“PURPOSE & PROCESS – Part 3”
INTRO: God’s ultimate purpose for mankind is that we be conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29). God uses our circumstances, regardless of their source, to bring about His purpose of conforming us into Christ’s image (Rom. 8:28; James 1:2-5).
I. YOUR EMPLOYEES (2Cor. 4:16-18).
- When your outward man takes a hit, your inward man can still be growing daily in Christlikeness (2Cor. 4:16).
- Your afflictions work for you (they’re your employees!) to help you become more Christlike (2Cor. 4:17).
- Focus more on the unseen eternal realm than the seen temporal realm (2Cor. 4:18).
II. THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS – He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8-9).
- Should we expect to learn obedience without suffering?
- The greater the calling, the greater the process!
III. THE PRUNING PROCESS (John 15:1-2).
- Involves God removing fruitless branches.
- Do you have any fruitless branches wasting resources?
- Involves pruning back fruitful branches so they can bear even more fruit.
- You are just as much in the will of God when being pruned as you are when you’re bearing fruit!
IV. THE CHASTENING PROCESS (Heb. 12:3-13).
- What Jesus endured vs. what you’ve endured (vv. 3-4).
- Only beloved children of God are disciplined (vv. 5, 7-10)!
- The purpose is not punishment, but maturity (v. 10b).
- The chastening process can be painful, but in the end produces maturity or Christlikeness (v. 11; Gal. 2:20).
- Buck up – encourage yourself (v. 12)!
- Live right – remove the obstacles to right living (v. 13).
V. MARRIAGE, PARENTING & THE CONFORMING PROCESS.
- Marriage and parenting provide numerous opportunities to be further conformed to the image of Jesus!
CONCLUSION: Are you cooperating with the process?