7

8 Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of man did not come to be served Your attitude must be like MY own. Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Rick Warren uses the word SHAPE. God uses different things to shape you. 1. Spiritual Gift 2. Heart 3. Abilities 4. Personality 5. Experience He shaped us for a PURPOSE. When you find that purpose you now say along with my friend Tim DeTellis You were made for this! 8

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