Decade of destiny: Discovering my impact.
Have you ever wondered about your individual purpose and how it fits into this world? In this message, we learn how to make a lasting impact in ways you may never have expected.
Something To Talk About:
Do you know what God created you for? Do you know what your destiny is? To find the answers consider the following:
- Recognize the gifts that God has given us: In order to fulfill your destiny, you must recognize the gifts God has given you to use. These are the cards you are dealt in life. These are the things that make you uniquely you. Now, you are not responsible for the gifts God didn’t give you. In other words, if you are not artistically gifted, you are not expected to paint pictures like Rembrandt. But you are responsible for the ones He did give you. When you get to Heaven, God isn’t going to compare you with anyone else, but He will compare you with yourself. What did you do with what you were given? What could you have done if you had trusted God a little bit more? Romans 14:12 says, “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” Esther had three assets that God gave her to use to fulfill her destiny. She was intelligent, beautiful, and she had an attractive personality. Because of these qualities, “Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her …. She won [the king’s] favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen” (Esther 2:15b, 17 NIV). God gave Esther these gifts for a purpose. God has given you gifts for a purpose. And just like Esther, you have a responsibility to be a good steward of those gifts — not for selfish uses but for the good of others. Your gifts are not for your benefit. God gave you gifts for the benefit of other people.
- Take the time to hear God’s call in your life: A lot of people think God only calls preachers and missionaries. No. Everybody is called. Your calling is your vocation. Everybody has a vocation. Everybody has a calling from God. God has called every one of us to make a difference with our life. God created you for a purpose. He has a vision and values and a purpose and plan and a destiny for your life. Esther did one important thing that you’re going to need for your destiny in the next ten years. She sought the support of others. Like Esther, you’re going to need all the support you can get. She said to go get everybody you can to pray for me. That’s why you must be in a small group because you cannot fulfill your destiny on your own. You have to be connected. You have to be in community.
- You must take action in faith: Faith is more than something you feel. Many people confuse emotions and feelings with faith. They come to church and they’re moved emotionally, they’re inspired, and they’re stimulated. But that doesn’t mean they’re walking in faith. The Bible says faith is something we do, not just something we feel. We need to act. Esther says, I know it is scary and I know it’s a big risk and I’m scared to death but it’s the right thing to do so I’m going to do it. Esther 4:16 says, “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” You’ve got to know what’s worth giving your life for. On the other hand, once you understand your destiny and you really get it, it grabs you. If it takes my life, it takes my life. If I perish, I perish. But I’m going to die doing what God tells me to do.
- As you reflect on Sunday’s message, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp?
- God used both good and bad circumstances in Esther’s life to put her in a unique position to save her people. Why would God use both good and bad in any of our lives to fulfill our destiny?
- Why is it important to understand that God providentially orders the events in our lives?
- What is or has been your attitude toward spiritual gifts? Are certain gifts better than others? Do you see the connection between how God has gifted you and how you can influence your world?
- When have you experienced God speaking to you decisively? What happened? How did you know it was God? What do I need to put into practice to hear God?
- If I’m truly going to walk by faith, it’s going to involve some risk. Agree or disagree?
- How willing are you to fail in life? If you could (a) succeed greatly and bring a little glory to God, or (b) fail greatly and bring a lot of glory to God, which would you choose?
- How does your faith affect the choices you make and the things you do? What have been the results of your greatest steps of faith? How have they caused your faith to grow?
- What commitment are you willing to make to put your faith into action?
- What’s the next step God wants you to take? When will you take it? Who will hold you to it? Write down your next step to becoming the person God wants you to be. Put it somewhere you look every day.
Take one thing home with you:
Faith is essential to salvation. It is what saves us and what God gives us in order to be able to see Him more clearly. However, He is clear that having faith is just the beginning. Faith is the precursor to action. Faith causes you to change. The world will believe based on what you do. Jesus shows us that. Your faith is truly living when it is shown through action. In fact, James 2:17 (NIV) goes as far as to say that “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
What does this mean in your day-to-day life? Be the person you would want to be around. Be Jesus to people.