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Destined for Greatness

The Power to Change Lives   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Though our future is already determined, secured, we still need to constantly submit our lives to God.

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Introduction

Do you believe that as a child of God , you are destined for greatness???
The Bible Says:
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
1 Peter 2:9 NLT
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
THE REASONS FOR J. C. PENNEY’S SUCCESS
On one occasion J. C. Penney was asked the reason for His success. He said, “Adversity, and Jesus Christ.”
Source: McHenry's Quips, Quotes & Other Notes, Raymond McHenry
THE SECRET OF AMERICA’S GREATNESS
French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said “I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests—and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning— and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”
Source: America’s God and Country, William J. Federer
SERVING THE KING
William Carey, who is called the “Father of Modern Missions,” served the Lord in India for many years. He gradually became very concerned about the attitude of his son, Felix. The young man had promised to become a missionary, but he reneged on his vows when he was appointed ambassador to Burma by the Queen of England. Carey wrote to his friend, asking prayer for his son with these words: Pray for Felix. He has degenerated into an ambassador of the British government when he should be serving the King of Kings.
Source: Our Daily BreadSubmitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
Each one that I mentioned be it a person or place is destined or bound for greatness because they have acknowledge that it was all because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you agree that we can determine our destiny now by just simply trusting Jesus?
That our lives are radically changed because there is power in the name of Jesus?
Remember that song - There is power in the name of Jesus . . . to break every chains.....
This morning we are continuing with theme for this month - The Power to Change Lives and the title of my message today is Destined for Greatness
Let us Pray!!!
So in order for us to go from bottom of the stairs to the top of the stairs, is we make a step. In order for us to determine that we are bound for greatness is we have to make a decision, the right decision, that will bring us to our destiny.
If we want to know our destiny, spiritually, In order for that to happen, we must first agree together that only God knows our future, what our lives will be. It’s not one of those little offices or places that you see ion some corner of the road that says “ I read your future, in the palm of your hand” Or it’s not written in some magazine that says “this is your horoscope for today”. Nope, not those kind of things.
Only God knows.
Now if God knows, if He’s the only one who can determine that, then we should surrender our lives to Him and live for Him alone! Why? Because it’s gonna be a waste of time if we try to do it on our own. We can do everything we want to secure our future. we can plan ahead of time to be sure of the outcome of our future, we can buy all the life insurances you want and still end up not knowing your future…
Mark 8:36 NLT
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
M
ONLY GOD KNOWS!!
Then if only God knows, that means it’s only by His power that our lives can be changed. Right? Amen?
So, a changed life NOW results in a determined destiny.
So, the change if done on our own, is superficial. Let me explain. Reformation versus transformation.
So when I was attending the seminary, some of the students when asked why they attended or chose to go that seminary says, “oh my parents wanted me to attend here because of my attitude, they wanted me to change”. His mom just wants him to be reformed. Reformed or reform means - bring about a change in (someone)
I heard a story from one of my friends back home in the Philippines that most drug addicts ending up in rehabilitation facilities, after months of detox, then given 3 to 6 months of staying clean, most of the time, goes back to square one, doing the old habit again, why because they are just being guided through a series of life coaching that would only reform them, not really to transform them.
Transformation happens from within and a change is visible outside. Best illustration always about transformation is that of a caterpillar becoming a beautiful butterfly. And you have to remember, there is pain going through a process of transformation. It’s not easy.
For a person to become a Christian and recognize the saving power of Jesus, it means there is a complete surrender, meaning, we surrender who we are....prideful, boastful, lustful, fool - we think we know everything!! (hehe)
As David Fairchild stated in his blog..
Gospel transformation both creates and causes obedience from the heart. The gospel works from the inside-out. Moral reformation creates insecurity and hypocritical criticism of others in part because we’re attempting to win God’s favor through performance. Moral reformation works from the outside-in.
There are 3 things I want to share this morning that will make us better understand why we are destined for greatness.

Recognize, Evidence, Constant Submission

Recognize - that Jesus is the only who can save you
Evidence - that you are a follower of Jesus Christ
Constant - Submission to the power of Jesus

Recognize

Recognize Jesus as the only one who can save you...
Acts 16:25–31 NLT
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”
Acts 16:
In this particular passage there are valid points when studying it, but I want us to focus on the jailer....
what happened that night
[paraphrase the verse…]
What happened that night . . .
Paul and Silas ....singing
Massive earthquake . . .
doors immediately opened
Chains of every prisoners fell off - EVERY
Jailer...
Woke up
Saw the doors
about to kill himself with his own sword because he assumed all the prisoners escaped
fell down trembling and asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
[Elaborate.... praying and singing hymns to God..you know that people get saved through spiritual songs, through prayer…right…even while sleeping too]
All his household were immediately baptized.
The jailer knew Paul and Silas, if you read the prior verses, by the time this happened, Paul and Silas were already known for being a follower of Jesus and now the jailer saw and experienced the power of Jesus through the life of Paul and Silas and the minute he saw what happened in the dungeon he knew and recognized that power and the minute he asked what he should do to get saved, his family, his entire household, his very own life changed and his destiny was secured.
To RECOGNIZE means to KNOW and to know means to BELIEVE

Belief, Believe. Conviction based on testimony that something is true or that someone is reliable. As used in the Bible, to believe in God involves the element of trust, not mere acknowledgment of his existence.

And that’s exactly what happened with the jailer, he recognized and he knows, that’s why he believed. He did not just acknowledge Jesus’ existence but he trusted Him.
Second point

Evidence

Yes our lives were changed by the power of the cross, our destiny is secured because we placed our trust in Him, but between now and His return, an EVIDENCE should be clearly seen in our lives.
Illustration:
A CHILD’S DESCRIPTION OF A CHRISTIAN
During Sunday school, the teacher asked her class of first-graders if anyone could describe a Christian. A little boy quickly raised his hand and stated, “Christians are nice people who never complain, argue, or talk back.” He then added, “My Daddy is a good Christian, but my Mommy isn’t.”
Definition:

φανερόω (phaneroō), reveal; make clear.

1ev•i•dence \ˈe-və-dən(t)s, -və-ˌden(t)s\ noun

14th century

1 a: an outward sign: INDICATION

b: something that furnishes proof: TESTIMONY specifically: something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter

2 Corinthians 4:11 NLT
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.
When Paul said that verse he knows that living one’s life as a Christian is not that easy, that’s why he said their life is in constant danger…why…BECAUSE THEY SERVE JESUS!!! AND BECAUSE THE LIFE OF JESUS IS EVIDENT IN THEIR DYING BODIES!!!
Persecution info#1 - slide
Today, just like in the book of Acts, Christians are persecuted all around the world for following Jesus.
Persecution info #2 - slide
Every year, Open Doors releases the world watch list–a detailed report on the top 50 countries where it's most difficult to be a Christian.
215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution in the countries on the world watch list. This represents 1 in 12 Christians worldwide
Every month
255 Christians are killed
104 are abducted
180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage
66 churches are attacked
160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned
Only Jesus has the Power to Change Lives and only through can we be secured in our destiny
We are still so blessed and so privileged, amen?? But just because we are not experiencing the same type of persecution in this country doesn’t mean that our faith is not being tried and tested. There are instances...
A friend of mine, some of you know Pastor Ben Agtani, he is a certified Chaplain, one day when he is ministering in a hospital, he started praying for one of the patients and of course like any ordinary Christian, started to talk about Jesus, then one of the nurses told him to stop what he was doing because they don’t allow it. And he said “I am a Chaplain here, what am I suppose to talk about to the patients?”
Some of us here also knows Pastor Chris, same thing, he was in a hospital for some reason and while waiting for his turn, he saw another person, that needs help, he did the same thing, you know, he showed compassion and started praying for the person, guess what, he was also asked to stop what he was doing.
In reality, the same goes for any Christians, whether living in a persecuted country or not, as the scriptures says “…our life are in constant danger”. Whether we like it or not, because there is an evidence, IN YOUR LIVES, IN OUR LIVES, an indication, a proof of our Jesus is in us, we will face different kind of trials.
No matter what happens,
That’s why we always remind each other to ..BE CAREFUL OF OUR TESTIMONY!! Because we represent Christ, (BostonIANS, PhiladelpIANS…ChristIANS)
2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
The word ambassador there means - messenger or envoy.
Galatians 2:20 NLT
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galati
It should be no longer what we want, the desires that should compels us should always be that of what Christ wants.
I completely understand about the struggles in our lives, when the flesh kicks in, we end up getting angry at ourselves and we think that we ruined a 2 or 3 months of abstaining from things of the flesh, don’t despair and certainly don’t make an excuse, let’s be reminded of that last verse, what Paul said .. “So I live this earthly body by … (WHAT) TRUSTING IN THE SON OF GOD!!!
Galatians 2:20b NLT
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We say that we are Christians right? Let us pray that when the going get’s tough, we will stand for what is right in the sight of God.
We say that we are Christians right? Let us pray that when the going get’s tough, we will stand for what is right in the sight of God.

Constant Submission

Truth about struggling with sin is real
Romans 7:18–25 NLT
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
1 Corinthians 12:1–2 NLT
1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. 2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.
Romans 7:18-
Recognize Jesus as the only way.
John 14:12 NLT
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
John 14:6 NLT
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Romans 12:1–2 NLT
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
If we are looking for a true to life example of a person who is constantly being bombarded by life’s trials, look no further…Paul knows what it is to be dominated by sin, to be at the beck and call of the flesh. But even though we can see and read his struggles, he was able to manage through it, why do I say this, because he was able to, still, encourage the people, to plead to them, because if a person cannot overcome his sins, if there are no victories to celebrate, it’s really hard for that person to encourage others.
And Paul goes on in saying “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” And we all know what is going on right now in this world, man is seeking things that is not honoring God, people tend to indulge themselves even with fleeting desire, even if it just gratify themselves just for a moment.
Remember, we are always susceptible to any kind of scheme or trap the devil has put out there, we are still vulnerable. When Paul mentioned about “behaviors and customs of this world” this is already in place, it’s a system that once it catches our attention, little by little we get hooked up on it. We were once caught up in that system, we are in that elaborate system before we knew and accepted Christ. Unless we daily “flush” out “delete” that old kind of system by immersing ourselves constantly in the Word of God, daily praying and asking for God’s presence to overwhelm us, I’m telling you, we are going to be overtaken by the fleshly desires we were once been caught in.
And those behaviors can range between how we use to talk, the way we think, the music that we choose, the books and magazines that we read, how we treat someone, to, whom we want to honor foremost in our lives. Anything that we were doing before we met Christ, will always be a trap set before us. Anything from our previous way of life that will take away our hearts and minds from Jesus, will always be the first bait that the devil will cast.
Beyonce Slide
It’s become a well-established fact that Beyoncé is a higher being worthy of our worship, especially after her groundbreaking performance at Coachella earlier in April. Now, San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral  is using the inspiration that is Queen Bey to take the masses to church.
The Vine, a contemporary worship service that combines progressive theology and pop music, has announced it will be holding a special mass devoted to Beyoncé’s music and accomplishments on Wednesday, April 25.
Worshippers will be able to sing along with Beyoncé’s hits and explore her inspirational history, particularly how she “opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten — particularly black females,” as the church describes on its website. The mass also includes reading from scripture by women of color and a sermon by Rev. Yolanda Norton, who also teaches a course called “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible” at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Are you hearing this, there is a Beyonce Worship going on!! This world where we live in is in chaos and it’s constantly heading on a downward spiral. It is already prophesied. And we can never pray against prophecy all we have to do and pour heart into, is to tell others more about Jesus so they won’t end up in hell.
That’s why with all of this things going on let us not get caught up with it. Yes we have been informed about what’s going on in this world, we are not telling you to just hide, build a bunker, store pickled cucumber or whatever and wait for the end of the world, though some are doing it right now, you can go online and choose what kind of bunker you like or you can even have it custom built according to your preferences and it’s guaranteed to satisfy your desires! Hahaha!!!
We are all challenged here, to CONSTANTLY SUBMIT our lives to God. Apostle Paul said “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” and this is the key, and should happen on a daily basis.
GROWING IN THE LORD
A group of tourists visiting a picturesque village walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked him, “Were any great men born in this village?” The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”
Every person who is a born-again believer starts life as a baby in Christ. Whether the new convert is six or sixty, that person is still a new Christian and needs to grow in the Lord. A baby Christian who has been saved for forty years is a tragedy. God intends for us to grow and mature so that we can be a positive influence in the lives of others. Until we learn to dig into the meat of the Word for ourselves, we will never grow.
Source: Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell
Only our Lord Jesus have the Power to Change Lives,
unless we:
Recognize that power through Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary, our life means nothing.
Unless we:
We live a life that evidently shows that we are a follower of Christ, our life means nothing.
Unless we:
Constantly, daily submit our life to Christ, we will never understand that we are truly destined for greatness!
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