An Expanding, and New Future…

1435800_47324731On Sunday we looked at the topic of finding a new future. And to be honest this is something I think we need. I think we all need to dream about new possibilities and what God might want to do in and through us.

The tough part is that while in theory we say we trust in God for our futures, in practice we don’t.

If I were to ask you: who guarantees your future?

Who do you trust in for your future? While many of us might want to say Jesus, I think in practice many of us trust in different things.

Some of us trust in our bank accounts for our futures. That if we have more money our futures will be secure. Some of trust in our doctors for our futures, that their diagnosis determines whether the future will be good or bad. Some of us trust in our present circumstances to determine our futures. That if things are going well, we think they’ll continue, or if they go bad, they’ll keep going bad. Some of us actually trust in our sins for our futures. I know, a weird way to put it, but true. We believe that because of this past sin, mistake, choice, whatever, our future is limited or constricted in some way.

The point I want to make is that while in theory we might trust in God for our futures, in real life the temptation is to trust in so many other things. To trust in our own abilities, present conditions, or current trajectory of life.

The point is what if we trusted in God?

Because God says this:

I am doing a new thing. Are you alert? Are you watching for it? Because it is happening. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? (Isaiah 43:19)

This is God’s position on our futures, that he is doing something new. The question is do you trust in him to do something new – in you? That’s the question, and it’s only by  trusting in God that our futures open up, expand, and become limitless.

God has proven again and again that he loves to take broken, burnt out, and passed over people to change the world. Just look at Abraham, Moses, David, or Paul. God specializes in doing a new thing.

So on Sunday we gave a challenge to trust that God wants to do a new thing in your life and to discover it, by listening to him. I believe that God can be taken at his word, that he is doing a new thing, and that if we are alert, watching for it, we will find it.

And my prayer is that you do find the new thing God is doing, because it is happening, it is bursting out, do you see it?

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: God can give you a new future if you trust in him

Teaching Points:

  • Our futures can shrink, as we age.
  • Who is your future dependent on?
  • Who are you trusting to guarantee your future?
  • I am doing something new – God
  • God is in the business of doing new things.
  • God can give you a new future if you trust in him.

Adult Discussion Questions:

What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? What were your first impressions to the topic for today? Does it seem to you that growing older does limit your future? How would you answer the question “Who are you trusting to guarantee your future?” What do you believe your future looks like right now? What does your future look like with God involved? What does he want to do in your future?

Discussion Questions for Young Families

Today talk with your kids about their futures. Ask them what they want to do, and who they want to be. Today learn from your kids. Sense the enthusiasm, the belief, the sense of excitement and possibility. Learn from them, and seek to bring that into your relationship with God today.

Challenge for the Week: Trust in God for your Future.

Is your future open or closed?

On Sunday we are talking about what can seem a bit paradoxical at first: having a fresh future.

In many ways this almost seems absurd. Like how can a future not be fresh? It hasn’t happened yet? Anything is possible already?

And while on the surface that is true, when you dig a little deeper, it isn’t.

For many of us our future actually seems to narrow as we age. There are things that are no longer a possibility for us that once were. Like I will never be a professional soccer player, unless of course they start hiring unfit, and unskilled amateurs who play a couple times a year. The chances of me being a movie-star are also relatively unlikely.

The point is that as we grow older, our futures can seem to constrict and shrink. 

Add into that how we also often tend to base our future on current circumstances, or limit our future because of past mistakes. We tend to think that if things are going badly now, they probably will in the future. Or if we have some terrible mistake, disaster, past event, or sin, that it can limit our future too. That we won’t find a happiness again after that divorce. That life won’t ever be as good as when that person was in our lives. Or before that moral failure I could have been a leader, but now that’s out.

My point is that while in theory our futures are full of possibility, in practice, they are often much more limited and narrow.

And that is why I think we need to find a fresh start for our futures. That is why I think we need to learn to dream again about what the future can hold. That is why we need to move beyond our present circumstance, past mistakes, and personal potentials to ask the question what does God want to do in our lives.

Because our futures are not just dependent on our personal skill sets, connections, present conditions, or past mistakes. Our futures are dependent on God. 

And come Sunday we are going to see what that means, and what a practical difference that makes. But before we get there, why not spend some time dreaming with God what he might have in store for your future. Because there is one thing I am sure of, that the future God has planned for you is always better than the one you have planned for yourself.