In today’s climate of turmoil and uncertainty, threatening and incapacitating feelings run rampant. Yet the God who created your emotions has also given you everything you need to navigate them. The Bible paints relatable and resonant portraits of women and men struggling with grief, anger, guilt, and despair—and provides divine wisdom for transforming your emotional trials into spiritual triumphs.
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Scriptures: Philippians 3:7-10, Ephesians 1:19-20, Romans 8:28-29
Picture yourself as a guest at your own funeral--a little morbid, perhaps, but there's a great point to be made. As you look to transitions in life--a new season, a new year, a new job or a big change--your glance turns forward as you look to what lies ahead. But what if instead we looked at the end of our lives? What would we want to have accomplished, to have said and done, between now and our last day on earth? The apostle Paul had a tremendous gift to look at his life while always keeping the end-goal in mind. It might be said that no one had a more productive life, a more impactful life for Christ, than this man. His example planted seeds that led to an explosion of Christianity worldwide after his death that we still see more than 2,000 years later. In this message, Dr. Merritt encourages us to be like Paul--to put our lives in the rear-view mirror and ponder what we can do today that will help us keep the end in mind.
Note: This message was originally preached at the end of December and makes a great New Year's or year end sermon.
"From the very moment that Paul met Jesus Christ he wanted to know Jesus Christ, because there is all the difference in the world between meeting somebody and knowing somebody. Everything you do once you become a Christian should be in order to help you know Jesus Christ better. You ought to read the Bible so you can know Jesus better. You ought to pray so you can know Jesus better. You ought to share Jesus Christ so you can know Jesus better." --Dr. Merritt
Keywords: apostle, Paul, life, death, meaning, purpose, plan, God, understand, live, obedience, prayer, Bible, God's Word, know, fellowship, intimacy, Coach Lou Holtz, ministry, dwarfism, spiritual DNA, funeral, processional, eulogy, New Year, end, conclusion
Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.