Summary: Discovering the Champion in You Part 2. This message focuses on three characteristics a Christian needs to exhibit to edify the local church and strengthen their walk with Christ.
Two weeks ago we began a series entitled, “Discovering the Champion in You”. As we looked at Philippians chapter 4, we found four practices every champion must exercise in order to maintain a winning attitude. Just as a review we must practice the “praise principle”, right praying, right thinking and right living.
When we think of anyone who has achieved great success at any sport, especially those who are considered champions, we have a mental image of what they should look like. We picture in our minds eye an image of a muscular, physically fit and well rounded individual.
However, we must realize that champions are not born, they’re made. It’s not in their DNA, or gene pool that makes them achieve – but it’s through discipline, training, practice and devotion.
But I would challenge today to say that in order to become a champion of the faith, we need to be FAT. Now I’m not talking about weight or obesity. I am not talking about outward appearances, but three inward attributes of a Christian’s character that will lead to spiritual success.
READ ACTS 8:26-40
First of all we need to note a few things before we move on. Philip in this passage is not Philip the Apostle. This is Philip who was appointed Deacon in Acts chapter 6. But also note that Philip was a man who was lead by the Holy Spirit. We will look more closely at the Holy Spirit’s power in the life of the believer next week.
How many of you would agree that we serve a faithful God? “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is a heart’s cry to a God that will never leave us or forsake us. He will never turn His back on me and abandon me. Even when I fall short, He is always there. Can somebody say, “Amen!”?
But what is faithfulness exactly? We often think it means showing up for church on time, teaching a kid’s class, showing up for ministry, reading your Bible or saying a prayer.
But what does it really mean? The word “Faithful” comes from the Greek word “pistos” which means consistent, reliable, trustworthy.
ILLUS: Now most people know that there are two sports that I love, football and NASCAR racing. And I believe that if the Apostle Paul were alive today, he’d be a race fan. But to win a championship in racing you have to accumulate the most points over the course of the season. Winning the big race is great, but the real prize is the championship. In NASCAR, it’s totally possible to win a championship without ever winning a race. How? By being consistent. Consistency, or faithfulness wins championships.
Spiritually it’s no different. Faithfulness leads to spiritual success.
Faithfulness is one of the nine seeds of the fruit of the Spirit. Notice I said “fruit”, singular, not “fruits” plural. It’s a package deal. But for some reason there are blood bought, Spirit filled Christians who for the life of them cannot display outwardly what they claim inwardly. They claim to be faithful, dependable and reliable, but there nowhere to be found.
Church we’ve got to be faithful.
Faithfulness is required. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2
God rewards faithfulness. It’s a key to opening Heaven’s floodgates. (Hebrews 11:6) This isn’t a new concept, it’s a timeless principle. But we often times want to immediately receive the reward, but we forget about being faithful.
Because if we are not found faithful with this world’s goods, how then can we be trusted with God’s goods?
One be found faithful – an inspection is coming (Matthew 25)
Nobody ever said that the reward you would receive would come through favorable circumstances. In our passage Philip was asked by God to go south through the desert. The desert is barren, desolate, and depressing.
In order for you to be faithful in the palace, you’ve got to be faithful in the prison (Joseph).
Faithfulness is proven in the little, not in the lot
It isn’t dependant upon what you’ve got – it’s what you do with it.
Every athlete has some special skill that separates them from the general populace. But the “A” in FAT doesn’t stand for “ability” but “available”.
Notice that I said “available” not “able”. I think the most common misconception about serving God is that we can’t because we lack the ability.
Moses is a prime example.
• Here’s a man that God’s hand was upon even as an infant
• The first martyr, Stephen, tells us that he was eloquent in speech
• He knew the ways of the Egyptians
• When God called him to go to Egypt, the first thing Moses tries to do is disqualify himself because he felt he wasn’t able to do the task.