Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: You are not defined by your house, your car, your job, your education, or your credit score! You are defined by how you invested moments in the lives of others! How will someone define you because of your investment of today?

Because He Lives I Can Face Today!

John 20:29

John 20:29

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Living Easter Everyday, living each day like Jesus is alive, changes everything!

Easter can even change how we define others and ourselves.

You and I have a dictionary in which we keep the names of everyone we know and know about and our personal definition of those people. Whenever a person comes to mind, our definition of that person tags along. Our definition of them determines how we treat them, what we expect of them, and who we believe they will be in the future! It starts when they are just babies…”She’s fussy today”, soon becomes “She’s a fussy baby.”

Each of us have a sort of “caste” system by which we rate and catalogue other people. Some people you have in your catalogue are “10’s”. Those are the ones you answer on the first ring, the moment their name comes across on the caller ID. That’s your spouse and your kids, I hope. Then there are the 1’s and 2’s, those way down in your catalogue. When one of them shows up on your caller ID, you just let it go to voicemail and secretly hope they won’t leave a message.

Kim came to my office Thursday to tell me there was a message on the answering machine from my 11 o’clock appointment, telling me that they would not be able to make it. I shouted, “praise the Lord!” No, it wasn’t any of you and, no, this person does not have a low number. It was a salesperson to whom I was dreading to tell that I was not ready for us to meet on the matter yet. She really doesn’t have a number, but I admit I was dreading listening to her spiel one more time, knowing I could not give her an answer. My number would have gone way down in her catalogue if I had had to put her off again.

The title page of our dictionary contains the definition we have of ourselves. Your definition of yourself determines your actions. You actions and reactions toward any given person or any given situation is first of all based upon your belief about yourself. That’s why some people never get beyond a moment of victory when they were on the winning team or scored the winning run. That is also why they never get beyond a moment of failure or even a recurring habit because they have defined themselves by that moment.

Defining moments come to all of our lives!

When you think of Thomas in the Bible, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? Doubting Thomas! Because Thomas would not believe in what he had not seen or felt, we call him “Doubting Thomas”!

What if we remembered Thomas for some of his other statements? Such as…

John 11:16

16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Maybe it’s courage! Maybe it’s sincerity! If we only could hear the way he said this! Thomas’ first recorded words in the scripture speak of a readiness to go with Jesus even to certain death.

If only those words would be remembered about Thomas! He would not be known as the disciple who doubted. Thomas would be known as the disciple with determination.


John 14:5

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

This defining moment in the life of Thomas makes him look inquisitive, but not doubting. Maybe he just needs clarification. After all, he understood Jesus to say that He would be crucified. He had just heard the conversation between Jesus and Peter where Jesus said, “Where I am going you cannot come” and Peter’s two-faced response that he was ready to lay down his life for Jesus. The next words out of Peter’s mouth will be “I do not even know Jesus!” Maybe Thomas just needs Jesus to tell him the plan.

All of us want that, don’t we? Just let me know what tomorrow holds and I will know which way I must go today! But God doesn’t often reveal future plans because we are not walking in faith today and we don’t remember yesterday’s blessings! Or maybe we remember yesterday’s burdens too well. (We talk about that next Sunday!)

If only we could remember Thomas as the disciple needing discernment. Instead, only one moment is remembered which defines Thomas to us as “one who doubted”.

How are we known? What moments in your life have defined you? You are not defined by your house, your car, your job, your education, or your credit score. You are defined by how you have invested moments in the lives of others!

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Charles Wallis

commented on May 2, 2013

Great Title!

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