Archive of Pastor’s Messages
Annual Message for 2016 from Dr. Darrow Perkins, Jr.
“Serving God With Purpose”
INTRODUCTION: At the beginning of each year, people tend to make resolutions to be and do things better for the coming year. They’ve looked back and realized that they could have done some things better, so now they resolve to make an attempt to stat over fresh at the beginning of the year.
- Some people resolve to lose weight;
- Some people resolve to take better care of themselves physically and emotionally;
- Some people resolve to be better husbands and fathers;
- Some people resolve to be better wives and mothers;
- Some people resolve to be better students;
- Some people resolve to be better managers the Lord’s money better;
- Some people resolve to save more money;
- Some people resolve to get out of debt; and,
- Some people resolve to work on their relationship with the Lord.
All of these are admirable desires and goals and I would suggest and recommend that we all aspire to do them, but I’ve come to realize that we can’t do the first eight without getting the last one right…FIRST!
Nothing we aspire to do in this life will work out to it’s full potential until we come to the realization that this life is nothing without a relationship with Jesus Christ! The truth of the matter is that Jesus died for the opportunity to have a relationship with you, and more than that, to afford us an opportunity to have eternal life through believing in His life, death, burial, and resurrection, and soon return for His church. I’ve said before that people who make resolutions tend to stop or give up when the miss the mark even for just one day. A great example of this is that person who resolves to read the Bible in a year and as soon as they miss one day, they stop reading all together. But, I’ve also learned that the person who makes a commitment to read the Bible in a year, and miss one day, gets back at it and presses through the fact that they missed one day. What am I trying to say? The person who made the resolution set a goal, ran into a problem, and decided not to follow through with it; but the person who made the commitment, kept going even though they had a problem. I believe the difference is purpose. It’s one thing to want to do something, but it’s an entirely different thing to do something because of purpose!
As the people of God, our very lives should be a life of purpose because of what God has already done for us. Think about this…as an employee, you were hired for the purpose of applying your abilities, gifts, and talents in making the company better and increasing the company’s bottom. We should understand the same principle with respects to Kingdom building; we were saved for the purpose of living and learning about the Lord, and sharing what we’ve learned with others with the intent of increasing the bottom line, and that is adding souls to the Kingdom of God! As we enter into this New Year, it is my hope that we make a commitment as individuals and a church family to Serving God With Purpose! The songwriter said, “everyday with Jesus, sweeter than the day before,” so let’s commit to Serving God With Purpose on a daily basis.
BACKGROUND/TEXT: The Book of Acts is where we find the birth of the Church and our selected text gives us a look into the daily life of the early church. It’s here we find out what the early Saints did because of their relationship with Jesus the Christ. There are five things I want to look at with respects to what these early Saints experienced.
1 Their Purpose in Evangelism (verse 41). Our text starts out with the receiving of souls into the body of Christ. This is accomplished by evangelizing, or sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. This text is a result of Peter preaching about the life and purpose of Jesus and how a relationship with Him guarantees us eternal life. He talked about how Jesus is the One who hung, bled, and died on Calvary, and was resurrected by the power of God to ensure everlasting life to all who believes on Him. He told them that in order to receive everlasting life, they were required to repent and then be baptized. That’s the message we have to carry to a dying world that they too can have eternal life through Jesus and it’s as simple as repenting, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, and then being obedient unto baptism. As a result of Peter’s first sermon, about 3000 souls were added to the church.
2. Their Purpose in Discipleship (verse 42). This verse looks at what they did after receiving Christ as savior…they continued stedfastly in the apostle’s doctrine. The word stedfastly comes from a Greek word that means to be earnest towards, to persevere, to be constantly diligent. That sounds to me like they purposed to learn and grow in the word. I also think it’s important for us to understand that the apostles doctrine was the sharing of the work, life, and ministry of Jesus Christ.
3. Their Purpose in Fellowship (verse 42). A statement was made that “no man is an island” and tells us that we cannot reach our maximum potential if we stay to ourselves. Biblically, we’re commanded to come together and fellowship because we all benefit from it. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” I’ve said before that when we stay home we miss out on a blessing and we deny others of their blessings as well. In our text, their fellowship included sharing the word of God with each other, and building relationship with one another through the breaking of bread and prayers.
4. Their Purpose in Stewardship (verse 45). To understand stewardship is to understand that what you have belongs to someone else and you’ve been given the responsibility to manage it for them. In the early church, the people realized that there were others who were less fortunate than them and took what they had, sold them, and brought the money back to the church for distribution. This ties right in to Malachi 3:9, which says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house…” The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible says here, “Christ demands that we give Him all we are and have to enter heaven. This is the reason the early believers gave what they had to meet the needs of the world.” It further says, “To follow Christ is to deny self completely, all that we are as well as all that we have.” The early believers understood the importance of Stewardship and found out that it opened up blessings to them and to the church.
5. Their Purpose in Worship (verses 46-47). One of the things I’ve found to be the case is that it’s easier to worship God when you’re in a right relationship with God! Naturally so, we get along a lot better when we’re in good standing with each other and the same applies with our relationship with God. When we’re doing what God requires, it seems to be easier to worship Him with other believers. I would also like to add that regardless of what we’re doing or not doing, we’re still required to worship God because of who He is. One of the things that set the early believers apart was the fact that they were all on one accord. They came in with the mindset that everybody was going to get their praise on and were not going to let anybody stop them from doing so. Praise is a weapon; Worship is a weapon, and when we come together and do it, we serve notice to the devil that God is God, and He’s worthy to be praised. The Apostle Paul knew the power of praise and worship and even though he and Silas were locked up in jail, at midnight they started praising God. I said before that praise and worship is a weapon and after they did so, there was a great earthquake that shook the prison walls and every man’s bands were loosed. You see, when you purpose to worship, God has purposed to bless you!!
SUMMARY/CLOSING: It is my belief that this New Year should be a year of Serving God With Purpose. We should want to purpose to serve God because Jesus’ overall mission and purpose was to come and take away the sins of the world. He did so by leaving heaven, coming to earth, submitting himself to the cross, giving His life for your sins and mine, and rising from the dead with all power in His hands.