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Being An Exceptional Person

(4)

Sermon shared by Mark Adams

February 2009
Summary: This is a brief devotional centered around Psalm 115, which points out how people who worship idols become as dull and lifeless as the objects they worship. It contains a challenge to the listeners to be exceptional, not just "normal".
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Intro: Do you know how many advertisements the average person sees in one day?
Anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000.
Even though people might say, “I am my own person, and I don’t let that stuff affect me,” it is ridiculous to think that you could encounter 3,000 of ANYTHING per day, and not be affected by it.

- And what does advertising do? As far as its purpose, it has some similar goals to what Scripture has, though the content of what it conveys is quite different.
- It tries to convince you that in order to be a complete, happy person, you need to buy this, wear this, look like this, go here, do this, listen to this, and if you don’t, you aren’t as much of a happy person as you could be.
- And incredibly, every time we give in to an ad, and we buy something, wear something, go somewhere, do something…why almost immediately, we start seeking out the next thing that is supposed to make us happy.

In fact, the only person, place, or thing in your life that is worth giving your entire person to is God. Only God is worthy of true Glory, and by glorifying him, we become a happy, content person, and a better spouse, parent, and friend.
This is what David speaks about in Psalm 115

Psalm 115:1-8 (Read Aloud)

- I love the progression here in the text. It begins as if we’re just laughing along at these idols. They can’t speak with their mouth, they can’t hear with their ears, they can’t smell with their noses, or feel with their fingers….but then comes the clencher…those people who make those false Gods, those people who give their adoration, efforts, and dedication to those false gods…they become as mute; as deaf; as senseless as the ‘thing’ they’re keeping at the center of their lives.

ILLUS: Dave Ramsey, the local celebrity, financial guru has a lot of tough advice for people about the right way to be stewards of their money. He has a lot of good sayings, but one of my favorites is when he will get on a kick about what’s normal in our culture. He’ll say, “Normal, is having a mortgage you can’t afford.” “Normal is having thousands of dollars racked up in credit card debt.” “Normal is living paycheck to paycheck, just barely able to get the bills paid.” “Normal is broke.” “So don’t be normal! Be weird!” He uses weirdness in a very positive light…everyone else is making bad decisions; be weird…make good decisions.

In much the same way, I think the Psalmist is challenging us to be weird. But I think an even better word to use than “weird” is the word “exceptional.”

There are a lot of normal people in your life.
Normal people have mouths, but they aren’t talking about God, or discussing good things.
Normal people have eyes, but they manage to be blind to God’s goodness, for his sustenance in our lives,
Normal people have hands, and they wear their hands out accumulating stuff, and more stuff, rather than using their abilities to serve the Lord.

Normal people have all they need to become productive children of God, but instead they choose to be shallow and lifeless, like the things they center their lives around.

I DON’T CARE WHAT THE COMMERCIALS SAY…I’M CONVINCED THAT MOST “NORMAL” PEOPLE AREN’T REALLY ALL THAT HAPPY.
-I want to challenge us to not be satisfied with being normal…let’s be exceptional.
- Let’s refuse to let culture blind our eyes, silence our speech, still our hands.

Maybe tonight
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