- The Washington Times - Monday, May 29, 2006

The following is an excerpt from a sermon delivered recently by the Rev. Donnell Jones.

I’m persuaded that God desires us to live life in a particular way. So, oftentimes, particularly if you are a follower of Christ, you rejoice in the great hope you have in salvation — the fact that you have been saved and born again and have the privilege of enjoying eternity with Christ. But as we said in the beginning of the year, when we make reference to the kingdom of God, God is not only interested in you escaping; He’s interested in you entering into something. So this morning we are going to talk about living large.

John 10:10 says, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it to the full.”

The beginning of the verse says that the influence of the devil is simply this: to kill, to steal and destroy. So naturally we want the opposite of that. We don’t want to be stolen, and we don’t anything stolen from us. Correct?

But Jesus, when He speaks, He says, “Although the enemy comes for this purpose, my reason for coming is that you might have life.” But He says “that you might have it to the full.”

Last week we used GPS. It’s great technology. It’s used amongst civilians and the military to deal with location awareness. It’s also a navigational aid. So we have taken the acronym GPS to say if you were going to live large in life, you’ve got to have GPS: grace, passion and skills.

The sweet spot in life is where God’s grace unites with your passion and you develop skill so you can start to live large.

Some people recognize God’s grace in their life, but they have no passion, so there is no way to develop skill. Some of you naturally have an orientation, so when you do something it just flows out of your life. Some people have grace and passion, but they never develop skill, so what they want to produce never comes to fruition.

The reason why we’re presenting this is because corporately as an entire church we want to find out: What is the grace God has on us?

What’s the grace on your life? What’s the thing God has put on you?

Grace, passion, skill. We’re going to talk first about grace.

In Romans 11:29, Paul said the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. That’s important to understand. The word grace is like “charisma.” By that we mean “unmerited favor.” It’s something God has put on your life that you didn’t earn.

What God has put on you, He will not revoke it. The issue is, what are you going to do with it? The year you were born and then the year that you die, in between is a little dash. What is going to be between the year you were born and the year you die?

The grace of God that’s on your life will be there, but unless you become passionate and develop skill, you’ll live and you’ll die but you may not live large. I want us to recognize that we are more than what we become; where we are today is not where we will be tomorrow.

God’s grace is not waiting to get on your life; it’s already there. He’s trying to get you in shape, trying to get you up to speed, trying to make you be a difference maker while you’re using His oxygen.

You can actually live life large. It doesn’t have to be shaped by the images we are constantly bombarded with. The fun in life is not by carefully watching a movie; it’s understanding what God put in you and becoming it.

In 1 Corinthians 3:10, Paul is saying that according to God’s gifting he was able to lay a foundation. But he did so not just because he wanted to, but because he had a grace to do it. And it’s not about a job or occupation; it’s about God’s calling on your life.

What are you most passionate about? Once you recognize the grace God has on your life, you need to find out what are you most passionate about.

Passion is the thing that helps you when you wake up in the morning. What is it that’s touched you deeply so that now you have a passion? Godly people should be the most zealous, passionate people. You don’t turn it down; you turn it up. You need to be around people who are more passionate than you are because it stokes you to be passionate.

You can have grace, you can have passion. But if you don’t have skill, you’re just relying on your gifting, and it becomes like hot air. You need to be faithful and diligent in something so that it becomes skill. So do not neglect your gift.

There’s some hard work involved. You can’t just have inspiration; there has to be some perspiration. You are going to have to work; you are going to have to develop some discipline.

The grace part, we love; the passion, we’re on fire; but the daily developing [of] this discipline, it’s work.

There’s nothing that you can do with grace, passion and skills. You are going to have to accept what Christ did for you. He paid for your sins, payment in full, but you have to accept it.

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