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Summary: We connect with God and seek to follow Him by being humble.

Connecting with God!

James 4:6-10

January 14, 2018

I’ve said it before, I don’t make new year’s resolutions. And I still don’t . . . but I’m kinda sorta making an exception, maybe making a little change. Maybe this will become an annual event for me. I’m not sure, we’ll just see how this year goes.

What am I talking about? Well, there’s a leadership consultant and speaker named Jon Gordon. Jon has written lots and lots of books and talks to lots of business and sports teams. Every year Jon encourages people to choose one word which they want to work on for that coming year. You study it, pray about it and hope to grow in whatever word you’ve chosen. I’ve read about this for a number of years and I’ve never chosen that one word. Partly because I always feel after about 2 weeks, I’ll forget what my word is and I’ll feel foolish at the end of the year.

Well . . . . something, actually, a quote struck me. I read this quote about a week ago, and it resonated with me. At the Organizational Meeting earlier this week, I used this quote as a spring board for what I would like to see happen to us as individuals and as a church.

So, let me give you the quote, then we’ll take off from there as we seek to Follow God on that Great Adventure. The quote is from Kobe Bryant. He said this ~

My deepest fear is not using what God blessed me with to its full potential. ~ Kobe Bryant

It’s a pretty simple quote. Yet, when I think about it, when I let those words filter into my heart and spirit . . . there is so much truth and power to what Bryant said. So, I’m not choosing 1 word, I’m choosing a 2 word phrase - - FULL POTENTIAL

That’s what I want for us . . . I want you and me to reach our FULL POTENTIAL in 2018. Then I want us to reach a little deeper and higher in 2019. I don’t ever want anyone to say of me, “man that Deutsch, good guy, but he never became what he could’ve been, he was full of potential.” That’s pretty cruddy to think that way.

When I coach kids, there are some who are full of potential, but you look at the way they carry themselves, the way they practice, the way they play, and you know, unless something changes, that’s never happening for them. I’ve encouraged them, I’ve told them they could be leaders, but . . . they choose otherwise.

Maybe as you look at yourself, you’re thinking I’m not there. I could never get there. I’m just not good enough, I never will be, or maybe you think time has passed you by, so there’s no hope. Here’s the beauty of reaching your FULL POTENTIAL . . . and this may be the most important thing I will say this morning. So, listen carefully - - - reaching your full potential is different for each person.

For example, I may take voice lessons from Joni . . . and I may improve, but not get very good, and it’s not because I didn’t give it my best effort. Yet someone else takes voice lessons with her, and they sound like an angel.

It’s OK! The question is really - - are you doing all you can to grow, or are you settling for mediocrity, for average, for good enough? Too often we settle for a less than life, instead of a more than life.

Well, all of that is leading into a couple of passages I want to talk about. As we seek to reach our FULL POTENTIAL, I believe the call from God is for you and I to get off our pedestal - - where we think we’re God - - - and allow God to be God. That’s not always very easy to do. This is part of the growth process, as we seek to follow Christ as we grow in Him.

We are called to humble ourselves. In James 4:6, James tells us ~

6 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. – James 4:6

We don’t really like to be around people who are arrogant, cocky, conceited. We appreciate people who demonstrate humility. A couple of weeks ago, at the Rose Bowl, Georgia came from behind and upset Oklahoma, who had a QB who was pretty arrogant. His name is Baker Mayfield and in fact he won the Heisman Trophy for being the best player in football. Yet after the game, watch what one of the Georgia players yells . . .

VIDEO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQWWqoA0blA

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