NVCC Vision 2014

vision 2014Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18. As we begin a fresh, New Year here’s my vision for New Venture Christian Church for 2014.

 

1. LAUNCH AN AGGRESSIVE OUTREACH TO OUR COMMUNITY. We are here to help people who are living far from God come to understand God, connect with God, and pursue a growing adventure with him. We are not here for property and buildings. We are here for people who need a personal walk with Jesus Christ. Our focus in 2014 will be reaching the people of our community in an accelerated manner.

 

Our first outreach to them is a three part direct mail campaign. Part one will go out in a couple weeks announcing to our neighbors around our new ministry center, “Under new management.” The second mailing will go out a week following the first introducing our community to our new teaching series for 2014 called “The Story” beginning February 9. A follow-up piece will go out a couple weeks after that reintroducing them to “The Story and inviting them to join us for this adventure through the Bible in 2014.

 

We will initiate other outreach efforts to the community during 2014. However, the number one way to reach the unreached of our community is YOU. More people, and I say more people by far, come to connect with New Venture through the invitation of someone who is already a part of it, than any other way. You are the key to reaching our community. Sure, you can’t do everything but you can do something. You can identify the people in your circle of influence that are not connected with God and intentionally pray for them and seek ways to point them toward God and the church.

 

We have been given a mission, every one of us. That mission is to partner with God in building his family, in bringing those who are living without hope and salvation, to Jesus. It is the calling of every follower of Jesus. May we in 2014 be more serious about reaching out to the unreached than we have ever been before. May we pray for lost people like we have never prayed before? May we connect with those who don’t know Christ like we have never connected before? May we plant seeds in the hearts of those who are distant from God like we have never planted before? And may we allow God to use us to direct them to him and the church like we have never allowed before.

 

This is why we exist. We exist to reach the unreached, to build the family of God, to redirect lost people to the Savior, to bring hope to the hopeless. This was the reason Jesus came to earth. This is the work that he devoted his earthly existence to, seeking and saving the lost. May we be about the Masters business with undivided hearts and persistent passion?

 

Here’s a personal goal for you: Each one bring one.

Another personal goal: Each one win one.

 

2. DEVELOP AND LAUNCH A WORLD MISSION MINISTRY

 

As I have already affirmed, we are sent to bring others into God’s family.    The moment I become part of God’s family He wants me to share the good news with others. 

God has given us a message the world needs and it is the greatest message in the world – how to have our past forgiven, how to have a purpose for living, how to have a home in heaven.  To not share that would be criminal. It would mean that I don’t care if they go to hell. 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18 “Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself.  Then God gave us the work of bringing others into peace with him.”  

Then there is the commission of Jesus, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-29)

And who can forget the words of Jesus right before he returned to the father, “You are my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8) We have not been going to the ends of the earth. We have been staying in our comfortable community. It is time to reach out and branch out and go out.

When Jesus gave these instructions where were they?  In Jerusalem!  So what’s he saying?  I want you to start where you are.  Start in your own city.  Start in Midlothian/Richmond Start in Jerusalem.  That’s your city.  He said to start there.

He said but you don’t just stay there, you also do your ministry not just in Jerusalem – you do it in Judea. What’s Judea?  That’s like the county.  That’s like Chesterfield Co. 

Then he says I want you to do it in Samaria.  Samaritans were of a different culture. He’s saying, reach across cultural lines in your community.  That’s our Samaria. 

And he says and you go to the whole world.

He didn’t say go to Jerusalem, then Judea then go to Samaria then go to the ends of the earth.  He said no, you do it all at once.  You go to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the ends of the world. We aren’t doing that. We need to get with the program, the program of Jesus.

The Bible tells us as a church we are to go make disciples of all nations.  He’s not talking to missionaries there.  He’s talking to you and to me!  We’re called to be sent.  Go and make disciples of all nations. 

Here is a quick overview of what our church is planning to do in the next three years when it comes to the world needs. These are baby steps but step we must take.

·              Assemble a world mission leadership team. I would love to hear from you if you are interested in being a part of this team

·              Gather volunteers for a world mission’s adventure in 2014, our first. I would also love for you to contact me if you are interested a missions trip. About a dozen people have already indicated interest in this adventure.

·              Be a real participant in ICOM (International Conference On Missions) 2015 when it comes to our city.

·              With volunteers

·              By having a part in planting seven churches around the world

·              Personally assist in planting one of those churches.

 

Here is a link to the VEF website that can get you connected with ICOM. http://www.vef.cc/

So 2014 is the year when we get serious about the world wide commission of Jesus.

3. ENGAGE IN AN AGGRESSIVE PAY DOWN OF PROPERTY DEBT

This is how it all stacks up. The more aggressive we are with paying down the note, the less interest we pay, (thousands of dollars less) the more equity we build, and the more willingness lenders have when it comes to us taking our next developmental step, a new multipurpose facility. These are indicators that lenders give careful attention to. So the more aggressive we can be the more willingness they will have. And the more equity we build the more ability it gives us to build a facility that has in it more of what we need.

This aggressive pay downbegins with all of us quickly fulfilling the commitments we made to the capital campaign back in May of 2013. The sooner we can get commitments in the quicker we can pay down the note and the more money we can save on interest. If you were not here for the capital campaign or if you were here and did not participate,  you are invited to join the others who are committed to covering the cost of our new property and ministry center. Send me an email at steve@relaxedchurch.com and I will get you started.

Let’s make this debt short term.

4. SOLIDIFY THE PLAN AND PROCESS OF MOVING TOWARD THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR FIRST MULTI USE FACILITY

On our ninth anniversary I shared a dream that I would like to repeat. Since it is a dream it is somewhat lofty. The dream is that we might be able to break ground on our 10th anniversary, September 7, 2014, for our next facility. You know and I know that God will have to perform another miracle for that to happen. But hey, He’s did it in 2013 and He can do it in 2014.

 

Specifically speaking, for that to happen, we will need three things:

1. A huge amount of our current debt paid down.

2. A master plan on our property designed by a civil engineer that will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

3. And we will need to have about 75-100 more people, who believe in the message and mission of New Venture Christian church and who are supporting it financially, to enable us to afford that step.

So, that’s my vision for New Venture for this New Year, an accelerated evangelistic outreach to the community, the development of a long overdue world mission ministry, aggressive pay down of our property note, and the development of a plan for our first multi-purpose facility.

Now, join me in turning dreams into reality.

 

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New Venture’s Vision for the Future

visionBefore we talk about our vision for the future, let me teach you a Hebrew word. The word is Chazown. It is a word that means “a dream, a revelation, or a vision.” You can find Chazown 34 times in the Old Testament. Proverbs 29:18 is the best known verse containing Chazown. Look at how this Hebrew word is translated into English in some popular versions of the Bible.

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint. (NIV)

                Where there is no vision, the people perish. (KJV)

                When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. (NLT)

                Without prophetic vision people run wild. (GW)

                Where there is no prophecy people cast off restraint. (NRSV)

                If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves. (MES)

No matter how you translate it, without Chazown, vision, revelation, divine guidance, people will be confused, scattered, unfocused and easily distracted.

So I want to set before you my vision for New Venture Christian Church not just for the next year but for the next five years. This has been burning in my soul for months now. Here it is in two words.

My vision for New Venture Christian Church for the next five years is to DOUBLE EVERYTHING.

Here are a few examples of what that would look like in its fulfillment. Five years from now:

200 to 250 in regular attendance

2 worship services with 2 worship bands

20 baptisms or more per year

10 small groups

50% of our people in ministry

5 ministries that we are involved in in the community

feeding 200 kids each week in our BPL ministry

60 kids in our children’s ministry

25 teens in our youth ministry

2 foreign mission involvements

our own building that gives us our own identity

You say, how will all this happen? We all know, vision isn’t worth the time it takes to dream it or write it or share it if there are no legs to it. So here are the legs to this vision. This is what it will take to see this vision happen. This is the way to move it from dream to reality, from words to wonderful results, from concepts to completion.

The first leg is PRAYER.

Spiritual work depends on spiritual tools. No spiritual tool is as important or powerful as prayer. God can do more in a tiny fraction of a second than I can accomplish in the next five years, in the rest of my life. He can do it bigger, better and more effectively than I can ever imagine. So the question becomes, how can we somehow influence God to be more engaged and moving in the bringing about of our vision for the future? The answer is prayer.

I would even like to step it up a notch or two when it comes to prayer, are you ready for this, and add fasting as well. Fasting, in the Bible, means not to eat or self-denial. Fasting is to choose not to partake of food or fleshly needs to give yourself more fully to prayer. A normal fast involves fasting from food but not from water. I would like to ask you to join me to pray daily and fast one day a week for our vision for the next 30 days.

Leg number two is a PLAN

Without a plan vision will go nowhere. Everyone can dream and talk wild and lofty thoughts, but how do you make it all happen? How do you turn dreams and vision into reality? With a plan.

So we are asking and commissioning every ministry team and ministry area to take the next two months to develop a plan to double their ministry in five years. What are the specific steps you will take to double the size and impact of your ministry area? We are talking about a well thought out and written out plan. So if you are the leader of any ministry area or ministry team, that is connected with New Venture, you are hereby commissioned as certified planners in the “double everything” vision for New Venture Christian Church.

Leg three is PEOPLE.

Vision can only become reality with people. Doesn’t that make sense? With boots on the ground! Of course, God can do anything he chooses to do, but that’s not how God works. God always works through people. When God wants to get something done he has always used people. And God wants to use you as a key part of carrying out his mission and vision for New Venture Christian Church.

Here are three things that are needed from all of us to make vision reality.

1. Consistent Worship. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do.” Consistent worship is so important and here are some reasons why.

It provides you with balanced spiritual nourishment. On the other hand, inconsistency in worship robs us of balanced spiritual nourishment. Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) When we fail to consistently worship we are robbing ourselves of what we need most for our spiritual development.

Consistent worship says that we really do love God and want to worship him. It says I am so grateful for his love and faithfulness and I want to take every opportunity I can to let him know and to declare it to him and everybody else. How can I do otherwise? God honors and blesses that.

Consistent worship reveals that we really do love Jesus and the church he died for. The Bible says, “Jesus loves the church and gave his life for it.” How does my attendance say that I love the church? Because worshiping God is the starting point when it comes to loving and building up the church and accomplishing its mission in the world. Most people think at all starts with work. Worship must precede work. If it doesn’t we are trying to make it happen in our own strength.

Consistent worship also builds momentum. If there is one thing we will need to move to the next level and then to the next and the next it is momentum. Nothing is a momentum starter and booster like a packed house every Sunday. Have you ever noticed the energy when that happens?

So to double everything it begins with everyone who considers New Venture to be your church to place worship at the top of your weekly priorities.

2. The second of the big three when it comes to people is everyone involved in service. Serving says I want to be a part of the body of Christ the way God designed it to be not the way I wanted to be. God designed the church body like the human body. Why do you have body parts? To serve as functioning parts of the body. If you are a part of the church, the body of Christ, he expects you to act like it. That means, function as a viable and contributing part of the body. Serving says I want to be in this body what God expects me and designed me to be in it

3. That brings us to the third big three people need, generous people. Here is the bottom line, it takes money to turn vision into reality. It takes generous people. Not much in today’s world comes free.

Generosity with our money says, “I believe Jesus knows what he is talking about when he said, on more than one occasion, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’” I may not understand it all, I may not know how it will all work out but if he said it then I believe it and I will make it the standard of my life. I will make it the foundation of my existence and my relationship with him and the church.

Generosity also says, “I believe the Bible is true and I will obey it when it instructs me to bring the whole tithe into God’s storehouse.”Again, I may not understand how it will all work out, but I will obey the teaching of God when it comes to tithing.

A third statement generosity makes is,” I will trust the Lord to work it all out.” Jesus said, “He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern.” (Matthew 6:33)  The biggest reason why we aren’t more generous is that we don’t believe God will take care of us. We don’t trust him. We would rather handle it ourselves and trust in ourselves.

So we can only turn vision into reality when all of us who consider New Venture our home church, step up to the plate financially.

So we pray and pray and pray, with fasting, develop a plan to turn vision into reality and then we, the people, must be the boots on the ground and hearts in the action to flesh it out.

And the final leg is that we must PERSIST, even when we don’t feel like it.

Make this your marching order, Galatians 6:8-9, “Don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.”

Don’t give up! Don’t give up! Don’t give up!

Six years and growing again

This Sunday, October 3, marks the sixth anniversary of the launch of New Venture Christian Church. What a ride it has been. We have been through some enormous highs and some deep lows. To say it has been a journey of adventure would be a huge understatement. It has been a journey beyond any adventure we have ever experienced before. Some of the journey has been welcomed, other parts have been dreaded and endured. Never the less, we have grown and developed as followers of Jesus through it all.

And I would not be honest with you if I were unwilling to admit that the sixth year has been the most challenging of them all. We have faced huge obstacles during the past twelve months, some we understand and expected, other have caught us completely by surprise. We have gained a few families during that time and have lost even more. Some, who have been with us most of the journey, decided that the new church setting was no longer for them and have sought spiritual pastures in other settings.

The great news is that the church has been strong enough to weather the challenges, hard knocks and surprises. Our people have matured to the point of stepping up to the plate and providing whatever is necessary to pull us through the rough spots in the road. We have sought the Lord endlessly and the advice and counsel of outside sources. In so doing, we have remained faithful to the purpose and mission of NV, reaching the unchurched of our community and being the authentic presence of Christ in our community. As a result, we have bottom out and turn upward again with renewed excitement and enthusiasm. We are once again focusing on our purpose for existence, helping people discover a growing adventure with the God of the universe.

No doubt the road ahead is still cluttered with obstacles. Some old challenges will continue, and new ones are waiting in line. But we have a group of Christ followers who love the Lord and New Venture with a depth of devotion that will not quit. They will pay the price of sacrifice, however high or low it might be, to assure the continuing witness and effectiveness of NVCC in our community and beyond.  I am proud and privileged to lead such a group of courageous disciples.

NV Celebrates First Anniversary

Can you believe it? It was just a year ago that New Venture relocated and relaunched at Tomahawk Creek Middle School. What a blessing the facility has been. It is so suited for use by a church. In fact, at the dedication of the TC I was asked to have the dedication prayer. I was seated on stage next to the architect who drew the plans for the building. I leaned over and commented to him that the building was so user friendly for someone like a church to use. He responded, “We designed it that way.” The county is now designing their buildings to be rented by churches and other not for profit groups. They intentionally want them to be user friendly. TCMS is certainly that and more for New Venture.

I want to say that 2009 has been a great year of meeting at TC. We have used the building for a number of “first” for our church family including our first official “fellowship meal.” I have sprinkled this post with a few pictures from the year.

But I want to add that 2010 and beyond will be far more tremendous than we have in any way experienced to this point. The future is so wide open and full of ministry opportunity. God has raised up this church to be Christ in this community and we will experience that to ever increasing degrees as we move with anticipation into the future. I am so excited about all that the future holds.

The only disadvantage we have identified about the TCMS facility is its location. It is off the beaten path, so we are depending on everyone to continually get he word out. Talk up the church, clearly explain our location and consistently invite others to join us for our gatherings. Word of mouth is our best marketing plan.

Does my life matter?

We are taking a little time to answer the three most important questions in life. The first one is addressed in my previous blog posting. It is the question of existence: WHY AM I ALIVE? The second key question of life is the question of significance – DOES MY LIFE MATTER? Isaiah asked this question in Isaiah 49:4a. He said, “My work all seems so useless. I’ve spent my strength for nothing and for no purpose at all.” You were made for meaning, and if you don’t have a meaning and purpose in your life and you don’t know why God put you on this planet, life doesn’t make sense.

You are going to go through life living at one of three levels: The first and lowest level is the Survival level. The Survival level is really where most live today. They’re just in survival mode. They are just barely getting by. They’re just existing. They’re not living. They are controlled by their circumstances. They put in their time and live for the weekend. They’re just in survival mode.

A step up from that, a better way to live, rather than the Survival level, is the Success level. Honestly, this is where some of you are. By the world’s standards, you’ve got it made. You’ve got a comfortable living, compared to the rest of the world; you’re extremely wealthy, compared to the rest of the world. So you have possessions, you have freedom, you have good health and you may have prestige and you may be quite successful. But today there are a lot of books coming out that say things like, “If I’m so successful, how come I don’t feel fulfilled?” The reason is, it takes more than success and it takes more than status to satisfy.

You need to go to the third level of living, which is the Significance level. Not a Survival, not a Success but step up to the level of Significance. How do you live at the Significance level? Well, you get there through three things:

#1: You know the meaning of life – that gives Significance.

#2: You know how much you matter to God – that gives you Significance.

#3: You know God’s vision for your life and you’re living it out and that
gives you Significance.

If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at the next couple of verses from the Bible. God says, “I am your Creator. You were in My care, even before you were born.” (Isaiah 44:2) God was caring for you even in His mind, as He thought you up. The next verse says,”You (talking about God) scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book.” That’s how much you matter to God. He paid so much attention to your life that every detail was recorded in His book, before you even took a breath. That’s how much you matter to God. Do you matter? – Yes. He made you. He made you to love you and the Bible says you do matter.

And God wants you to know how much you matter to Him. God wants you to know the meaning of life. He wants you to know His vision/purposes. And He’s done a lot to help you out in learning these. In the next few weeks we are going to be going there in our Sunday gatherings. We are going to come to understand God’s vision for each of us.

God has extremely long-range plans for you. Look at the next verse, “His plans endure (what?) forever; His purposes last (what?) eternally.” Now listen, the vision we’re going to talk about the next few weeks is not just for the rest of your life on earth, it is for the rest of your life forever and ever, and ever and ever and ever. Because God’s vision for your life is eternal.

God says I have plans and purposes for your life, but they don’t end at death. Because when you die, your heart is going to stop and that will be the end of your body, but that’s not the end of you. You’re far more than a body. You were made to last forever. The Bible says this, Psalm 33:11, “His purposes last eternally. God says, ”I was made to last forever.” I was made to be loved by God, and I was made to last forever. This life is not all there is. One of the biggest ways you can waste your life is thinking all there is, is here and now. You’re going to spend far more time on that side of death, than you do on this side. On this side, you may get to live 60,70,80 or 90 years or so. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. The time you spend on earth really isn’t that very long.

It’s like if you stretched out a line around the world the first millimeter of that line would not even equal how tiny your life is compared to all the time you’re going to spend in eternity. You were made for eternity and life is preparation for eternity. You’re not going to find that in a self-help book, but it’s the truth. Life is preparation for eternity and in the next few weeks we’re going to talk about how you prepare, because this is not all there is. Oh, no. God’s purposes for you are eternal. They are forever. This is the key to the meaning of life, realizing that life is preparation for eternity.

The Bible says this. 2 Corinthians 5:1, “When this tent we live in – our body here on earth – is torn down. God will have a house in Heaven for us to live in. A home He himself has made, which will last forever.” You want to know how much you matter to God. Well, I’ll tell you – you matter so much to God; He wants to keep you with Him for the rest of eternity. For the rest of eternity – that’s how much you matter to God. He wants to keep you with Him forever. That gives meaning. Look at this verse, “Leave your impoverished confusion and live and walk up the street to a life with meaning.” (Proverbs 9:6)
So the question of existence – why am I alive? God answers it by saying, “I made you to love you, that’s why you’re alive.” In the question of Significance – does my life matter? God says, “Oh yeah you matter. You matter so much that I intend on keeping you with Me for the rest of eternity.”

How does that make you feel?

Made to be loved

Beginning Sunday, October 26, I am going to spend a few weeks in our Sunday gatherings addressing “God’s purpose for the rest of your life.” To get us thinking in that direction let’s talk about life’s three greatest questions:  1) The question of existence – why am I alive; 2) the question of significance – does my life matter?  3) the question of intention – what is my purpose? Let’s take them one at a time in three separate blog entries. This is a little lengthy but if you miss the ending you miss it all.

QUESTION OF EXISTENCE: WHY AM I ALIVE?

This first question, the question of existence – “why am I alive?” is not exactly a new question. It was asked thousands of years ago. In the Bible Jeremiah asked, “Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow, to end my life in disgrace?” (Jer 20:18) There have probably been times in your life when you felt that way, too. Was I born just to have a bunch of problems? Was I put on this planet just to have heartache, grief and stress?

Arthur Ashley Brilliant says “my life is a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.” Jack Hanley wrote, “I hope life isn’t a joke, because I don’t get it.” A guy named Dr. Hugh Moorhead, who is the Chairman at the Department of Philosophy at the Northeastern University, once wrote to 250 well-known philosophers, scientists, writers and intellectuals of the world and asked them, “What is the purpose of Life.” And then he published all of their responses in a book. The book is quite discouraging and depressing. Some of these people offered their best guesses. Some admitted they made up a purpose in life. Some admitted they didn’t have any idea as to what the purpose of life was and if Dr. Moorhead knew, would he please let them know. Carl Yung, the famous psychiatrist said, “I don’t know the meaning, the purpose of life, but it looks as if something was meant by it.” Isaac Asimov wrote, “As far as I can see, there is no purpose.” Joseph Taylor authored “I Have No Answers To The Meaning of Life And I No Longer Want to Search For Any.”

You know, those are tragic statements, because life without purpose isn’t a life worth living. It is no coincidence that the suicide rate in our society has gone up. It’s now the No. 2 killer of teenage students. You see, if you take God out of the equation, you don’t really have very many alternatives. You can try the MYSTICAL APPROACH – the mystical approach says “look within and find your purpose within.” You know if that really worked, all of us would know our purpose. I’m sure you’ve tried that. I have and I bet everyone else has, too. And I didn’t find it there. It takes more than looking within.

Oprah Winfried did a show a while back on discovering your purpose of life. At every single break during that hour show, she would say “Now, come back because we’re going to tell you your purpose.” And every time they would come back and did they tell you it? No! They didn’t even come close. They didn’t even attempt it. In fact, as the credits were rolling at the end of that show, she kind of looks at the credits and says, “And remember, you’ve got to figure it out by yourself.” Looking within is not the answer.

Then you can try the PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH – the survivalist says, “The purpose of life is just to stay alive.” In other words, live as long as you can. The Naturalist says, “The purpose of life is just to perpetuate itself.” In other words, you’re just here for biological reasons. Rap artist, Ice Tea, wrote, “The only reason we’re here is to reproduce. Just chill out and reproduce. Keep the species alive.” Doesn’t that just motivate you to want to jump out of bed in the morning? It may motivate you to jump in to bed, I don’t know. The Hedonist writes, “The purpose of life is pleasure – have fun, party-hardy.” The Materialist says, “Life is all about the acquisition of things.” You’re life is measured by the things you own. You know the problem with that is that he who dies with the most toys, still dies. And so, these are not really satisfying answers.

Or you can try the SELF-HELP APPROACH. You can go into any bookstore and find countless books that talk about discovering your life purpose. They all are basically the same thing. They say the same thing; “You’ve got to invent your purpose.” You’ve got to create your own purpose in life. And they all give the same basic approach –“ discover your dreams, go after your goals, have some ambitions, dream big dreams, aim high, believe you can achieve, have faith, figure out what you’re good at, never give up, involve other people.” Now those are all good advice and they will, if you do those things, make you a success in life. But being a success and knowing your purpose in life are not the same thing. You can be a raving success in life and still never know, “What on earth am I here for?” What did God put me on this earth for? You see, the purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment. It’s far greater than your own happiness, even your own peace of mind. You were made by God and you were made for God and you were put here for His purposes. And until you understand that, life isn’t going to make sense.

Okay, why does God want us here? Why are we alive? Why are we on this planet? Is there a reason? Well, the Bible says this in Proverbs 16.4, “The Lord has made everything for His own purpose.” It’s for His purpose. Now God has never made anything without a purpose. Every rock has a purpose, every plant has a purpose, every animal has a purpose and if you’re alive, you have a purpose. If you want to know if God still has a purpose for your life, check your heart. If it’s still beating, God still has a purpose for you here on earth.

So what is God’s purpose, God’s motive for our existence? Check this out. ”Long before He laid down the earth’s foundation, He had us in His mind and settled on us as the focus of His love to be made whole and holy by His love.” (Eph 1:4) Notice the words, “the focus of His love”. If you forget everything else don’t miss this. As we begin our discussion of God’s vision for the rest of your life, I want you to understand this, God says He made you, to love you. You were created to be loved by God. God is love and God wanted to create something to love and so He created you. He didn’t need you. He wasn’t lonely. But He made you in order to love you. He didn’t need you, He wanted you. And before we can talk about anything else, you have to understand this is what on earth you’re here for – to be loved by God.

How does that make you feel?