Part 5- Fearless (adapted from a series by Pastor Larry Osborne/Chris Brown from North Coast Church).
How do we master our fears/respond properly to life?
I want us as a church to understand …
who we are and the high calling on our lives.
Many times we look at the giants in our life, think little of ourselves, and settle for- less than.
Jn 10:10 … I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. NASU
That is why God said to Joshua …
Josh 1:9 Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." NASU
Some- wondering why I am wearing Sun Glasses.
These glasses are a filter- UV, glare, brightness, etc.
They are a picture of how we allow- earthly/natural mindset to affect how we view life, rather than
seeing life through the truth of God’s Word.
God wants me to change- glasses so I see as He sees.
Failure and Rejection
Look at two- top fears that plague people and affect how they view themselves/world around them.
First- fear of failure-
paralyzes us from moving forward.
Second- fear of rejection-
concerned w/how others feel about us.
Fear of rejection- gives us- false sense of self-worth.
Non-acceptance of a rejection letter …
Chris Jensen applied for a professorship at Whitson University and was turned down. He writes a letter back, after they sent him a rejection letter, to the chair of the search committee, Professor Millington-
Chris was unwilling to receive more rejection.
Fictitious- but it illustrates another way to view life.
What about your life right now-
perhaps you are afraid of failure or rejection, or
you are dealing with a recent failure/rejection.
How do you stand in this type of situation and say-
I will not accept that I am a failure/unlovable.
In the Bible- people who have failed or rejected …
Joseph- Gen 37- brothers saw him as a dreamer, jealous of him, sold him into slavery.
Moses- Ex 2- killed an Egyptian to help out his fellows Jews and they rejected him.
Leah- was not attractive compared to her sister Rachel- Jacob loved Rachel.Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah and he was upset because he wanted Rachel.
Imagine Leah’s feelings of rejection/failure.
Survey- asking women if they would prefer being beautiful or smart- most chose being beautiful.
A husband was mad at his wife and in his anger he lashed out and asked her, “How can you be so pretty, and yet so dumb?” His wife quickly replied, “I am pretty so that you will love me. I am dumb so that I can love you.
I post my sermons with thousands of other pastors on a web site called Sermon Central.
Others can rate your sermons- was it helpful or not- they can rate it with one to five stars.
Sometimes I look at those reviews, look at a sermon with two or three stars and think-
people did not like it, why?
I sometimes feel rejected or a failure.
So much of who I am is wrapped up in what I do and comparing myself with others (2 Cor 10:12).
Look at a story in- Bible- open Bibles to Lk 10:38-42
(NOTES): A Bad Day in a Great Life
Acronym-FEAR-False Evidence Appearing Real
Many times we look at life and believe the messages life sends us.
Regardless of the reality of your …
financial situation, job, physical appearance,
relationships, or non-relationships, we must
realize- those things are false evidence.
They do not define who we are or what we are.
Look at Martha’s life- she had a gift of hospitality, she was a real servant, but she had a bad afternoon.
Jesus would frequently stop at Martha’s house.
In Jn 11:5 Jesus says that He loves Martha/ Mary.
Martha had an incredible relationship with Jesus.
Jn 11- her brother died- she ran out to meet Jesus-
perhaps they embraced and wept together.
A bit of history of 1st century Jewish culture …
A woman’s value or self-worth was first and foremost in her husband and who he was in the community. Secondly a woman’s value and worth came from the children she was able to bring her husband, especially male children.
Martha/Mary- living together- no husbands/children.
Immediately Martha has two strikes against her.
It seems- Martha found value in what she did.
She opens her house to Jesus and his 12 disciples.
Martha is not just putting on a dinner party- this is Jesus and His disciples coming to her house.
Do you think Martha might have felt- pressure/stress?
Martha was running around making last minute preparations- cleaning the house, picking things up
Jesus/disciples come in- sit down in the Living Room.
Martha is now back in the kitchen preparing the meal, trying to make sure the guests are taken care of.
She is in and out of the kitchen- needs help and begins to wonder- where Mary is.
Where is Mary? In the Living Room listening- Jesus.
Martha’s frustration was increasing with each minute.
She would like to chew Mary out, but Jesus is there-
The room is suddenly silent- tension is in the air.
Even Peter knows better than to open his mouth.
Perhaps Martha is afraid the dinner is not going to turn out- she is afraid of failure and rejection.
She finds her worth in her ability to serve and give.
Have you ever been at a place in life where everything goes wrong at once- finances, job, relationships.
Have you wondered …
God where are you?
Do you even care about me?
You feel alone, deserted.
Here Martha is talking to Jesus,
she is crying out to God for help.
Look at Jesus response- this has got to sting …
Jesus summarizes her situation …
Lk 10:41 … you are worried and bothered about so many things; NASU
Perhaps this verse defines your current frame of mind-
many things are making life difficult.
(NOTES): Am I working against God, apart from God, or with God?
Working against God is easy- you have total control in your life, you have not submitted to God.
You might say- I know there are things in my life that I should change, but I am not going to.
Until you are willing to give up, come to God, we can pray for you, but that is about all we can do.
Some however are living apart from God.
You know you are living apart from God if you are …
Lk 10:41 … you are worried and bothered about so many things; NASU
If your value and self-worth is being shaken, then you are not embracing the salvation God has for you.
For Martha, without a husband and children, she poured herself into serving/giving.
The issue is not something that Martha is doing that we would normally look at and call sin.
Martha was doing her absolute best to serve Jesus but she was tired/frustrated, feeling- God did not care.
Last Sunday Monte brought the word.
Since I get my value many times from my work as a pastor, studying/teaching the Word, I felt somewhat out of sorts.
Where do you find your worth?
If it were taken from you, how would you feel?
Discovery channel- how different tribes find worth …
1. Men find their masculinity and worth by how high they climb a tower or tree and jump off of it with only a vine attached around their leg- 90ft tower, 80ft vine.
2. Women found their worth how long their necks were. They would take copper tubing put it around their neck pushing their shoulders down and their head up. Every six months they would add more copper tubing, stretching their neck even longer.
3. For another tribe it was how much they could stretch their earlobes, to the place where you could pass a softball through them.
4. In other cultures it is having a fit and toned body with flat abs.
How do we measure our success and worth?
Perhaps it is time to write our non-acceptance letter to our feelings of failure and rejection.
We must learn to see ourselves as God sees us and not how our society sees or defines us.
Perhaps you are …
overweight or underweight or
do not look like- supermodel/weight lifter, and
we allow this do define our self-worth.
David, in Psa 139- tells us that our score is determined by how God ranks us- not the world.
That was easy for David to say- he was king.
Let me remind about David …
he gets his neighbor pregnant,
has her husband murdered to cover it up,
his family in incredibly dysfunctional,
his oldest son raped his own sister,
because David did nothing about it- second son kills his older brother so there was justice,
his second son grew resentful towards David, threw him out and made himself king,
David’s men drove his second son out of the castle and killed him,
his third and fourth argue over who is going to be king- fourth son kills third son,
in addition the baby born from his affair dies.
David was successful in some areas/failure in others.
David recognized God knew everything he had done, right and wrong, and yet He still loved him.
(NOTES): Defying Failure and Rejection
>God is everywhere.
Not only is God everywhere …
>God cannot leave me alone.
Jonah- found this out- no matter where he ran to get away from God, He was there.
If God is the Mighty Creator of the entire world, why does He care about me?
God made each of us the way we are and gave us everything we need to fulfill His purpose for us.
There is something in each of us that will bring glory to God as we live God’s purposes for our lives.
He knows our personality/strengths/weaknesses.
God, if only you had taken away some things in my life that have caused me so much trouble.
>God is still there even when life seems unfair.
It does not matter how alone you feel.
Life can seem unfair/it can seem like God is not there.
God is always there in every situation we go through.
God, it does not always seem fair, BUT …
if there is stuff in my life that is not pleasing to you, please take it from me.
>Our value is not found in who we are, but Whose we are.
How can we change our perspective on life?
(NOTES): How to Practice the Presence of God
>Follow God’s rules.
If you are a parent w/children, when they do not obey, it puts a strain on your relationship.
You still love them and want what is best for them, but you are not happy with their actions.
Sin will always cause interference in our communication with God.
It will hinder our relationship with Him.
Yet it is in this relationship that we find our …
worth, purpose, value, destiny.
Sin cuts us off from God’s purpose and opens us to fears of failure/rejection.
>Accept how God sees me.
You may have a bad image of God as a Father.
God created the concept of fatherhood and He allows sinful/broken men to father others.
Regardless of- earthly father- God will never fail you.
Your perception of God as a result of your relationship with your earthly father is not reality.
In Psa 139 David is saying …
I know how much I have messed up in this life, but I know how God sees me- He loves me.
Learn to accept- Bible’s picture of how God sees you.
I am a prince, son of a King, heir to the throne of life, everything the Father has will one day be mine.
That cannot be taken away by my finances, job failure, or anything this world tells me.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(NOTES): >Remember how much God loves me.
There will be disappointments as we live in a fallen world with fallen men, but God loves us.
Perhaps we need to say, thank you but at this time …
I cannot accept rejection
I cannot accept failure
I know who I am- it is promised/guaranteed by God.
When Jesus sat in Martha’s living room …
Mary rested in her assurance of who she was,
Martha, because of her distractions/where she found her sense of worth,
missed what God had for her.
It is not that we do not labor and serve, but that we learn to rest in the truth of God’s Word and
what it says about who we are.
Mtt 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Only if we place God first will we live free of the fear of failure and rejection.