Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Heroes Part 7 - Obstacles
Hebrews 12:1-3 - 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I Thess. 2:18 - 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way.
Hindered/Blocked – Break up of a road to make it impassable for travelers. Results are trips are delayed, postponed, inconvenienced, or eventually cancelled
AN UNTEACHABLE ATTITUDE
Unwillingness to change. We must not refuse to impliment new and vital information as it becomes available.
Imagine a lawyer who refused to read new laws and update his understanding in the laws.
Imagine a surgeon who refused to keep himself update on new surgical procedures.
a. Hosea 4:6 -my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.
b. Prov.1:5 - let the wise listen and add to their learning,and let the discerning get guidance—
c. Prov. 2:3-5 - indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
God placed seeds of Greatness within us at birth, You and I are responsible for growing those seeds. You are what you have decided to be
Knowledge is exploding all around us – books, cds, magazines, classes, seminars
Two types of Knowledge:
1. Wisdom – Learning from the mistakes of others
2. Experience – Learning from your own mistaks
Prov. 1:7 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Proverbs 2:10-11 –“When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 11 Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you.”
Invest in yourself, Work harder on yourself. If you work hard on yourself, life will be easy. If you are easy on yourself, life will be hard. Don’t Bankrupt your mind.
d. Romans 12:1-2 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Dare to accept change – dare to listen to new ideas and concepts.
Eccl. 5:4-5 - When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
God holds man responsible for what he/she promises
Sometimes during sickness – we promise God that we would be faithful to attend church
Pay our tithes of our income
To clear an offense with someone
After our health improves, we forget our vows.
It is important that we honor God and each other through honesty and integrity of our words.
Unpaid vows will destroy the operation of faith and the miracles God wants to perform
Do you owe someone money? Pay them!
Have any bounced checks? Pay them!
Have you promised something to your children, spouse, company?
Are you fulfilling your vows to other people?
Mark 11:25-26 - And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Forgiveness is not a suggestion, it is a commandment / requirement
Forgiveness releases to God the right to judge and penalize another for personal wrong
You are NOT called to play God!
Pray for those who wronged you
You have received mercy from God…pass mercy on to others
You have received love from God…pass love on to others
You have received kindness from God…pass kindness on to others
You have received forgiveness from God…pass forgiveness on to others
a. Prov. 13:20 - Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
b. I Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Unwise friendships and associations have destroyed the potential and the abilities of multiplied thousands of could-be winners.
Whoever cannot increase you, will eventually decrease you
Jesus only allowed two kinds of people to absorb his time: 1. those who ministered to him 2. those who received his ministry to them
Jesus did not let the Pharisees and the Sadducees take his time because they abused it
When someone does not value your time, neither will they value your wisdom
Reevaluate your friendships and DISCONNECT with those who are unwise and foolish
How to recognize unwise associations:
1. Those who are more critical than they are complimentary and encouraging
2. Those who belittle or laugh at your God-given dreams and visions
3. Those who embarrass and humiliate you
4. Those who siphon your energy and time through useless talk
How to recognize wise Associations:
1. Those who speak words that build up your faith and confidence
2. Those who see the validity and beauty of your God-given dreams and visions
3. Those who get excited about your potential
4. Those who remind you of your special gifts and talents
Remember: The same time you waste on losers is that which you could have been invested with winners
AN UNCONTROLLED TONGUE
Prov. 18:6-8 - 6 The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.7 The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. 8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
Your words, whether you are right or wrong, leave a trail of destruction or accomplishment
Words can build confidence or tear it down
Words can build faith or tear it down
Stop talking about your shortcomings – start talking about your potential
Stop talking about your setbacks – start talking about your opportunities at hand
Stop talking about your defeats – start talking about your triumphs
Stop talking about your diseases – start talking about your healing
Stop talking about your past experiences – start talking about your expectations
Stop talking about your failures – start talking about your future
Phil. 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.
Remember, every time you talk about your negative circumstances, you are programming yourself and others.
Start conditioning your mind to accept your successes and triumphs
Your words are signposts to others…pointing in the direction your life is moving.
Influence the conversations around you. Sometimes it good to “dominate your turf” with a little “aggressive happiness”
The success of your future is set in motion by your words –Talk about your expectations, not just your experiences. Talk about your future not just your past.
“Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday”
UNDEVELOPED GIFTS AND ABILITIES
Our talents and abilities differ –
Romans 12:6- 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith;
Successful people are people who have discovered and developed their special gifts and abilities
Diamonds in the rough
One secretary – watches TV every weekend
One secretary – attends seminars on a regular basis
Who has placed herself in a position of advantage?
If you enjoy working on cars, then don’t belittle your mechanical gifts
If you enjoy typing, then don’t play down your role as a secretary
Take the time to find your gift. Then invest the time and effort necessary to improve it
God will make the shovel available but you must be willing to start the digging
AN UNCOMMITTED HEART
James 1:8 - 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
A committed heart is a decided heart – a made-up mind
No commitment = no trust
No follower will follow a leader that is not committed to the cause
Whether you are obsessed with evil as Adolf Hitler or for righteousness as Billy Graham, commitment attracts people
Find something bigger than you are and get committed to it
Commit to something that you believe in and get involved with it
Make a commitment to GraceTown Church – Get connected and be a hero
Make a commitment to God:
Calvary was a commitment
The blood and cross of Jesus was a commitment
Gethsemane was a commitment
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Let the wise listen and add to their learning. Proverbs 1:5 NIV
Jim Rohn once said, "The greatest value in life is not what you get but what you become. Becoming is growing. Here are some things you need to know about growth:
(1) Growth isn't automatic. You're only young once, but you can be
immature indefinitely. Each year the lobster is forced to shed its shell; it's a pity we aren't! Come on, if you don't make personal growth your responsibility it'll never happen. The road to anything worthwhile is always uphill, so the sooner you start climbing the closer to reaching your God-ordained potential you'll be.
(2) Growth today brings success tomorrow. What you sow today determines
what you reap tomorrow. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Once stretched by a new idea, a man's mind never regains its original dimensions." So what are you doing today to become more successful tomorrow?
(3) Growth is your responsibility. When you were a child your parents
were responsible for your growth, now you are. Robert Browning wrote, "Why stay we on earth except to grow?" Good question! Yet few of us dedicate ourselves to the process. Why? Because growth requires change and most of us are uncomfortable with change. Gail Sheehy writes, "If we don't change we won't grow, and if we don't grow we're not really living. Growth demands the temporary surrender of security. It means a giving up of familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, relationships that have lost their meaning. Taking a new step is what we fear most, yet our real fear should be the opposite." Can you think of anything worse than living a life devoid of growth and improvement?
Get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you.
Proverbs 4:7-8 NIV
(4)Be teachable. The famous basketball coach John Wooden said, "What counts,
is what you learn after you know it all." That's because the more you learn, the less you think you have to learn. When that happens you become - unteachable!
(5)Never stay satisfied with your current accomplishments. The greatest
enemy of tomorrow's success is today's success. Thinking you've "arrived" because you accomplished certain things is fatal! It takes away your desire for continued growth. Successful people don't sit back and rest on their laurels. They know that wins, like losses, are temporary. They understand that they have to keep growing if they want to stay productive. Some things get you to the top, other things keep you there. You must stay hungry. Refuse to settle in the comfort zone or let success go to your head. Enjoy it briefly, then move on to greater things.
(6)Become a continual learner. A university study done a few years ago
found that almost one-third of all physicians were so busy working, they were 2 years behind in the latest developments in their field. Heaven help their patients! If you want to be a continual learner, you must carve out time to do it! Henry Ford said, "It's been my observation that successful people get ahead during the time other people waste." Carry your Bible, tapes and CD's when you travel. Seize every opportunity to keep growing. The secret to becoming a learner - is to learn something new every day! Listen, "Get understanding. Esteem her and she will exalt you."
(7)Find a way to apply what you learn. Don't let learning lead to
knowledge - let it lead to action! If you're not changing as a result of what you're learning, it's because: (a) you're not giving your personal growth plan enough attention; (b) you're focusing on your liabilities instead of your possibilities; (c) you're not applying what you're learning. You've forgotten the all-important principle which says, "When you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves" ( James 1:22 NCV).
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Heroes Part 6 – What Makes the Perfect Hero
(Matthew 5:48) “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Critical Questions that need to be answered
Am I willing to change?
(2 Corinthians 5:17-18) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ...”
Am I willing to put others first?
(Mark 9:35) “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
•You need to start putting others ahead of yourself in your mind and heart. If you can do it there, you will be able to put them first in your actions. But how can anyone add value to others if he doesn’t know what they care about? Listen to people. Ask them what matters to them. And observe them. If you can discover how people spend their time and money, you’ll know what they value.
Once you know what matters to them, do your best to meet their needs with excellence and generosity. Offer your best with no thought toward what you might receive in return. President Calvin Coolidge believed that “no enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.”
Am I willing to let go of the past?
For some people, the past is like a ball and chain. It follows you wherever you go and it stops you from achieving your goals in life. It is restricting, heavy and extremely burdensome. A lot of people never break free.
(1 Corinthians 13:5) “(Love)... keeps no record of wrongs.”
(Colossians 3:13) “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Am I willing to give my life for others?
(John 15:13) “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Am I willing to value people?
(Ecclesiastes 4:9) “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.”
Show genuine interest in people: Phil 2:4 NLT says, “Don’t think only about your own affairs…be interested in others.”
Ziggy Cartoon – (Sitting on his chair) “Hello Operator…I’d like to place a call to someone who cares”
Romans 12:15-16 MSG says, “Laugh…when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down” •You can only do that by taking the time to find out what’s going on in their world.
Dealing with People
1. Start with yourself. (man in the mirror)
(Colossians 1:28) “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”
(Matthew 7 Message) “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own... Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.”
2. Believe the best about people.
(1 Corinthians 13:7 LB) “If you love someone...you will always believe in him, and always expect the best of him...”
•Mark Twain said, “I can live for a year on a good compliment”
3. Always build up – never tear down.
(Ephesians 4:29) “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:11) “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up...”
AVOID – Envy, jealousy, insensitivity, strife, anger, conflict, quarreling, prejudice, judging, selfishness, hatred, pride, gossip, slander, favoritism, rudeness, criticism, unrealistic expectations.
ALLOW – The Holy Spirit to fill us with LOVE so that we can become people who build up others at every opportunity.
•We are like elevators: We take people up or we bring them down.
•There are many struggles behind the Sunday Smiles. I’ve decided to give people HOPE on Sunday’s because they get HELL all week long.
•Watch your Words: They have no middle ground (Prov.18:21)
4. Help people win.
(Psalm 18:35) “You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.”
5. Stay faithful.
(1 Corinthians 13:7-8 Php) “Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love never fails.”
(Proverbs 20:6) “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?”
A Call to Persevere Jude 1:17-25
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Heroes Part 5 – Heroes have A Heart for What Matters
(1 Corinthians 14:1 LB) “Make love your greatest aim...”
•Heart/Passion – Object of desire, zeal, deep interest, fervor, enthusiasm.
•Heart/Passion is the spark of life. Without it life has no meaning.
•Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking in Zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
•”Every Man dies, not every man really lives” William Wallace
•”Don’t be afraid of dying, be afraid of the unlived life.” Tuck Everlasting.
•”Years wrinkle the skin, but a lack of heart wrinkles the soul.”
A Heart for What Matters
1. A Heart for God.
(Matthew 6:32-33 CEV) “Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what He wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.”
(Mark 12:28-31) 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.”
How to Know and Show That God Matters
(Eph. 5:16 ) “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
(Proverbs 3:9 – “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of your crops;”
(John 14:21) “If you love me, you will do what I said.”
2. A Heart for People.
3 Reasons Why You Are Important to God
a. Because of who you are.
(Genesis 1:27) “So God created man in his own image...”
b. Because of what you cost.
(1 John 4:8-10) “God is love. In this was the love of God displayed where we are concerned: in that He sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
c. Because of what you can become.
(Jeremiah 29:11) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
3. A Heart for the Church.
(1 Kings 8:17-18) “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a temple for my Name, you did well to have this in your heart.”
(1 Kings 9:3 Message) And God said to him, “I’ve listened to and received all your prayers, your ever-so-passionate prayers. I’ve sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always.”
4. A Heart for the World.
(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(Romans 5:6-8) 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God has a heart for LOST things. So should we.
Luke 15: The Prodigal Son, The Lost Coin, The Lost sheep
Monday, March 05, 2012
Click the link to hear the audio message of “Heroes Part 4 - One Person can make a Difference”
“This is a story about 4 people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Somebody got angry with that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody would not do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”
For when you wonder if your life really counts...
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
1. You can make a difference for your family.
Genesis 7:1 / Acts 16:31
2. You can make a difference for your generation.
3. You can make a difference for God.
NOAH’S WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
1. Don’t be afraid to stand out in a crowd.
2. Don’t be afraid to do something for the first time.
3. When you see a rainbow, remember that one person can
make a difference.
Matthew 28:20 NLT/ 2 Peter 3:6-9
•We all have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Most of us will not conquer nations, but we can conquer our attitudes. We can choose to forgive rather than accuse, to smile rather than frown, to encourage rather than tear down, and to bless rather than curse.
•It is not based on one’s ability but one’s availability. God uses those who make themselves available to Him. He will use you, if you make yourself available to him. That is the key. Are you making yourself available to him?
Make yourself available to God to do anything He asks of you