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Summary: God wants to exalt us, if we are humble.

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How many of you work at a company that tries different things to motivate you to accomplish more and make a bigger impact in your world? You go into a meeting and they will tell motivational stories or they hang posters and signs on the walls. Some of you have heard it all – and you may be a little worn out by all that. You may be like the cynic whose self-help advice I ran across this week.

-I want to share with you the Top 10 motivational tips of the cynic.

1) Motivation – If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job, the kind robots will be doing soon.

2) (Snowflakes). Individuality –Always remember that you are unique, just like everybody else.

3) (Lounging leopard) Indifference –- It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but it doesn’t take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face.

4) (The Great Pyramids) Achievement –- You can do anything you set your mind to when you have vision, determination, and an endless supply of expendable labor.

5) (Here’s Butch the soccer player with little Cody). Goals –It is best to avoid standing directly between a competitive jerk and his goals.

6) (A football receiver being laid out by a tackler). Success –Some people dream of success, while other people like to crush those dreams.

7) (Taj Mahal in India). Discovery –A company that will go to the end of the earth for its people will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans.

8) – (A bear about to catch a salmon). Ambition The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly.

9) (Two runners - a male running behind a female). Persistence –It’s over man. Let her go.

10) (Rowers) Get to work - You aren’t being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.

This morning I want to to cut through all the years of self-help advice you have gotten; the corny and cheesy sayings; the endless stream of self-help and motivational books and get back to the best motivational advice from Someone who we can easily say is the most successful being ever - from the #1 bestselling book of all time – the Bible – This morning we are beginning a new series entitled - “The 7 Secrets of Highly Influential People - God’s Ladder to the Top”.

-The series title is a spin on the still wildly popular book by Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I am not recommending this book but I am recommending the all- time #1 bestselling book in all categories – the Bible.

My Goal for this series - Grow in your relationship with God and others so that your light will shine brighter everywhere you go. - at work, in your neighborhood, in your schools. Influence. God has asked us to be His witnesses and to let our light shine that people may glorify Him. We need to influence other people. You may think that your light is kind of dim right now –you are not influencing anyone. We are going to try to set you free; lighten your load in the next seven weeks.

So let’s get into it: Are you ready for the First secret? “They experience the promotion of God because they are (Pause) humble.” God does things differently. His ways are not our ways. His ways are secret until we dig them out of the Bible. We won’t find these tips on the evening news or on Leno or on Oprah. The world says “Stand up for your rights” – “Strut your stuff” – “If you don’t toot your own horn, how will you get noticed?” – “If you got it flaunt it”.

How to get promoted by God:

1) Get down to go up (James 4:8-10).

James 4:8-10 - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

This is a very, very encouraging promise - if we draw near to God – He will draw near to us

James is talking about experiencing God’s Presence – this passage tells us how - Submit our whole heart, confess and admit and turn from our sins and our bad attitudes, quit covering over our sin and our pain and our sorrows with comedy and entertainment. Cleanse ourselves before Him in His forgiveness. -In short to v. 10 - humble ourselves in His presence

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