Part 1: More Unique Than You Think
When you look at your life, what do you see what's right in front of them, but they can't see beyond their living kind of near-sighted with their life.
In the future, but they can't see where to step today. They're living kind of far-sighted with their life.
They see the identity he made for them to call and he gave the and the destiny he dreams for them and they can live it. This is 20/20 vision for life. Are you ready to see?
I'll come again while she Bible. My name is Josh, and I wanted the pastor's here and got my Iowa State Jersey on since I know I know. I will not lose today. That's always a good thing. But this morning and I'm excited as we begin a new spirit called vision for 20/20 vision.
And in her illness she actually lost her sight and her hearing and she remained the deaf. And blind for the entirety of her life. She had an incredible life in the Legacy that she left. She was an advocate for the blind combating blindness back from war who had suffered blindness and she helped them and read people's lips by touch and learn to read Braille.
And then she graduated from Radcliffe College. She has a profound friend and someone at one point in her life, and she did have great trust in Jesus that she asked her if there was anything worse than being blind.
Listen to her response. She said yes being able to see. But not having vision.
When you think about it?
And all the things that she accomplished all that she did all of us take for granted. We can just kind of Coast through life and not really catch. What is the vision that God has for me it for you. What is uniquely shaped me for having Vision Clarity is really essential isn't it? A lot of people wear eyeglasses because I can't see my glasses are blurry. But when I put them back on there's Clarity and there's all different kinds of glass and then the sun is out and praise the Lord for that.
Some people just wear glasses today just because they feel like it makes them look smarter look better. and then
3D movie there's a three-dimensional glasses that never opened. 3D movie and you you go through the door right and you pick them up and then you put them on over top of your other glasses. And then when you're looking at the screen though, what do you see if you don't have these on that a 3D movie? It's a mess. Isn't it? It's blurry. You just feel totally disoriented. Then all of a sudden you put these bad boys on. These are a little more stylish than some of them if you get in the movie theater.
Clarity everything comes into focus and all of a sudden you're in the midst of just this incredible story being told all around you. Maybe you duck out of the way of fixing flying by your head, but there's great clarity.
Turn off the screen. And and with the glasses on everything comes into Focus. Why bring this up today? Because I think what happens at a 3D movie when you put on those glasses happens in the life of somebody who trust Jesus and steps fully into already asked for them. It's like putting on these 3D glasses in the life that was once just blurry and flying by and disoriented with even what's happening and I suddenly at things begin to take safe and take Focus as Jesus works in your heart and changes you and as you step into all that he has for you. I truly believe that in the Bible clearly clearly teaches that and see things clearly. I wonder can you do that with your life? God cares about that for you, he cares about it for me and and the big thing I want you to come away with over. The next few weeks is like Clear Vision of who you are and who God has created you to be in if nothing else at least some steps you can take to begin to live in.
If you struggle with that, you're not the only person in history to struggle with it, I struggle with it, but all kinds of characters in The Bible in the biblical story struggled with was having a vision and some of the greatest god called them and save them for Moses. For example, he was a convicted killer on the backside of a desert. Is where he had to finally see who got it made him to be getting in a young guy. Maybe only a junior high in a cheese because he couldn't imagine. The Mighty Man of Valor got it actually created him to be.
Samuel he struggled to the ground off his horse in order to get a vision of who Jesus had called and shaved him to be and what he wants to do with his life. There's others we could go through that hopeless, but all of them is Jeremiah inside look in some ways. It's some ways at this one prophet and his country's struggle to really see what God sees. Jeremiah was a prophet at a time right before the Exile. If you don't know some of the history of the Old Testament. Let me just give you a brief overview kind of the biblical story. OK make this really quick. But but long story short is God's people had been brought into a land that he promised to them. And he then what would happen is they would choose to suffer in there would be suffering for them to Suffer Well over time the people of Israel continually chose to suffer. And it got to the point that after Solomon was the king of Israel. There was great division because of this a continual choice. To choose to stand in the entire nation of Israel was split in two and ten tribes to the north and it became the northern tribes of Israel.
You don't have to count very far zero none of them wore it so what happens is in 722 BC they chose to send so what are they choosing to suffer? So God actually Syrian Army to conquer them.
And unlike the northern tribes, they had a whole grand total of tour at times.
Is the saying you're going to suffer?
That's where Jeremiah is living. You have a whole list of things about Jeremiah. That is his story opens read with me and Jeremiah be kind of to the right of the middle of your Bible or you can just read it on on-screen. It'll be up there and we're just going to start right at the very beginning of the book of Jeremiah today. And the first three verses give us a little picture of who Jeremiah is it says these are the words of Jeremiah the son of hilkiah one of the priests. Who are in 1/8 oz in the land of Benjamin to whom the word of the Lord came in? The days are just a sign of Amon king of Judah and the Thirteenth Year of his Reign. It came also in the days of king of Judah.
Long and short of it is Jeremiah prophesied for like 44 years. I believe 42 or 44 years with the length of his ministry. And what we're told here is the different Prophet understand how that lasted until the Captivity of Jerusalem and stack Jerusalem.
Jeremiah like I said he prophesied in during a probably one of the darkest moments of Israel's history. And he was often known as the weeping prophet. Do you know why? Is it often known as the weeping prophet will because he kept saying hey turn back.
So it's kind of sad the book of Jeremiah. It's full of laments because of people not obeying God.
We might say that their life a little bit like a blur. They were living life under the threat of attack all the time. The Deliverance of God, it was a story and but if it was really connected to the reality of their own clearly satisfying themselves for everything. They have been given by God simply to serve themselves. These are the people that Jeremiah prophesize to and it's right at this point. Then the God calls this man Jeremiah to be his mouthpiece to the nation and he's he doesn't he makes a few remarkable statements to Jeremiah that might encourage you today. Because maybe you're going through life a little bit either like Jeremiah or like some of the people in that day.
a big blur
look at verse 4. Now the word of the Lord came to me Jeremiah's riding. That's what came to Jeremiah saying. Before I knew you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I consecrated you. I appointed you a prophet to the Nations before I formed you in the womb got tells Jeremiah at the beginning of all of this. I knew you that's a profound statement. Think about that God in his sovereignty.
before you and I were ever a cup of chromosomes in our mother's womb he knew you. a new you you know that your personality would be like he knew what you would look like. He knew of the psalmist tells us in Psalm 113 that all the days of your life were marked out ahead of time before any one of them to come to pass. Got saw you. If you knew you. Just like you knew Jeremiah isn't it to know that I'm known? for the creator of the universe by almighty God if he sees and he knows every one of my days even before there was one of them he knew everything about my life and I want you to see this morning is that you and me just like Jeremiah. You are God's one-of-a-kind design. is one-of-a-kind design Some kind of Posse, right? You're unique just like everybody else. Think about that you laugh later.
But it's got it. It's really true. You are you're a one-of-a-kind design?
I wonder for a second.
Ephesians chapter 2 is is a pretty powerful passage of scripture Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the New Testament and doom and gloom tones. Listen to this. In the trespasses and sins and what you want to watch a group of people who put their trust in Jesus you are not followers of him. The spirit does not work in the sons of Disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh carrying out the desires of her body in the mind and we were by Nature children of Wrath.
That means there's like you and I deserve God's Wrath for arson.
Actually credibly solemn truth. Just like everyone else what we deserve his Wrath. But then it verse 4. Call Nick Saturn and he says listen, that was true. But but God the big butt in your Bible you can surf but if you want to is Huger says but God being rich in Mercy because of the great love we sing about the
together with Christ
Sing because he knew me way before and he knew what he had for me. And so he redeemed Me by Grace you have been saved in the in raised us up with him seated us with him in the Heavenly places in Christ. Jesus gift of God. Not a result of works. So that no one can boast.
Paul lays out if we truly are. How do you say is that what it really means to be a Christian? It's that you put your face in this grave that got offers you in Jesus Christ for your salvation nearly every song this morning. And there's this General call on all of humanity to trust Jesus and to have this become true of them to believe on the Lord Jesus and be made free then look at verse 10. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them this verse in the $0.01. You could look at it as an extension of this called to believe in Jesus. Now, we're all supposed to do the same types of good works right bra supposed to love people. Would you agree? Love God glorify Jesus disciples. If you know what that word is in the Greek. It's the word play. Am I? Recognize an English word. That sounds like that. Can you think of it? poem AMA means a masterpiece a work of art unique creation. You are God's work of art you you are. Every poem Every work of art as something unique to contributing to communicate, doesn't it? You're prepared for where his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. Which God did what he prepared when? Beforehand for Jeremiah the call was to be a prophet right before it before I formed you in the womb Jeremiah. I knew you and I would appoint you to be a prophet to the Nations.
I believe it's the same for you and for me, he's uniquely created you and appointed you just like Jeremiah consecrated you for something unique. Acts 17:26 says that every person of every nation of mankind with God made us to live on the face of the Earth determined and he determined the predetermined be a lot of times and periods of time that we would live and where we would live why because he had prepared good things for you to do in that moment at that place beforehand. He knew you he knows you your his one-of-a-kind design. your life dreaming about it. He created you in Christ Jesus when he prepared you.
He's been dreaming about your life before.
Before you were created and he's made YouTube.
stairs like you he knows you and he's destined you for great things. A lot of us no matter how many times we hear that and maybe many of us and maybe heard that our entire life. It's really hard to believe and actually live at I really truly at Heart level believe and understand the gods made me uniquely for something. Jeremiah struggles with this Before I knew you verse 5 before you were born. I consecrated you. I appointed you a prophet to the Nations and Jeremiah look at is responsive or 6 then I don't know how to speak. You mean you're making me a profit. We read in the first three verses we kind of skipped over it. But Jeremiah comes from a family of priests. Am I going to be a prophet? I can't speak. I'm young.
But the Lord said to me.
Don't say I'm just a year. Further all to whom I send you you shall go and whatever I command you to remind you still speak. God's response to do don't give me that. I've had you in mind long before you were even formed in the womb and I'm the one who designed you and I'm telling you this is who you are. You need to live out who I say that you are.
He says don't be afraid of them from with you to deliver you declares the Lord, you know, maybe like Jeremiah you convince yourself. There's nothing really truly special about who you are and I'm too young. I'm too old and my significant my taxes aren't that extraordinary and an even if we were convinced of who God made us to be man that I live in a small town. My mind is it?
we get caught in the haze of ordinary life and we we just settle for modest expectations of what God might have for us rather than maybe the dreams that he's been dreaming for you. The truth is even if you may not feel that you are more unique than you think. You're more unique than you think miss you travel just a little bit. You're going to find every landscape is different no matter where you go around the world, right? Let alone the People You Meet no two are the same. I mean that that's easy to pick out isn't it? Everyone is different and unique and God doesn't make generic cruise ship art. You're his poiema. You're his work of art yours masterpiece. is created you at with good works in mind for you to do an accomplished any crafts every one of us as a one-of-a-kind utterly unique e r e r reproducible person consider the snowflake talking about snowflakes. Everyone's unique amount of random ice crystals in 1 winter storm blowing through Northern Indiana some winter. every single snowflake that falls Has a different formation of crystals in it that was shaped by the unique if you talk to scientists and people who study the weather, they'll tell you because of the unique microclimate in which that little snowflake lived around it everything else around it shaped it uniquely as something different than every other the entire world in every snow storm in all time. Thanks for your life that God hasn't wasted any unique microclimate of your life good and bad he can and will use that in his plan and how he's doing. What his Destiny is for you and you for me and Jeremiah grew up in a life was chaos and everyone in God.
And yet God uses that the shape him and even when he says I'm too young. I can't do this. I can't speak by God's grace as he steps into it. He's empowered actually to be incredibly bald prophet.
What is it for you? What is it for you friend? Your Almighty God's work of art you are he has dreams for your life. And for mine, when you become a Christian and you turn to Jesus in a sense God is restoring the true you he created you to be. Think about that from the perspective of Eternity.
Before you were born before you were formed even in your mother's womb the twinkle in your eye so to speak. God knew you your dreams for your life. He formed you in fashion do he knew you and then he formed you in your mother's womb and and he allowed every situation that you were born into he may not have it may not have been according to his will in Defence of his moral.
He is playing these had dreams for you from Before Time. I wonder when you stand before almighty God one day. Cuz you well, there's a day circled in red on your calendar on my calendar where we have an appointment with our maker. Hey will give an account to Jesus for a life. I wonder what will the question be. Will it be more like Jesus? question 1 Romans 8:29 where we're being conformed into the image of Christ. This kinda was really popular not too long ago with his old bracelets that said wwjd. What would Jesus do? Why were you more like Jesus Why didn't
I think it's the wrong acronym. WGAL
you know that one night. Let me get it to you instead of the question. Why weren't you more like Jesus? I wonder if the question might be think it's kind of profound. What is the question is? Why weren't you more like you? I could got actually created you to be who he actually had dreamed you to be an eternity past. If you knew you would be in eternity, why weren't you more like you? HW JL means how would Jesus live?
If he had your nine to five. If you had your spouse your kids if you lived in your house in your neighborhood. How would Jesus live if he were you being conformed to the image of Christ isn't so much about becoming like him in every way in the sense that I'm a carpenter and I die on a cross and all that. It's being formed into who he's created you to be like Christ in in that perfectly Emma workmanship sense.
Jeremiah did that I mean, what would Jesus do you put on your pair of pants in the morning and rest of your money discipline?
When we become more like Jesus is our personalities.
Doesn't decrease you with increases in the very. Best way and I'll let me say this understanding and embracing who you uniquely are. And I like personality test whatever else it doesn't excuse your sin. It doesn't excuse you to say well, that's just how I am. Doesn't work. Sorry cuz that's not who you are. Excusing your sin and saying that that's just who I am what was actually designed you to be somebody uniquely like Jesus, but in the sense of your true self, it doesn't excuse for you arm explains. Some things certainly doesn't excuse you.
Friends who are his one-of-a-kind design and your created with a Divine Destiny in mine. You try to unpack that a little bit, you know, the destiny has without term means here's one definition from a dictionary of Destiny is the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future. We sang this morning from life's first cry to final breath. Jesus commands my what my destiny will happen that are necessary to happen to a particular person or thing in the future Jeremiah's Design Your Design points to your destiny. You're a one-of-a-kind design and you have a Divine Destiny in mind and how you been created.
In Jeremiah Wheatley read about this in verses 8 through 10. What kind of Destiny God has for him? He is talked about how he's created in a new him in his room and then he tells him that he's to be a planter and a prophet who plants and build things with his words. But this planting and building what happened on neutral ground in order to plant. He's going to have to plow up some things that have grown where they shouldn't have in order to build. There be some things that need to be torn down and removed. It won't always be easy work, but it'll be good work. And not everyone will appreciate what Jeremiah is doing and living out who God called him to be. In fact, most people don't appreciate God called him to be.
But then the last God designed them for specific person purpose. Look at verse 8. Got those Jeremiah don't be afraid of them. I'm with you. The deliverer you declares the Lord I'm with you. These are the words. God gives to everyone throughout scripture that he's designed and given a destiny. He says I will be with you. Everyone has chosen to follow him and live into who he's designed them to be. He says I'll be with you. It may be incredibly hard and maybe I will be with you think about it. Think about it Moses. These are the words got to get to Moses when he called me to go to Faroe and tell him let my people go and Moses's like it don't you get it like I'm a murderer. I've run away from Farrell Farrell and it's been 40 years. Moses
Be with you I'll be with you. How about Joshua who succeeds Moses? He was convinced the most issues were way too big for him to fill yet. God says be strong and courageous do not be terrified. I will be with you wherever you go.
I'll be with you or Solomon when he was convinced. He couldn't live up to David's Legacy got this island and I will be with you that would have Jesus to his disciples.
As You Go Make Disciples, I will be with you always even to the end of the age. What does use you live in to God created you to be he will be with you if he continues to say that to all of us I'll be with you. I designed you for a purpose. I designed you for a destiny first Shore Destiny certain things to you. And you alone to do if you will let me continue to form you and to make you I'll help you step into that is what God says. What was true for Jeremiah then is true for us to you. You're more unique than you think in the god of the universe has designed you and the same way that you have a unique fingerprint your life has a unique design. Every one of us does and all of our Lives intersect in different ways to different degrees but none of our lives are the same. Is Psalm 139 I mentioned this earlier, but let me read it to you verses 14 through 16. The song that says I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made wonderful are your Works Lord? My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you and I was being made in secret intricately woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance formed for me. When is yet there were none of them?
Let me read this and tell me if you think there is any significance in it acts 13:36. Does this for David after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation fell asleep and was laid with his father's
it seems pretty insignificant. But when you really think about it it what it's saying is.
David went home. Take me to believe he has those things planned out for you and I as well and the guy who formed use committed to Fords the future with you.
We start to wrap up here. Let me ask you something to eat for the Great American eclipse. August 21st 2017
It was a total solar eclipse with in a band that spanned across the entire contiguous United States. Did you get any of those glasses and walk outside and look up at the look up at the sun? Right? See the eclipse? And I even President Trump that I had Jody I had a picture of you out there, but I didn't put it up there. I was kind to you but we had pictures of all of us just kind of dumb. We looking up and smiling at the sun with these goofy glasses on.
But around here who's kind of cool.
There were some though that were in the band maybe you wouldn't remember this word in the totality of the eclipse that I believe like down into Tennessee would have been the closest to us you could have went into the totality of the eclipse. And if you were watching the broadcast of the smaller bands, I don't remember what it was around here, you know, 77% 67% and it just got higher those who got closer, but it might sound like even a totality.
Is like 95 97% It seemed a little bit overplayed, you know, it was it was dark. It was great, but it was just it wasn't that great.
Get the people who were in totality who it entered into it. They were astounded different experience themselves in.
You just get home look up YouTube videos. Some of them cried about it.
in the totality of the eclipse
bring that up blood. Because I think there's a lot of us. We kind of live in that 67 7787 97% of maybe what it is God has for us and we're unwilling to step fully in to that totality of what he has designed before and he's created you to be
And I'm inviting you over these next six weeks to step in the totality to get in your car and drive a little ways and get there with me. What are some steps you can take for that end? First off I'll give you two. If you're not a follower of Jesus, ultimately what this all boils down to for you is nothing more than a little bit of stuff how it might be helpful and there's all kinds of self-help you can get it everywhere. But the reality is we can't help ourselves. Jesus is the one who helped says, he's the one who's created us. He's the one who's back here looking from eternity past and future. He sees you he knows you even before you were created and he has good works prepared for you. is poema
and the first work he has for you is that you would trust him? In fact, it's all over scripture. It's all over the place. This is one of his Commandments first John 3:23. This is his commandment. Excuse me that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another just to see if commanded us.
He commands all people everywhere to repent I'm telling you if you would trust Jesus Christ turn your first step of taking The Stephen store in to totality trust Jesus Christ. You don't know me. You don't know my story. You don't know how messed up it is you talk about a snowflake and that'll microclimate. My microclimate was like a raging hurricane for all of my life, and I am royally messed up.
Jesus knows two chairs And he promises.
To work all of those things. However, awful, they might be things you've done things been done to you. He promises I'm telling you in Jesus name he promises to use those. To work them for good and to forge your future towards the destiny he has for you. Is big enough to overcome all of that? You simply need to trust him. You simply need to trust them. If that's the only thing you need to do Jesus answered. He said this is the work of God that you believe in him whom he has sent leave friend for your trust in Jesus Christ know if you know him and after you do that two things one put your thin away and follow him. And then consider stepping in this reality and I would challenge you get involved in a life group. If you aren't already because over the next six weeks we're going to be looking at these things and there's there's a questions even in your in your bulletin insert there that that build off of the things were going to be talking about that will help you along with a group of other people begin to take steps into who God has designed you to be so get connected and then the third piece you might consider this. Have a date set for this yet. But as we finish this stuff we're going to do like a Saturday morning seminar of a primer on how to really step into this even further so that you'll hear details about that coming soon. But I would I would I would encourage you to consider that as we get closer.
I'm going to I'm going to invite the worship team to come forward. And let me let me pray father. We thank you for Jesus. I thank you Lord that you you knew me. You knew each one of us. Before we were even formed or even thought of by our parents or grandparents or anyone you saw us you knew us and the seasons 210 says we were yours and we are your poem that your workmanship for created for good works that you prepared well in advance for us to do in to accomplish. Dunes I pray for those who never trusted you that today might be the day is not hear my voice that they turn from their sin and Jesus if we put their faith in you just have to believe that knowledge in prayer to the Lord that that you need him that you need a savior. repent of your sins that means to turn from it and Trust Jesus to make you knew he will he promises to Good morning, first for the rest of us that you helped us to live fully into the you've designed us to be help us to discover those things. This isn't a selfish Endeavor. But this is done rightly lord. It's it's an Endeavor. That's if it's meant to bring greater. Glory Jesus to you to live fully into who you created us to be so that you would receive much much more Glory from our lives. Lord we love you. We thank you for Jesus. We pray all of this through him. amen