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The Calling of the Kingdom

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2021 8:00 am

The Calling of the Kingdom

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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June 25, 2021 8:00 am

Most people know they were put on earth for a reason, but many of them have no idea how to find out what that is. Join Dr. Tony Evans as he focuses on five biblical principles that can point you in the direction of your kingdom calling.

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Most people serve the purposes of people, the purposes of possessions, the purposes of power. Dr. Tony Evans says Christians following the Lord's Kingdom agenda have a higher calling. You are to serve the purposes of God. That means God has a purpose for you to serve. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Today, Dr. Evans will explain that God not only wants us to live an eternal life, but to live a life that's about eternity as he takes a look at the calling of the Kingdom.

Let's join him. We're talking about the Kingdom. The Kingdom is God's rule, God's authority over God's realm through God's people based on God's regulations. His agenda is the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life.

And at the heart of you discovering life in the Kingdom as you live your life on earth is living a life of purpose, living a life of purpose. It reminds me of the true story of Hank Aaron when the Atlanta Braves were playing a preseason game against the New York Yankees. Yogi Berra was catching, and after he taunted Hank Aaron for a moment, he said, Hank, the insignia on the bat is turned the wrong way. Now, those who know baseball know there's writing on the bat that is supposed to face the batter. If you have the writing turned the wrong way, you can break the bat or reverberate against your hands and you won't get full contact with the ball. So he wanted to say, the writing, you're writing on the bat. You got the bat turned the wrong way. Hank Aaron didn't pay attention to him. Hank Aaron kept staring at the pitcher. The next ball that came down the pike, Hank Aaron hit it over the center field fence for a home run.

Hank Aaron ran around first, ran around second, ran around third, came, touched home plate, began to go back to the dugout, stopped halfway to the dugout, and looked back at Yogi Berra. He said, Hey, Yogi, just thought you might want to know I ain't come here to read. See, if you don't know why you hear, voices will distract you from living out the reason why you were created. And that's why verse 36, tucked in this section where Luke, the author of the book of Acts, is writing about the glorious history of Jesus Christ and how it connects with King David, says in this one verse, verse 36, And David, after he served the purposes of God for his generation, fell asleep and underwent decay.

Three things in this verse that if you grab them, better yet, you let them grab you, everything changes because the emptiness of life no longer controls you. The first thing that we're told is David served the purposes of God. David had a lot going for him. He was a poet. He was a singer. He was a writer.

He was king. But when his life is summed up in the New Testament, it says the thing that exemplified David is he served the purposes of God. In other words, there was a divine connection to what he did. You are called as a Christian under the kingdom rule of God to serve his purpose, that is, to glorify his person and advance his program. You are to serve the purposes of God. That means God has a purpose for you to serve. Now, most people, even most Christians today, serve the purposes of people, the purposes of possessions, the purposes of power. They throw in a little piety and hardly get around to serving the purposes of God. God is there. He's in the vicinity, but they're not serving his purpose.

In fact, most people come to church asking God to serve them. Bless me. Do this for me. Do this for me. I need you to do this for me.

I want you to do this for me. It's me. It's me. It's me.

It's me. And they hardly ever get around to is you. Some of you have TVs in your kitchen. If you have a TV in your kitchen, it's probably a small-screen TV, not a big-screen TV, because a TV in your kitchen is designed for you to glance at while you do other things, while you eat, while you cook, while you wash the dishes, while you set the table. You glance up, then you do this, and you glance up, and then you do that. It's there in the room, but it's not there really for you to focus on. It's there for you to glance at in the midst of other activities.

When you really want to focus on a movie or a game, you generally go to the den, because in the den is where the big-screen TV is. Most people today have God in the kitchen. He's in the vicinity while they do other things. And so they'll do a little bit of this and glance at God. They'll do a little bit of that and glance at God. They go to church and glance at God.

They want to keep God in the vicinity while they do other things and God wants to be in the den where the focus is. And the reason why many people do not realize their purpose is because God's in the kitchen. And one of the ways you know you haven't found purpose is that you live a life of discouragement, depression, anxiety, and worry.

If that is how you roll, purpose is missing, because you can overcome a lot if you've got a reason to live. He goes on to say that he impacted his generation. David served the purposes of God, verse 36, says in his own generation. When you have divine purpose, you will impact people. He impacted his generation. That's people. It's a generation of people.

It speaks of the years of a group of people, a generation. He impacted people. Who have you impacted for God lately? Because if you are not involved in some way of impacting people, you've not had divine purpose. David served the purposes of God and his generation felt it. So that raises a question, doesn't it? How do you find your purpose, your calling?

How do you locate it? Some people's purpose is tied to their occupation. In other words, what God wants them to do, they get paid to do as a way of living.

That's for some people. But some people's purpose is not tied to their occupation. The occupation simply allows them to support their purpose. Paul's purpose was to preach the gospel. His occupation was a tent maker. But he used tent making to fuel his calling.

First of all, your purpose will always involve your passion. There'll always be fire. Paul said, woe is me if I don't do it. Jesus says, the zeal of this house has consumed me. Jeremiah said, it's like fire shut up in my bones. That's passion. That's burn. Whatever God wants you to do for Him, He's going to give you burn.

Secondly, your gifting, your gifting. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12, every believer has been gifted to serve God's purposes and advance God's kingdom. If you're here today and you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal sin bearer, you're a Christian, that means God has endowed you with a divine capacity with which to serve Him. He has endowed you with a divine capacity to be used for Him.

Why? Because He has a purpose for you. If you are a Christian, you have a gift. You have a capacity.

You have an ability that God has given you that He wants to use. Third thing, your passion, your ability. Here it is.

Here it is. Very important. Your experiences. You've gone through three things in your life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Most everybody in here has gone through all three. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And God wants to use them for your purpose. First of all, He wants to use the good. The good are the positive things that have happened to you, the positive experiences that you have gone through, the positive things that have come your way. Maybe you've had the unique opportunity for a certain kind of training that has uniquely benefited you. Maybe you've had the opportunity to be raised in a unique kind of family that was so positive that you have a stability that has benefited you.

Maybe you have had certain situations in your life that have just been good things that have happened to you. But let me tell you about Paul. Before he was converted, he was a Jewish scholar. He had risen to the heights of Phariseeism, and he had gone and become part of the Sanhedrin, the leaders. He had memorized the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch.

He had studied under the feet of Gamaliel, one of the leading rabbis of the day. He was a brilliant thinker, and then he got saved. Guess what God did? He took his brilliance and let him write 13 books of the New Testament.

He said, you're going to be my scholar. But he used the good stuff he had and sucked it into his kingdom so that God could use it to advance the church. Because God uses the good things. Let me tell you something else God uses. He uses the bad things. The bad things are the things you've done wrong, the failures, the mistakes, the sins.

Now, don't get me wrong. God doesn't endorse the failures. He doesn't endorse the sins. He doesn't endorse the evil. He doesn't do that.

But when you come around, He's able to use it. In fact, when you look at the people in the Bible who God used, most of them were jacked up. At some point in their life, most of them were messed up. I mean, Moses was a murderer. It took him 40 years to deal with this thing before God could ever use him again in any significant way.

But when God got a hold of him, He let Israel out of Egypt and overran Pharaoh. Sarah was a doubter. She laughed in God's face when God said, you're going to get pregnant at 90. She said, that's a joke. Ha ha ha. God said, when you have your boy, name him Isaac, which means he laughs.

In other words, I got your ha ha ha. But according to Hebrews chapter 11, only when she got faith did God reverse the situation and use her to become a mother of a nation. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with more about how all our experiences are built into God's purpose for our lives. Right now, though, as the Urban Alternative celebrates 40 years of ministry, he's here to share a memory with us. You know, I remember preaching on the street corners when I was in college. I'd go to the bus stops, and while people were waiting for buses, I would stand out in front of them, like it or not, and I would preach the gospel to them and ask for anybody who wanted to accept Christ right there on the street corner. You know, I look back at that and say, did you do that?

And yes, I did, and I would do it every Saturday, go out with some of my classmates, and I'd hit the corner. So I remember that God was laying the groundwork, even in college, in giving me a boldness to proclaim His Word, which has never left me. Dr. Evans and our entire staff continue to be committed to that calling. But your ongoing faithfulness and generosity are what makes it possible. So as our way of saying thanks for your contribution right now, we'd like to send you all six full-length messages in his current teaching series, The Kingdom Life. It'll help you understand more about God's plan for His Kingdom and the part He created for each one of us to play in it. You'll discover how to connect with the power you need to do it and the blessings you receive when you do. Along with it, we'll include a copy of Tony's booklet, The Grace of God.

It explains how the Lord reached out to us long before we thought of reaching back to Him, and how this unbelievable gift is the ultimate answer for those who feel like they just never quite measure up. This special double resource offer is only available for a few more days, so don't wait any longer to request your copy. You can do that online at tonyevans.org or by calling our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222.

Team members are standing by day and night to help you. Again, 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that information after part two of today's lesson.

Let's rejoin Tony. But he can also use the ugly. Ugly are the bad things that happened to you that were not your fault. Somebody else did it to you.

You were abused as a child. That's ugly. Perhaps it was a racial issue that where you were treated unfairly. That's ugly.

Perhaps you were fired and you weren't the one that was wrong. It was the other person. And the truth didn't come out, and that was ugly. It wasn't your fault, but it was bad for you. That's the ugly.

God not only can use the good to show you your purpose, He can not only use the bad, He can use the unfair stuff, the stuff that wasn't your fault, but you've got the repercussions of it. Joseph can tell you about ugly. He was sold into slavery by jealous brothers. He was accused of rape when he didn't do it. He was forgotten in jail.

For 13 years, he got ugly. But all along the 13 years, you know it, the Bible says, But the Lord was with Joseph. But the Lord was with Joseph. But the Lord was with Joseph. But the Lord was with Joseph. Even though it's all ugly, or at least much of it was ugly, unfair. That's not fair. You see, what you have to understand is everything that happens to you has to pass through God's fingers first.

Even the ugly. When his brothers finally were confronting him, and he's now second in command in Egypt, they are scared to death that he's going to order their execution because of what they did to him, and Joseph looks them in the eye and says, You meant it for evil. Genesis 50. But God meant it for good.

Did you catch that? God meant it. God allowed this to happen because he had something else in mind. So let me explain, guys, what God did. He let you sell me into slavery. He let me be accused of rape. He let me be forgotten in prison. And then he explained in Genesis 15 to bring me to this place. He wanted me to be in Egypt. So he let y'all act a fool to get me in Egypt.

He brought me to this place, and then he says, Why? To save the lives of many. Because I'm going to save a bunch of folks' lives because I'm in this position because you sold me in slavery, and that's why I'm in this role right now. In fact, you get to live because I'm in this role right now. In other words, he impacted people.

He impacted people. The next thing is your personality. There's your passion, your gifting, your experiences, and there's your personality, your soul. Everybody's soul is different. You have a unique fingerprint that identifies you.

You're different. God doesn't cancel out who you are to use you. He takes who you are apart from sin to use you.

And then finally, there's opportunity. That's when God connects the mixed masses and opens up a door for you to use it. You say, Well, God hasn't opened up a door for me to use it. You haven't made yourself available to be used. God's not going to waste His time with people who don't want to serve the purposes of God, who only want to serve their own purposes. He's not going to show you where He wants you to go if you're not available to go. You start where you are, you do the little that you can, and you watch Him open other doors. You don't wait for the big thing.

You start with a thing and watch Him get you in your movement. David served the purposes of God. He impacted his generation, and then he closes with the statement he fell asleep. Now, I'm not trying to be morbid, but I do want to be honest. You're going to fall asleep. I don't care how much you work out, how well you eat, how organic you are, you're going to die. The Bible says it's appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. You are not in the land of the living on your way to the land of the dying. You're in the land of the dying on your way to the land of the living. It's appointed unto man once to die and after that, it says. There's an and, not a period.

So let's get this straight if we got this wrong. From the day you were born, you began the march to the grave. You just get a few years to look kind of good on your way there. But after so many years of looking good, then you're going to get the reminder, you ain't all that.

Wrinkles, gray hair, you know, slower movement, you know, more doctor visits, more Medicaid. It will become inextricably clear you are not here forever. And so the psalmist says in Psalm 90, teach us to number our days. Teach us not to waste our time, to live a life without purpose, to just live and die.

Teach us to number our days. Now, when I was growing up, I loved to play Monopoly. Monopoly was my game, because that was the only time in the hood I got to own property. When I played Monopoly. The only time I got to own property was when I played Monopoly. And when we sat down as a family to play Monopoly, which we would do like once a week, as soon as they opened the box, my eyes went to Park Place and Boardwalk. Bam!

The right side of the board, because those were the two most expensive properties on the board. And if I got those two properties, I was now a real estate barracuda. And I showed no mercy. And I'm now living large. I put up my green houses. That means the rent goes up. You better skip me, pass, go collect another $200, because I don't give loans.

I was a mean son of a gun. Then I would do some redistricting. I would make a commercial property. So now I could trade my green houses for my red hotels.

Now my property value shot up. You have to understand, when I was playing Monopoly, that thing was real. It was a game, but it wasn't a game. It wasn't a game.

This is some serious negotiating I'm into right now. But then there came that moment when the game was over. Game was over. I had to put the dice back. I had to put the houses back. I had to put the hotels back. I had to put the land back.

I had to put it back. I got reminded this ain't real. Now, it was real while I was playing it.

But then the game ended, and I had to be reminded it's not real. And then came that ultimate defining moment when they closed the box. Game over. Game over.

One day, me and you are going to be right up here in a box. They're going to close the box. Game over. And when the game is over, it really won't matter as far as you're concerned what you left behind.

When the game is over, the only thing that will matter is what you forwarded ahead. And if your life has been so absorbed just for you, there was nothing eternal about your life. It was about your car, your house, your clothes, your money, but there's nothing for God to look you in the eye and say, you didn't forward anything here. It was all about what you left behind.

There is no eternal value to the 70, 80, or 90 years I gave you. Nothing heaven could use. It was all about time and things that pass away. It was what the Bible calls wood, hay, and stubble.

Stuff that doesn't last when the fire touches it because it had no eternal value. You didn't serve the purposes of God. You didn't impact the generation. It was all about your life.

My kingdom was not a priority to you. If you're not 100% sure that your life is an eternal life, if you don't know what it means to have a one-on-one relationship with Jesus, stay with us because Dr. Evans will come back in a moment to explain how that can happen for you. First though, don't forget to take advantage of that special offer I told you about earlier. It includes full-length CD or downloadable versions of all six messages in Tony's current Kingdom Life series, along with his popular booklet, The Grace of God. They're both available as our gift when you make a contribution in support of the alternative.

It's our way of showing appreciation for the continued support of listeners just like you who make this program possible. Get all the details and make the arrangements at TonyEvans.org before time runs out in just a few days. Again, that's TonyEvans.org. Or you can call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Ultimately, everything we have traces back to God as the source. But on Monday, Dr. Evans will go further to explain that everything from our possessions to our pocket change was given to us for a purpose. I hope you'll be with us for that. Right now, though, he's back with a special opportunity for you. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you have that opportunity right now and don't put it off. He died on the cross for you. He rose from the dead for you. But you must personally receive Him into your life for the forgiveness of your sins and to be given the gift of eternal life, which He gladly gives away to anyone who comes to Him for it. So why don't you now, right now, bow your head before the living God and simply tell Him this, Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner and I know I need a Savior and I choose you to be my Savior because I believe you died on the cross for me, you rose from the dead for me, so I receive you now for my forgiveness and for the gift of eternal life. And if you just ask God to save you by believing in His Son Jesus, your sins are forgiven and you've just been granted the gift of eternal life. Welcome to the family. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-26 22:55:08 / 2023-09-26 23:04:45 / 10

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