Why do you exist? Why does it matter that you wake up in the morning? What gives you meaning and purpose? What is your why?
What do you want to be when you grow up? Ever been asked that before? And the answer they are expecting are jobs of “I want to be a hockey player, I want to be a doctor, I want to be a teacher” essentially asking – what are you going to make of yourself?
But in all honesty – that completely misses the point. Those are the wrong questions because your life is so much more than the degree you major in, or the job that you work. Your purpose in life goes far beyond anything they teach you in school.
I mean… Why do you think you exist? Why does it matter that you wake up in the morning? What do you want to give your life meaning and purpose? What.. is.. Your.. why..?
And if we’re being honest, we might not have put a lot of thought into that before now. And it makes sense because for most of your life you’ve been in school, and so you learn things because your teachers tell you you need to learn them, you do things because everyone else who is in your stage of life does them. But if you look at the majority of the world – they don’t have a clear why, they don’t have a clear purpose.
Prov 29:18 says that “where there is no vision the people perish”. Essentially saying that without a God-given why in life – people spend their 80-90 years on this earth wandering. Graduate HS, maybe go to college, maybe get a job, work that job till you’re in your 60s, maybe have a couple kids, retire, and die.
But God has a dream for your life full of significance and wonder and passion and world change. But most people miss it, because they never ask God what he has created them to do. So – Have you ever asked God what he created you to do?
As a church we are in this series called “The Essentials” asking the question “What do I really need?” And we’ve been walking through how in the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, there are 5 things that God says we actually need. And those things are the grace of God, the spirit of God, the word of God, the people of God, and the mission of God.
And guys, the mission of God… IS your why. You were created to 1. Know God, 2. Join him in what he is doing here on the Earth. And what God is doing here on the earth, you see it all over scripture. (have verse references, no words, come on screen)
· He is enacting his will on the earth (Mat 6:10)
· He is seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10)
· He is making disciples (Mat 28:19)
· He is destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8)
· He is reconciling everything and everyone under the Lordship of Jesus and into relationship with their good Father. (2 Cor 5:19)
And it’s funny, because your generation more than any other generation has a built-in longing to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Your generation has a sense of justice, right and wrong, looking out for the little guy, making sure that everyone has their fair shot in this life. Have you ever wondered where that came from?
In Genesis 1:28 after God first made humanity, he gave them their purpose in life. It says “God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” Essentially – go out into all the world and fill it with the knowledge of me. Join me in what I am doing here on this earth. Have a purpose, have a calling, come be a part of something significant, something bigger than yourself, come and do what only I can do through you. That was our original calling as humanity and so it makes sense why when *you* look out into the world, you see wrongs that can be made right, brokenness that can be restored, dead things that can come back to life.
God has given you a life that can be so greater than seeing how much money you can make in 80 years. The people of this world spend their life storing up material possessions, wealth, a good time, but the thing is that they can’t take any of that with them when they die. The people of God, they’re not interested in the temporary things of this world, they know that they have a mission in front of them that is *eternal*. They don’t need what the world offers because they already have EVERYTHING in Jesus.
And when we think of Jesus, it’s easy to think about him as the son of God which.. he is, but Jesus in some great mystery was both fully God and fully man, and Jesus came to be our example for the kind of life that we can now live. In Acts 10:38 it says “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Jesus was our example of what it looks like to join our Father in his work here on the Earth, everything that is true of Jesus is true of us. (Keep verse on screen this whole time) So.. God has appointed YOU with the Holy Spirit and power, he has empowered YOU to go around doing good and healing all who are under the power of the devil, because God…is..with..you”. (Black and white words, with the “yous” emphasized taking up the whole screen)
And it’s not that God needs us to do this, we’re not doing God a favor, God is able to seek and save the lost of this world just fine, but he invites us into it, he wants our hearts free, and he knows that relationship is best formed on mission. The best way to know God, is to join him in what he is doing.
& it changes everything when we realize that Jesus went on mission for us. In the same way that Jesus came for us… we are now invited to join him in getting them. & I would bet that if you think back on your life, you would be able to see all the people that went on mission to get you.
For me I can tell you about Jill, about Chelsea, about Ana, about Rachel, all these women who knew that Jesus had gone on mission for them, so that when they saw a teenage girl who was wandering in the despair of this world, without hesitation they went on mission to go get her, to go get me. I would not have come to know Jesus without the people of God joining in the mission of God. And I know that the same is true for you.
We don’t exist for ourselves. We exist for them. Christianity isn’t about living a middle class life just me and Jesus, The mission of God is saying it’s me and Jesus, going to get them, and bring them into the family as well.
Here’s the thing guys. (deep breath) If you believe that heaven and hell are real, and you believe that Jesus is the way the truth and the life, why in the world would you not give your life to see them know God? This is where we’ve really gotta check ourselves because If you really understood the magnitude of what Jesus has rescued you from, there should be no hesitation in your heart, no question of what will they think, what would this mean for my social life, because you know that we are dead without the hope of Jesus in our lives.
You, generation hope, have the unique ability above every other generation to transform your world with the hope of Jesus.(<- big on screen)When we understand that we are re-presenting Jesus to a lost, lonely, and broken world, and we bring Jesus into every situation… Okay Jesus – who needs to be invited to church today? Okay Jesus – how can I encourage my teacher today? Okay Jesus – what do you want to do in the life of my sibling today? Okay Jesus – you came to serve so show me how I can serve others today. Okay Jesus – you walked in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control, how can I walk in those things to show those around me the nature of God? And maybe just maybe, Jesus wants to give you some hope as you give it away to others. Prov 11:25 says that “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed”. We keep hope alive in our own hearts, not by hoarding it for ourselves, but by giving it away, because it reminds us of what Jesus did for us. Come on guys. It is time for Generation Hope to rise to the purpose for which they have been called. Right now can you just let hope bubble up in your heart that you were created for far more than you can even imagine. That there is so much more to this life than living for yourself. And right now, while you're in MS & HS, now is the time to start looking at your life through the lens of God’s mission, and decide that more than anything that the world says is essential, I am building my life here and now on what JESUS says is essential for my life – the grace of God, spirit of God, word of God, people of God, and mission of God are the essentials in my life. And what I may do for a job, where I might go to college, that’s great, but my purpose in life is to be a hope carrier, and to see my world transformed by the hope of Jesus. That is what it means to be Generation Hope – and that’s the life of purpose that Jesus has made available to you. The only question now – is will you join him?