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The Life Work

Jacob Eagan
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  • August 19, 2017
    10:00 AM
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Bother we come before you this morning. Recognizing our dependence upon you our need for your Holy Spirit and father as we see those around us in this world full US and. Needing needing you needing your Holy Spirit needing your comfort I ask that during this time we will see a broader view of what we can do to be able to reach the lives of those around us for your gospel of please fill us with your spirit in this time and place and we pray Amen. Before I get started I figured you'd like to know a little bit about me who I am where I came from and I was born and raised in southwestern Michigan about. Seventy eight miles from ended in a versity and ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I liked the outdoors anything that had to do with the outdoors whether it was catching butterflies I had a big insect collection or. Studying God's beautiful nature it was my passion I wanted to. Go into into entomology and then as I got a little older I wanted to go into Ornithology study of birds and. Came around to the high school years and I got a really big passion a really big passion for agriculture and wanted to start up my own organic small scale farm. But I didn't feel like that's where God was calling me I felt like he was calling me to something more direct. More directly involved in his ministry. And I struggled for several years trying to figure out what that would look like because I had a big passion for agriculture and. Praise a lord he gave me clarity as time went on and I started to see you know my dream job would be to work at an orphanage or primary school and help with their agriculture program and I was interested in children as well but I didn't. Like the idea of just teaching. And so. As God often does he come binds our dreams with reality and how we can work for him and so. I just came back from six months as an S.M. in Tanzania at Central Tanzania if you have a hear about us Alon the the coastal city and the capital cities up here and I was about dead in the middle about eleven hours from from the coast at a place called Cuba do a lot and it's one of the biggest outpost centers international outposts that they have they have a print shop going and they have leave Angeles and course that's five months longer they take nationals put them through it and then send them out they have a primary school with about one hundred fifty some students. And then they also have a small health lifestyle center there as well and what I was doing the first part of my months there I was just helping with with different things around that need to be done more practical work and then I moved up to the primary school and. Assisted and kind of headed up getting a primary school agricultural program going for them with school gardens and the students have about an hour a day where they're out working in the gardens with the teachers local teachers and I was really blessed really blessed as I worked there. And God was able to lead so that I'm actually going back to continue managing what I was. Getting started there and I'll be I'll be flying back there September five so what I'm wanting to talk about today is our life work. And it's something that I've been learning as a journey over the last few years and especially. Since I've been at to do a lot in Tanzania and even coming home. Studying more on what does God have for each one of our lives and before I delve into this topic I want to make it clear I don't think that God has a different life or Creech one of us I think God has us the same exact life work for each one of us on this earth so then the question is what is that life work start with the story a rich man was determined to give his mother a birthday present he really loved his mother and he had a lot of money and he thought what could I do to to get my mother what gift could I give her that would really be something that she could appreciate. While he found this bird online somewhere and he discovered that. It had a vocabulary of like four thousand words it could speak in numerous languages and sing three operatic arias and he was like oh man this thing I really want to get this bird for my mom because my mom loves this she loves nature and she likes languages and this combination would just be amazing it could sing to her all the time and. So he bought the bird for fifty thousand dollars it was like this famous bird and he had it delivered to his mom the next day he phoned his mom Hey Mom did you get the bird and she's like yeah and he's like would you think of that and she's like oh man it was delicious. So my friends it's the same way with the gospel and with our life's work we can go about thinking that our life work is one thing and just scratching the surface and we could be short changing ourselves so much of what God is really wanting for our lives and being able to see the true beauty and purpose of the gospel. So the question is if our life work isn't specifically our career what is it while if you look at the dish definition of life work and Webster's it says the entire or principle work of one's lifetime or Also a word. Extending over a lifetime. So I'm out of the that kind of rules out a life work I mean a career because career you have the bookends of a lot of education at the beginning your career and then a lot of retirement so it has to be something more broad than that. And I want to submit to you that a life work is something much broader than a money making career it has to do with the overarching goal of someone's life it's what drives us to our knees in prayer it's the reason why we get out of bed in the morning and it's what gives us satisfaction in life. What is your goal in life what is your reason for existence. I know many people of many people who risk their lives in extreme sports I know of many people who have given their lives up for drugs. Some spend it in an all consuming career and. Every one of us has something that we're living for. You can put in your place what you are living for but each one of us has something that we are living for so what is this all consuming life work that God has given us to fulfill why I want to say that it's the same as Christ's life work was on this earth Let's turn to Isaiah sixty one. As a sixty one. Verse one. As a sixty one verse one. It says the spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor he has sent me to heal the broken hearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God to comfort all. Who mourn to console those who mourn in Xi'an to give them beauty for ashes the oil of joy for mourning the garment of praise for the spirit of heavy ness that they may be called Trees of righteousness the planting of the Lord that he may be glorified. So what was Christ missions on earth it was to honor and glorify his father in his life. By spending his energies on those who he came to save which is ultimately every single one of us in this room and in the surrounding communities and in the extended world. So what is your life focus is it to be a doctor is it to be a successful entrepreneur is it to be the best in your area of specialty these are all goals that are wonderful to pursue but if it's our all consuming thought my friends we have missed the point. We have missed the point. In John six. First twenty seven. John six verse twenty seven it says this do not labor for the food which perish this but for the food which endures to everlasting life which the Son of Man will give you because God the Father has set his seal on him. My friends we need a broader life focus education is definitely a necessity a career is extremely important but it has to be a catalyst not a barricade in our mission of honoring God in spreading his good news. When our career Dwyer dwarfs our life's work there becomes a problem. Jim Elliot one of my favorite missionaries in his story said this once he said he has no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose and like we just read and enjoy on. We're not supposed to labor for those things which we can't keep all timidly anything that we do on this earth for material goods we're going to lose our We're going to focus on living for Christ and His glory. Jim Elliot was born in Portland Oregon his father was a preacher his mom was a chiropractor and he went to college and he got HIS be a degree and also and a U.G. degree it was a self appointed degree approved unto God He had a really good sense of humor and he he was I guess I'm pursuing make a huge degree during college he'd get up early in the morning for Bible study and prayer and he loved to sing he had a powerful voice he was interested in poetry and he was also very purposeful about Bible memorization and even in the meal lines he would sit or stand in the lines and be looking at his little flashcards there memorizing scripture. And it was here at the college that the ground was laid for later his face. A week before graduation he talked to his future wife and let her know that he was interested in her and about three months later they started writing back and forth. After graduation he went back home and he was criticized for not immediately jumping in to some sort of work but he contented himself with studying preaching and prison ministry. He then moved after a year with a friend to a small town in Illinois and he did children's many children's ministries radio broadcasts etc and after year there he ended up seeing God calling him to Ecuador. And it was really kind of fascinating how God confirmed to him that he should go to Ecuador he went down to the challenge and see and inquired about how much money what a. Cost for me to go to Ecuador and they said well it's about three hundred fifteen dollars and throughout this this year period people had been giving him money and he had been placing it in a drawer. And he hadn't really looked at the funds in there he had just been placing them aside he goes back home and he opens up his door and guess how much money was in that drawer. Three hundred and fifteen dollars That's right he went to Ecuador in fifteen thousand nine hundred fifty two and started a boys' school and the nucleus of a church and the next year he married his wife they had waited five years for God's go ahead in their marriage during this time his wife had been working on the other side of the Andes and it's also been doing ministry in Ecuador. Then one fateful day actually then the next year nine hundred fifty five they had a daughter and then one fateful day Nate Saint another name associated with the outcome was discovered and habited out to houses these houses. Had people in them which was not normal for the out because they were moved around and. Nate and him started to get a passion for we want to reach this Alka tribe for the gospel now something we need to know about the Alcoa's as they were a terrifying tribe no white person that had ever gone into the into the tribal territory had ever come out alive they were scared to death and. Or Doukas would just ignore them. So for a couple months they dropped gifts through an airplane and eventually they started receiving gifts back from the ACA so they thought you know I think it's about time we go and make our official contact with the tribe and on January one they grounded and established Palm Beach they were about there for one week and they had a couple peaceful and. Counters with some out Indians and then the fateful day came. And all five of the men in the mission were killed by the outcasts. And. Jim Elliot died at the age of twenty eight and you might think wow that is such a lot of life he had gone through so much education he was such a committed young man for Christ why did God allow this it left Betty his wife with as a widow with a ten month old baby but you know what she told the Lord Lord if there's anything I can do to reach this tribe for the Gospel send me that's dedication she told him if there is anything I can do Lord send me and he did a couple years later her and one of Nate Saint sister. Went into the tribe with her little three year old kid and eventual E. She made friends with her husband's murderers and the tribe saw her as a liability at first. But they would believe anything she said and so she started talking to them about the love of God and about the gospel and they started believing her until finally she started to build up the nucleus of a church and. Eventually a church was established in that tribe and also its biography and it up impacting thousands of people for the Gospel and sent out many more missionaries through his example something that was said at Jim's. Funeral memorial service it was said like this to try to evaluate what these men have done on him and in human terms is indeed difficult to think of this martyrdom of five valiant men on a material basis is indeed absurd. Even to put the sacrifice of supreme devotion on the level of altar. Some are humanitarianism simply does not satisfy our hearts there must be something higher. Something more noble something more glorious and indeed there is as you've already heard mentioned previously there is only one right and satisfying explanation for what happened out there in operation aka just one week ago. It is on the high spiritual elevation of love of Christ and of his gospel more than the love of self this is the lesson that shall be ours in the world as long as the names of these five men shall live in our memories. My friends Jim Elliot caught a vision of mankind's life work he had a vision of his life work. He saw that that no matter what it took for him to be used by God was worth it in the long run he said this at one point of time I seek not a long life but a full one like you Lord Jesus. He said Father make me a crisis man bring those I contact to a decision let me not be a milepost on a single road make me a fork that men must turn one way or another by facing Christ in me. For him God God's path called him to give everything up security comfort and eventually his life. Are we that sold out for Christ that we would be willing to give up everything yes everything for him. So there is three steps that I have discovered as pondering as I have been pondering this this work of a life time that God is calling us to do. Three steps the first one is total acceptance. We have to be able to see God so personally that we. Accept His grace for our lives we have to see who we truly are as sinners to be able to see our need of him so we can accept His grace that He gives each one of us by spilling his blood on the cross. Number to total surrender we have to be able to trust him so completely that we're willing to go through fire for him my friends everything falls through in our walk with Christ if we are not able to be able to surrender to him. But is it all about building a relationship with him to the point where we can trust him and tiredly with our lives are we holding anything back from Christ that is asking us to give up number three total consecration. Have we been able to see as absolute power and hand in our lives and are we living breathing and dying for his glory. And we can't do just one of these steps without the other we can't accept His grace and be converted without surrendering to him. We can't be surrendered to him without consecrating ourselves wholly one hundred percent to him. So the first step acceptance we must be conferred converted to fulfill our life work I don't want you to walk away and think that we have to be converted that we have to be fulfilling our life's work to be converted and to be saved no that's not it my friends if we feel that we have to reach others for Christ to be saved we have completely missed the mark. But having said that if we have allowed Christ to work in our lives he will work through us both the willing to do of His good pleasure. And others will see in our lives the fruit of the Holy Spirit He says if anyone is in Christ. He is a new creation. On every one of us who have accepted his love he loads all the spiritual blessings that are out there. And he chooses us to be empowered to live new lives in him. Hudson Taylor famous missionary said this God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him We have to be able to see how fallible our human self is to be able to give our lives and surrender them to Christ. And we cannot let our lives be a shining influence for His glory until we have sat at Calvary's Hill and seen what Christ has done for us my friends if we don't have a burning desire in our hearts to share what Christ has done personally in our lives we need to give him more access and seek him he says you will seek for me and you will find me when. When we search for him with all our hearts we cannot go ninety nine percent with Christ we have to go one hundred percent. And then there will be a natural outflowing of his grace that will work in our lives and shine to those around us number to total surrender. Once we have accepted Christ grace as our own and started to develop a relationship with him we will start to see his beauty and be able to lay all on the altar for him some seventeen verse fifteen says because he has set his love upon me and this is Christ talking or God talking because he has set his love upon me therefore I will deliver him I will set him on high because he has known my name we have to be able to know his name before we can set our love upon him you think about a natural relationship in this world and God has given us relationships in this world to be an example of what he wants with us. So you have a friend and. You don't really know who he is like you don't know what he's up. Too in the daily life you don't know what his likes and dislikes are and but he's your best friend does that make sense no absolutely not we have to know somebody to be their best friend and Christ wants to be our best friend he knows us but do we know him back. It's all about relationships. Another quick little story to illustrate faith and being able to trust in God Uncle Oscar was apprehensive about his first airplane ride his friends eager to hear about how it went asked if he enjoyed the flight well commented Uncle Oscar it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be but I tell you this I never did put my whole weight down. Friends how many times is that in our own Christian walk we don't put our whole weight upon Christ he is the one that is sustaining us and bring us up but we don't feel like we can trust them enough to place our whole weight upon him and until we place our whole weight upon him he can't give us that one hundred percent peace that comes through in knowing that he will work all things out together in his time. To reach people Christ will often place us in a position where we have to step out of our comfort zone and that is just one of the beauties of Christianity and of growing crisis and of Christ growing US is that he wants us to step out of our comfort zone so that we can shine for him more. Something that I have been learning as I've been working overseas in missions and contemplating my career is is learning how to allow Christ to take away my self-preservation we all have self-preservation it may be a fear of not being able to live out our dreams it may be a fear of not being good enough. We may have something that we aren't wanting to let go of because we're afraid that if we let that go we won't have. Your happiness in life are we willing to lay these down on Christ altar have we seen his beauty so much that we are willing to give him our all are we willing to throw ourselves into Christ arms and trust in His Divine Plan this story came from a father it says one day while my son Zach and I were out in the country climbing around in some cliffs I heard a voice from above me yell Hey Dad catch me I turned around to see Zack joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and then yelled Hey Dad I became an instant circus act catching him we both fell to the mound to the ground and for a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk when I found my voice again I gasped and exasperated Zack can you give me one good reason why you did that he responded with remarkable calmness sure because you're my dad. His whole assurance was based on the fact that his father was trustworthy my friends can we trust guide that much that we're willing to jump off the proverbial cliff and say Father catch me I'm going for your work. Outs and Taylor again and another one of us Court said all gods Giants have been weak men. Who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them. The whole basis of Christianity is unselfishness and Satan's challenge to God is God you are unselfish you do not have my best interest in mind. Are we willing to counteract Satan's charge and say yes God You do have my best interest in mind you do want what is best for me and for the world around me and the number three total consecration in one of my favorite books the book education in the chapter the life work it says this starting off it says the success our sorry success in any line. Demands a definite aim he who would achieve true success in life must keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor such an aim a set before the youth of today the heaven appointed purpose of giving the Gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being it opens a field of effort to every one whose heart Christ has touched. It opens a field for every one of us but it demands a definite aim we have to be willing to consecrate ourselves to Christ and with a definite aim say Lord send me use me in your work I'm not advocating that every single person out there go overseas because there's a mission work just as much here in the States but I am saying what is our primary mission in life why are we going to school why are we doing our jobs why are we interacting with other people the way we are is it for Christ glory is that what we're doing it for or is this some selfish reason success in any line demands a definite aim. Are we realising that we are placed here on this earth to grasp struggling souls from the ocean of sin. My friends Christ wants nibblers and Christ does not want members of the possible he wants grabbers of the impossible he wants us to trust him so much that we will set our standard high and he is pleased when we will set our standards high so that he can work through us his miracles he is waiting for us to go one hundred percent for him so that he can work through us for his honor and glory. Had some Taylor also said this I am no longer anxious about anything as I realize that he is able to carry out His will for me it doesn't matter where he places me or how that is for him to consider not me for in the easiest positions he will give me the. Case. And in the most difficult once. His grace is sufficient. That is when our life's work reaches its fullness when we are willing to say his grace is sufficient in the easy times and when he places me through the hard times but we have to be willing to trust him and we can't trust him until we know Him and love him but we can't know and love him without spending that time with him in the mornings and in the evenings and throughout the day getting to know him as a personal friend like he wants us to be. Matthew chapter twenty eight. Verse eighteen foot Stern there together Matthew twenty eight eighteen. Known as The Great Commission most of us know this passage and some of us even have it memorized in our heads. But Christ as a promise to all of one every one of us who are living with the consuming passion for his glory. Matthew twenty eight eighteen. It says and Jesus came and spoke to them saying All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth go therefore let's stop here it says Go therefore therefore means that there was a. Comment that was made before hand that he's referring to what comment is that well it says because he has all authority he is the God that through universes into existence he placed stars out there hung them that are would dwarf our sun. And so he says look I have so much authority and I have all this power and since I have all this power and can help you through this go and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to. Serve All things that I have commanded you and then he gives a promise that as an encouragement to each one of us he says this and Lowell I am with you always even unto the end of the world my friend when is the end of the age. Now right we are living in the end of the age you look at the things going on around us the turmoil. Peoples hearts breaking just like the song said people need the Lord every day they pass us by you can see it in their eyes people longing for something deeper and it's only going to get worse before Christ comes this is the end of the age and what is he say about us in the end of the age lol I am with you always. This promise still stands today he will always yes always be with us if we will allow him to come and while in our hearts he was twelve one in two two zero one one of my favorite passages says this Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us also last side every weight and sin which claimed so closely and let us run with and Durrance the race that is set before us looking to G.'s us the offer author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him and during the cross despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God My friends if and if a commissioned by an earthly king is considered an honor. Why would a commission. By The Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice. I don't know if God has been pressing you during this time maybe there is something that is in your life. A weight that is pulling you aside from Christ and your whole East. Here it can work in your mind you know exactly what it is. Maybe you have one of those besetting sins that just comes and you feel like you cannot gain victory over it my friend God has the power he can give you victory but it has to come through a relationship with him you have to be willing to give your all before he can work his miracle in your life. Believing in a knowing are not enough we have to let Christ live out his life in us. Otherwise we are basically cooking our proverbial bird not getting the happiness out of this life just scraping the surface in our walk with Christ if we don't have the deepness of our relationship with him. So why are you a Christian what is your focus in life have you chosen to be on the side of infinite love or are you choosing to drift along in life accepting the idea of the of the Gospel but denying the power there of. There's death about equations we can either die now or we can die later we can die now we can die to self. Die to our own personal goals and accept Christ in our life or we can choose to hold on to this life in this world and die later eternally. And friends God wants to give us life he wants to give us a power that will go with us everywhere we go it isn't without the costs though. When I was in Cuba do I had a friend who was working it with the primary school as well he was trying to get closer to God's pattern of what our schools should be. Making them more of the Angelus stick and so the students will see Christ in the teachers more and one day I was sitting in a house sorting some beans I was actually sick at the time and one of my friends comes running in the room and he says Jake prate Joshua had. Been in a really bad motorcycle accident and I can't tell you more I have to go I have to run really quick and I said Where is he and he said he's up the road a little ways and I went running all my sickness is gone. I had adrenaline kick in for sure and as I'm running down the road and I get there there's fire both the motorcycles had had a head on collision or he had been sideswiped. Gas lids off flames everywhere and my friend and one of the other teachers were lying there on the ground. And he's lying there and I look down and I'm thinking why I lowered Why was this not me because if I hadn't been sick I would have been on that motorbike. And. He ended up having accommodated fracture of his lower tibia or middle tibia and. He had wrenched his hip really bad his job was either fractured or. Extremely extremely messed up broken as to thaw off his finger had been really messed up and as he's lying there losing a lot of blood started to go into shock. It was a stressful situation we eventually got him in the vehicle warmed up and the shock started to wear away and we were just praying desperately this whole time and there as I'm applying pressure on his leg holding in his life blood I'm thinking about you know why did this happen and all that could go through my mind was Satan is not happy with the work going on at the primary school in the end he effectively had to remove me I was sick I was unable to do my job there for a while and one of the other teachers had also been sick Joshua was just thrown out of the equation and. All of the all of the outside help that had come there to help get the school running closer to God's plan he had removed. Satan had. And realizing that this is a battle ground we are not fighting against. Flesh and blood but against principalities and powers the rulers of the darkness of this world. Jim Elliot once said if we are the sheep of his pasture remember that sheep are headed for the altar. Are we willing to be sheep led to the altar of Christ calls us to be there. He will always give us the strength to carry through though you have pressures in your life God is more powerful it doesn't matter how great the pressure is my friends it matters where the pressure lies if the pressure pushes us away from Christ or presses it closer to him presses us closer to him. Can we say with David I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved in this world which will have trials and tribulations but do not fear crisis for what I have overcome the world if God is for us who can be against us my friends the fields are white for the harvest and the laborers are few. There are so many people out there in this world and the communities surrounding us that are wanting to be able to have peace that are seeking for something greater Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone even if it is just to hand out a check to them and say Jesus loves you. Or are we content to settle here into our routines on this earth and live lives of respectable conventionality. Are we willing to be daring for Christ. This world is waiting for a generation who will put. The spreading of the gospel before self. So that Christ can return and put an end to all the suffering that is going around us. How can we be so ordinary when we serve a God of the extraordinary you look at the lives of so much. And how many miracles Christ performs every day once your eyes are opened up spiritually you see so many miracles around you it is incredible Are we willing to engage with him in that. A couple ending quotes by Jim Elliot He says we are so utterly ordinary so commonplace while we profess to know a power the twentieth century does not reckon with but we are harmless and therefore unharmed we are spiritual pacifists non militants conscientious objectors in this battle to the death with principalities and powers in high places make Miss must be had for contact with men but brass outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the cross we are sideline or coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged the world cannot hate us we are too much like its own oh that God would make us dangerous. I pray that the Lord might crown this year with his goodness and in the coming one give you a hallowed daredevil spirit in lifting the biting Sword of Truth consuming you at the passion that is called by the cultured citizen of Christian um fanaticism but known to God as that saintly madness that led his son through bloody sweat and hot tears to agony to agony on a route cross and glory in it my friends Jim Elliot saath our life work as it is it's time to start saying instead of what is the least we can do for Christ what is the most we can do for Christ. Are we willing to put all on the line if Christ calls us. My friends you can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving. You see and Christ life he bled and died on the cross for each one of us. Are we willing. To burn our candle Christ gives each one of us a candle are we going to burn it for pleasure are we going to burn both ends for alumina in sin and darkness around us alone managing their lives with the light of the Gospel and with His Love how many of you this morning. Want to stay with me Lord send me wherever you want. Raise your hand. Let's pray. Father in heaven. We come before you this morning. Thanking you so much for what you have done on the cross. Your mercies are new every morning you want to have an intimate personal close relationship with us and Father as we see the miracles of your Holy Spirit working in the lives of those around us we ask that you will do the same in our lives father maybe there's somebody here today who is struggling. Who doesn't see you as their personal Savior who doesn't see the power you can give them. Lord I ask that you will please work mightily in their lives please help them to be able to realize that they have to be able to see with their whole heart before he can. We give our lives to you today thank you for this beautiful. That we can fellowship to. Break. This media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about. If you would like to listen to more sermon. Visit W W W.

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