Strategies for a Powerful Life Journey
A. How many of you like a good story?
B. That is what I thought, we all enjoy hearing a good story
C. That is why we get so involved in watching a movie
D. That is why we like to talk to certain people
E. We like stories, we like to listen to stories
F. However, if I would have said “Testimony” instead of “stories” some of you might get afraid
G. There is not need to be afraid
H. Your testimony, your life journey is simply the story of what God has done for you in your life.
I. Relax you do not need your Doctorate and theology to share your testimony
J. You do not know everything in the Bible to tell others what God has done in your life
K. Look that the blind person that Jesus healed. Look what he said “I know this: I was blind and now I can see (John 9:25)
L. He was simply telling common people an extraordinary story of Jesus working in his life
M. Jesus told his disciples “You must testify” or “You must tell others about me
N. But lets be honest, sometimes we are ashamed to tell our story.
O. Now it is not that we are ashamed of the story, we are ashamed that we don’t really meet the expectation of the story
P. Other words, our lives don’t always match with what we know God has done in us.
Q. Instead of living a good story and having a good “testimony” we get sidetracked and our testimony, our lives, become a mess. We become ashamed of our testimony.
R. That’s what Paul is dealing with in our passage today
S. Galatians 6 is all about testimonies, life journeys
T. The first part tells us how to help someone who fall
U. The 2nd tells us about four pitfalls that will ruin your testimony
a. Pride, comparing yourself with others, selfishness and lying to our self
V. The final section deals with what it takes to maintain a powerful life journey
W. What it takes to make sure you day to day walk matches the moment by moment work God is doing in your life
X. Here it is – Four strategies to a powerful life journey
Y. You follow these four steps and you will feel confident about sharing god’s work in your life and people will be begging you to share it
Z. Let us take a look at the first strategy
I. Do Good
1. Take a look at verse 9-10 (Read 9-10) (Insert 9-10 here)
2. These verse I have had highlighted in my Bible for about 10 years now
3. Doing good is not always easy
4. Let’s be honest, sometimes it is a lot harder to do good then to do bad
5. It is a lot harder to find something positive to say to a person then to put them down
6. It is a lot harder to confront someone in love about sin, then it is just to forget about it
7. But The Bible is very clear on this point we are to do good
8. See this is not about you making yourself look good
9. We try and do good because of what God has done for us
10. Somewhere sometime we got to the point were we thought it was all about us, it is not it is all about God
1. Let’s apply this to our lives
2. Most people in this world ignore God’s purposes for their life
3. The crowd follows the easiest way, not the best way
4. That is were we should different
5. While the rest of the world tells us to do bad, to do wrong, we simply must determine that whatever we do will be good and Godly
6. Here we are again talking about being a witness and notice where we start
7. We start with living a life worthy of the calling you have received (Romans 5:1)
8. There must be an intentional, not just accidental, choice to do good
9. To get up and start the day and try to make ever decision to do good to all people
10. Now by doing good does not necessarily create friends, but it will win respect
11. People are influenced by people they respect
12. By doing good to all people you will gain respect
1. Mother Teresa once has one of the greatest all time quotes “Preach the Gospel everywhere and whenever necessary use words”
2. There is a problem however, it is impossible on our own to do good all the time
3. WE will fall, we will fail if we attempt to just be “good or do good”
4. That is why Paul gives us a 2nd strategy for living a powerful testimony
II. Focus on the Cross
1. Look at verse 14 (Read 14)
2. I like the way the NLT puts it “Because of the cross, my interest in this world died long ago and the world’s interest in me is also long dead”
3. Paul is telling us that we need not to worry about the world
4. But when we focus on what Jesus did,
5. When we focus on the cross, then we are on the right path
6. By focusing on the cross
7. By putting our full effort toward the cross
8. it will cause you to loose interest in the world
9. Warning it will also cause the world to loose interest in you
10. But that is ok, because the one that you are interested in is also interested in you!
1. 3 years ago I got married. Before we were married I remember specifically talking to Heather about her dress. She told me the dress was pretty, I said good. But then she said something that really got my attention; she said you will probably be too busy to even notice my dress.
2. Those words made me decide something, I decided that no matter what happen at the wedding, I was going to focus on Heather
3. Thanks to all the work that Heather’s mom did, I was able to do just that
4. The day of our wedding, I focused on her.
a) One of my favorite memories was when she was ready to walk down the isle, she was standing in the back waiting for the song to change, some how there was a miscue and the piano player kept playing the song that the bridesmaids walk down to.
b) It was great, during the whole time, probably about 3 minutes, I got to stare at Heather and just smile,
c) My focus my attention everything was on Heather
1. Let’s apply all of this to our lives
2. You know what bugs me more then anything?
3. I goes something like this: Here ye Here Ye, come one and all and here so and so tell us about all the bad things he used to do, all the drugs, all the crimes he committed, all the things that he stole, oh and yeah and then he meant Jesus
4. So you go to these events and that is what you hear about, you hear about how bad a person was
5. The focus is off
6. The focus must always be on the cross
7. The focus should never be on what you did, but rather it should be on what Christ did
8. Look at the first part of verse 14. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
9. We have all seen TV or movie scenes where focus is illustrated
10. First we see a large scene, lots of actions, lots of people, things going on everywhere.
11. The camera moves in, everything is blurred except for one small object
12. All you see it that object
13. That is called Focus
14. That is what I did on the day of my wedding with Heather
15. That is what we need to do everyday with the Cross
16. The more we focus on the cross the less we focus on the stuff that weighs us down and holds us back
17. That is were the 2nd part of verse 14 fits in. Because of the cross, my interest in this world decided long ago and the world’s interest in me is also long dead”
18. The more we focus on God, the less we focus on the world
19. You will notice something else
20. The more you live for God and His purpose the more friend and acquaintance who do not want to live for God will begin to drop away
21. When you stop partying like the world, talking and walking like the world, the less people who live for that stuff will want to be around you while the live that way
22. But don’t loose hope
23. Many of those4 same people will start coming around again when they see something in you that they know they need: Jesus
24. They will being to notice that you are different and that difference make all the difference!
25. Which leads us to our next point
III. Realize we are not the Same
1. Take a look at verse 15-16 (Read 15-16)
2. Or as the NLT puts is “What counts is whether we really have been changed into a new and different people”
3. You want to have a powerful testimony?
4. You want to have confidence to share your story with others?
5. Then realize that you are not the same person as you were before
6. When Jesus comes into your life, when you turn your life over to Him
7. Accept His forgiveness and make him your boss
8. When you begin a person relationship with Jesus Christ
9. You have a new life.
10. 2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come
1. Now lets take this and apply to our lives
2. Look at the one part in verse 16 “All who follow this ruled”
3. It’s not just knowing that God has forgiven you and given you eternal life 00 you have to live by that principle
4. It is the daily deceleration at the beginning of the day that you are not going to serve yourself
5. Instead start your day with “God, you made me a new person when I accepted Jesus into my life. Now I’m going to live that way! My actions will be different, my attitudes will be different, and my desires will be different.
6. I am a new person living for your Purposes.
7. I will do good, Focus on the cross and live like the new person that I am.
8. Now I know what you are thinking, “Boy, Dan, that is really difficult
9. I never said that it wasn’t. To quote Ed “the hard things, are never easy”
10. It is hard, it is difficult, it is not easy,
11. However, that leads us into the 4th point,
IV. Be Willing to bear the Scars
1. Look at verse 17 (Read 17)
2. Let me give you the Dan International Version Translation
3. Don’t even bother me if your plan it to discourage me
4. You may get afraid to share your story, your life journey, your testimony
5. You might be afraid to live out that kind of life that God is asking you to because you are afraid.
6. Sometimes, and let me be the first to say “amen” to this, living for God hurts!
7. People misunderstand they say hurtful things
8. They accuse of thinki9ng we are better than they are
9. The laugh at us because we don’t do some of the things we used to do
10. they try and drag us back into the junk that God saved us from
11. But look at what Paul said, confidently, probably shouting. Let not one cause me trouble
12. Don’t mess with me it is not going to work
13. You may try and hurt me, but I already carry the scars
14. Paul was hurt, big time. He was rejected by his best friends, beaten more than once within a few strokes of death. One time he was even stoned to the point of death, But he lived
15. He was willing to take the hits and still live for God Purpose
1. Let’s apply this all to our lives
2. We must be willing to take the hits
3. We must be willing to wear the scars
4. Paul could have literally taken off his shirt and point to the scars
5. Paul is telling us – He is willing to take the his as long as it means that I can live for Jesus
6. That is what it is going to take
7. It really hurts when you have friend turn their back on you,
8. It really hurts when people make fun of you,
9. It really hurts when you get rejected because of your Faith
10. But we have to persevere, stay the course, finish the race, and be willing to bear the marks on our body
1. When I was 16, I did what 90% of all 16 year olds do. I wrecked my car.
2. It was my first car, you always have a special bond with your first car
3. So even though it was wrecked pretty bad, I wanted to fix it
4. So my dad and me were working on it one evening, he was cutting something, and I was holding it, a spark hit me and landed on me.
5. So I did that natural thing and jumped back, when I jumped back, I landed on a sharp piece of metal and cut my ankle
6. To this day there is a scar their
7. But you know what, I am proud of that Scar, that scar got there from working on Betsy (that was my cars name)
8. If we only had those types of scars on our bodies from serving the Lord
9. If we were could be proud of those scars on our bodies form serving the Lord as I am about the one on my ankle
10. That is what were talking about, that is the attitude we need
A. Do you want to be one of those people that have a powerful testimony
B. Do you want to live a life that makes people point and say “hey that person really lives for God, he a true believer, a genuine Christian
C. If you want that then:
a. Do Good
b. Focus on the Cross
c. Realize you are not the same
d. And Be willing to bear the scars
D. Notice it is not about what you have done in the past
E. It is not about how eloquent you can speak
F. It is not about using big words to make you sound smart
G. It’s all about God
H. Your story can have a powerful impact on someone else life, even if its just a little part of your story
I. Your testimony, your life journey, the way you live your life, is God’s story to your world
J. Is there something in your life preventing you from having a powerful testimony?
K. If there is, God wants you to clear that up, maybe you need to confess something, maybe you need to turn something over to God
L. Whatever it is, deal with it now, don’t wait
M. Let’s pray