Today's Lectionary Text
2 Timothy 4:7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Hi my name is Jaylie Postlewait! This fall I will be a Junior Communication at Emporia State University. I am an avid coffee drinker who plays board games and likes to hang out with my friends in my free time. Campus Ministries has been the place that I have grown and developed my faith.
I was going to write about empathy vs sympathy and the importance of knowing the difference and how to be empathetic while living in this broken world that is today. The video that I think explains it best is an animation of Brené Brown’s speech on Empathy. It is short and a great watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw But I, as many teens are these days, was scrolling through tik tok the other day and I heard about 30 seconds of a sermon and I knew that I needed to watch it. So I scrolled through the comments in hopes that someone would have the link and there it was. The sermon was by Pastor Rick Warren and it is titled “If I Could Only Teach You One Thing: Why God Made You”.
This sermon was an hour and 15 minutes long but was so easy to listen to because it was something that I have wondered about my whole life. I have always been insecure about who I am, what I am doing, and have asked myself the question why am I here and what is my purpose countless times. The sermon was so impactful that I felt called to share it with you today.
Pastor Rick goes through the five callings that we have as humans on earth and covers four different purposes that we all have. A common thing that he talked about was that one of the reasons that we are here is to practice for the things that we will be doing in heaven. The first of the 5 callings is God planned me for His pleasure. The Bible states “You God created everything, and it is for Your pleasure that they exist and were created!” (Revelation 4:11b). God created us because He wanted us and He loves us no matter what. He loves us when we are simply being ourselves not just when we are doing religious things. Hosea 6:6 states “I don’t want your sacrifices – I want your love! I don’t want your offerings – I want you to know me!”, and so the first purpose that he states is to know and love God.
The second calling is God formed me for His family. God made each and every one of us so that we could be a part of His family and so that He could show His love. Something that is discussed in the sermon is the idea of a church. I believe that church is just a building, but it hosts a community. Due to COVID-19 we have all seen this. Pastor Rick talks about how the church is a family, and how we need to not only believe in God but to belong to His family. In heaven we are going to be worshiping, loving one another, fellowshipping, and more and while we are here we need to be doing those things. The second purpose that he states is to learn to love others.
This third calling is the one that I was focused on the most: God created me to become like Christ. This is the section of the tik tok that I heard, it is about how when you go to Heaven you are not taking your car, money, job, whatever it may be, you are taking your character and who you have become. God put us here so that we could grow who we are supposed to be. Galatians 5:22-23 lists 9 qualities that Christ possesses: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. Pastor Rick talked about how the way that you strengthen these qualities in yourself is by God testing them. It is a life-long process to become more like Christ, there is not a seminar, a class, or something magic that makes this instantly happen. You must work towards it. The third purpose of life is to grow up spiritually.
The fourth calling is: God shaped me to serve Him. During this part of the sermon he talked about S.H.A.P.E. which stands for: spiritual gift, heart, ability, personality, and experiences. It is important to know that nobody on this earth is created exactly like you and that is a good thing. We all have different gifts, hearts, abilities, personalities, and experiences, and they all shape us into who we are. Ephesians 2:10 says “God made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which He planned in advance for us to live our lives doing”. He made us who we are supposed to be and with that we must go out into the world and do good. In 1 Peter 4:10 it states “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings”. This leads into the fourth purpose of life to serve God by serving others.
The last calling Pastor Rick covers is God made me for a mission. Many of us do not know what our mission in life is and I think that is okay if we are continually talking with God as we search for it. This is important because God is so good and He will be there for us, in Psalm 34:8 the Bible says “Open your eyes and see how good God is! Blessed are you who run to Him”. Nobody in the world will love you as much as God loves you. Run to Him in the good times and in the bad times, He will never fail you! There are many people in the world who are lost, broken, have had bad experiences with religion, etc. and this verse from Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to all of God’s children who may be experiencing hardships: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
Because it makes no difference who you are or where you are from – if you want God and you are ready to do as He says, the door is open.
Thank you for sticking with me through this! If you would like to watch the whole thing here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5xyYI9tNV8&feature=youtu.be
- Jaylie Postlewait
Emporia State Campus Ministry
*More devotions from Emporia State Campus ministry Faith Lab can be found at https://umcmfaithlab.wordpress.com/author/umcmfatihlab/
Prayer for Reflection
Hey God, thank you for allowing me to stumble upon this message and allowing me to share it with all of these people. I ask that you bring peace to whatever hardships people may be facing and please be with everyone. I ask that you allow us to be open to all the teaching that you bring and to let us follow the path that you have created for our lives. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color