Annie shared passionately that we each need to understand our unique Kingdom purpose. She reminded us of Greg’s message last week and the fact that Mary’s willing spirit was the primary qualification God needed from her to do an amazing thing in the world. This same thing, our willingness, will determine how God is able to use us too. God designed us with a very specific idea in mind and, and finding out what God designed us to do is a personal process of discovery. Annie ended her sermon by reading The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt and challenged us to be willing like Mary was, even if we feel like “nobody from nowhereville”.
It was a joy to hear from our own “business” pastor Annie Perdue-Olson! Annie shared passionately that we each need to understand our unique Kingdom purpose. She reminded us of Greg’s message last week where Mary’s willing spirit was the primary qualification God needed from her to do an amazing thing in the world! This same thing, our willingness, will determine how God is able to use us as well. The title of this sermon was: What was I born to do?
Annie drew on Ephesians 2:1-10 (esp. vs. 10) to show that God does indeed create each of us uniquely for a purpose. We have a divine designer label! God designed us with a very specific idea in mind and it is specific to us! Finding out what God designed us to do is our task. It’s a personal process of discovery. As examples of what life looks like when we embrace the design and mission God has for us, Annie pointed us to several biblical personalities. First she looked to Jesus.
Annie found Jesus’ mission summarized in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus’ life reflected this mission well. But it was not always easy. Part of our task, in addition to discovering and affirming God’s design and mission for us is to stand firm against obstacles to that mission. Jesus faced many. He was tempted by Satan (Matt. 4:1-10) and even his family tried to influence him (Mark 3:21) to stop doing what God had called him to do.
Another person with a clear sense of mission and identity is Ruth. Even though her mission was not to directly save the whole created order, she still had a very important mission that she could pour her whole life into. She was to love and be present to another person: Naomi. (Recall Ruth 1:8-10 & 16-17) Ruth was so important that she is mentioned as an ancestor of Jesus!
Then there was Joseph. He too knew what he was created to do. He was a wise administrator and everyone who enlisted his services benefited from him. Joseph’s path had wild peaks and valleys. Just knowing what you are designed for doesn’t mean you won’t have troubles! But the task is to stay the course, and Joseph did this well. He was the most favored son, but then was sold by his brothers into slavery, he used his gifts to gain favor with his master, but then his master’s wife got him thrown into prison. Again, Joseph used his gifts to eventually be the Pharaoh’s chief advisor!
After showing these examples from Scripture, Annie shared a bit of her own story with us. She too has walked a path with many severe peaks and valleys. In April of 2000 Annie was celebrating the five year anniversary of her husband being cancer free! It was a great peak in her life! But two months later, they found out that the cancer had returned. Working through this process has been a painful and challenging time, but God has brought her through with a renewed sense of purpose and a wonderful man to share her future with her!
Annie’s challenge to all of us is this: will we be willing like Mary was? Even if you feel like a “nobody from nowhereville”?
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