Sermon by Dr. E. Dale Locke
Series: Fixer Upper (Making the Changes that Matter Most), Week 3 – “Draw It Out”
- When making major home renovations, one of the most important steps is to draw out your plans. As an icebreaker question, describe your dream house. What would you want your house to include if money were not an obstacle?
- Read Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Read James 4:13-17: Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
- What thoughts or questions come to your mind when you hear these verses?
- Some people misunderstand these verses to mean that life is all scripted by God and our choices don’t matter – saying things like, “Whatever is supposed to happen will happen.” What’s wrong with that kind of thinking?
- What Scriptures can you think of that balance out our understanding of what it means for God to be sovereign, supporting the other side – that our choices and plans do matter?
- In James 4:14, James points out how quickly life comes and goes, and he asks the question: “What is your life?” Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose-Driven Life gives three answers to that question:
- Life is a test:
The challenges that come to us in life – whether caused by God or not – provide an opportunity to test and develop our character. Tell about a challenge you went through that helped you become more of the person God wants you to be.
We don’t want our church to be a place where we just gather information and Bible knowledge. We want our lives to change. What are some things each of us can do, so that what we learn through church actually leads to life change?
- Life is a trust:
Scripture teaches that we are “stewards” – not owners – of the time and resources God allows each of us to have on this earth. How will we live differently if we have an awareness of this fact?
- The biblical teaching that God is sovereign does not imply that we don’t need to make plans and choices. Pastor Dale pointed out three different ways of thinking:.
- No plans and no God: Some people don’t believe in planning, and they also don’t include God in their life. What are the results of this kind of thinking?
- Great plans but no God: Some people read lots of “how to” books and try to make plans on how to improve their life, but they do it without God’s involvement. What are the results of this kind of living?
- Great plans and a great God: The best way to make plans that really bring lasting change is to include God in our plans. Explain how this works.
8. The third answer that Rick Warren gives to James’ question, “What is life?” is:
- Life is a temporary assignment: What does he mean by this? What are the implications of seeing life as a temporary assignment?