Summary: Sharpen your attitude in the Lord and avoid complancency.
The goal of my sermon this morning is to help you make an attitude adjustment in your outlook on life and walk with the Lord.
* In 1977, in Tallahassee, FL, Laura Shultz, who was 63 at the time, picked up the back end of a Buick to get it off her grandson’s arm. Before that time, she had never lifted anything heavier than a 50 pound bag of pet food. Although she didn’t like to talk about the event, it began to make her think about life. She said, “If I was able to do this when I didn’t think I could, what does that say about the rest of my life? Have I wasted it?” Laura had always loved rocks, but her parents lacked the money to send her to college. At age 63, with some encouragement from friends, she went back to a local college and began to study geology. She eventually got her degree and went on to teach geology on a college campus. You may good years in front of you. Decide that you are capable of doing anything you want and start working toward it now. Do you believe your attitude determines your altitude?
Let me share with you principles today from God’s Word to build your faith.
I. Be Spiritually Dynamite (17:12).
*Stormin’ Norman Sutton was a dynamite spiritual leader in my home church. At the age of 95, he was out front, leading in prayer, ministry, encouragement. One day, he placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “David, have you ever considered God may be calling you to preach?” We need more people like Stormin’ Norman because too many Christians and churches are stuck in discouragement and defeat instead of encouragement and victory.
In Joshua’s day, the Manassite tribe were spiritually stuck. They wanted everything their way and didn’t want to do the necessary work to live powerfully in the promised land.
*Growing up in America and in the church, it’s easy to let the Manassite attitude come on us. Instead of being eager to grow and take new territory for the Lord, we lose the passion. None of us means too, but it’s easy to make it about us and not God. Burger King appeals to our selfish desires and even says, “Come to Burger King and have it your way.”
*At a former church, one man would come up to me Sunday after Sunday and share with me what was wrong with my sermon and often complained I was not hard enough on sin. He wanted me to preach more about the sins of homosexuality, abortion, drunkenness, etc. Those were the major sins of the day, but sins such as anger, complaining, gossiping, greed, selfishness, laziness, were very minor sins in his book. Like the Manassites, he could conquer a little, but didn’t want to do the work to conquer his anger problem. I am guilty of doing the same things when I complain about my sad lot in life, and fail to see the abundant goodness of God.
*Vampire author, Anne Rice, has recently stated she is through with Christianity. Rice states, “I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or being a part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”
While I do agree with Anne Rice that some Christians tend to judge, criticize, act self righteously, and look down upon others, not all do. Jesus did not spend the majority of His time condemning others, but saving, serving others. We should follow in His example. Speak out against evil, but live out a heart of service to the Lord and others.
Here are three reasons why you can be a spiritually dynamite Christian.
1. God daily loads you with benefits. Much of the book of Joshua is reminders of the power and presence of God. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…”
* What difference would it make to you this week if you stopped 1 minute out of every waking hour and thought about the blessings of God in your life? One of the greatest blessings He’s given us is the free gift of salvation. Salvation is God’s gift to those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
*Imagine yourself drowning in an ocean with no help in sight. You are doing all you can just to stay alive and fight of sharks. After hours of struggle, you have no more strength. Death is certain and you begin to go under into the sea of forgetfulness. As you are about to go under, however, a rescue helicopter arrives on the scene. The man in the helicopter extends the rope to you, pulls you out of the water and safely on board. What would others think if you said, “I’m really proud of the way I hung in there. You should have seen how I helped that helicopter hover right over me. It was my strength that enabled me to get on board.” That is the way many people think of salvation. However, Christians know they were sinking and doomed to death and yet Jesus came to their rescue. Jesus brought you new life when you were dead in sin.