- Made for More. Comes from the realization that many, many people are living with an underlying tension of- there has to be more than this. We may look at what someone else has achieved and ask, we may have a sense of this in our own selves that you just know you’re capable of more or has to be more to life than what you see or what you have or what you have experienced. Comes from a deep longing.
- IN the series we are going to answer three questions:
- BE – We want to discover who God created us to be?
- DO – What has God created us to do?
- And, GO – Where has God positioned us to go?
These three questions/words are the sweet spot of God’s calling for a life of More.
I would say that this gnawing sense of being made for more is caused by two things:
- first, we never discover who God has made us to be. As a result, we drift along trying to make sense of who we are based off of accomplishments, status, accumulating things or even worse, we base it on mistakes, what has happened to us or was done to us or spoken to us.
- second, we allow the do to take priority over the be and in essence become human doings instead of human beings. And as a consequence, what we do never aligns and flows out of who we are called to be. The result being frustration.
But in this series we are discovering…
when you know who you are, then you know what to do
Last week, we saw 3 key identity statements from Genesis 1.
I am made in the image of God, therefore I don’t ask how this will make me look, I ask how will this reflect the goodness of God to those around me.
I am humbly honored, therefore I am not the center of the universe, God is. I don’t exist for my fame but for God’s. Also, God has created me and I am not a mistake or an accident or a lucky evolved animal with thumbs- he has a purpose for me and I will take it seriously.
I am blessed to be a blessing, therefore what I have is a gift to be used for others.
And that’s just the beginning. There is a wealth and abundance of statements made in Scripture about who we are, what our identity is, or rather who are identity is in, and the reality that we are in fact made for more.
Child of God– 1 John 3:1. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! —A child of God lives a life that reflects God.
Ambassador– 2 Cor. 5:19-20. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.—sent by God, from heaven to earth. Earth is not our home. You’re sent to represent the King from the kingdom that sent you. you were not elected by people, but you were chosen and appointed by God. you never represent yourself, you always represent God.
Masterpiece– Ephesians 2:10. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. work of divine creation.
— “handiwork”poiema— workmanship, craftmanship, masterpiece, work of art, even poetic— “poem”
Paul says over, and over, and over, 35 times in the book of Ephesians, “In Christ, in Christ, in Christ, in Christ.” Why? Because in Christ, God takes a mess and makes it a masterpiece. Genesis 1, says humanity is made in His image. But when we are in Chirst, we’re formed into something with fantastic prupose. Then, it follows, that what you (what we) do is all done in relationship to who we are with Jesus.
So what it is we do? As God’s handiwork, made to be more, what is our purpose? Ephesians 2:10 again— For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do
— “good works” agathos— doesn’t just mean “good”. It carries with it an expectation: Good in character and beneficial in its effect.
– Gen 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Good in character, beneficial in its effect— Our new identity, given to us by God, found in Christ is not just for us, but for the benefit of other people.
Our new identity comes with a God-given capacity. [to do good works]
What do these good works look like?
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 20“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
Our new capacity is right here. Because of our identity in Christ, we have this new ability and capability to get out of our own heads, to look beyond ourselves.
You see, the world no longer trusts Christians who “love Jesus” but do not seem to love anything, or anyone else. Humans, specifically those whose identity is in Christ, are fashioned to love people more than principles. Yet many seem to prefer loving principles. But as God’s handiwork, as His masterpiece we have this profound and powerful capacity..
To love others more
honor others more
care for others more
connect with others more— the celebrating, the mourning, the destitute, the blessed, the high, the low
the marginalized, the powerful
to care more about people than our politics
to let our lives be less about using people for our benefit and loving people to their benefit
There’s this tension many, if not most, of us feel or deal with. This struggle in the back of your mind that says this can’t be it. There’s got to be more to life than work, relationship issues, financial issues, family problems, marriage problems. There’s got to be more to this life than this daily grind to just make it to the end of the day, to just make it to the next pay period, to make it to the next year, to just get here or just get there. There’s got to be more. I am made to be more. I am made to do more.
And this is it. This is how we imitate Christ. This is how we do more, as it relates to being more. Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve
There have been a numerous studies done on the incredible effects helping others have on the individual and a community. Here are 7 ways doing “good works” are a benefit not only to those around us, but to us personally as well.
1. HELPING OTHERS CAN HELP YOU LIVE LONGER. (alleviates loneliness and enhances our social lives—factors that can significantly affect our long-term health)
2. ALTRUISM IS CONTAGIOUS. (when one person does something, it inspires others to do something)
3. HELPING OTHERS MAKES US HAPPY. (gives individuals a mental boost by providing them with a neurochemical sense of reward.)
4. HELPING OTHERS MAY HELP WITH CHRONIC PAIN. (According to one study, people who suffered from chronic pain tried working as peer volunteers. As a result, they experienced a reduction in their own symptoms.)
5. HELPING OTHERS LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE. (One piece of research showed that older individuals who volunteered for at least 200 hours a year decreased their risk of hypertension by 40 percent.)
6. HELPING OTHERS PROMOTES POSITIVE BEHAVIORS IN TEENS. (According to sociologists, teenagers who volunteer have better grades and self-image.)
7. HELPING OTHERS GIVES US A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND SATISFACTION.
Our new identity comes with a God-given capacity.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.