Summary: To be a world changer I need new power from the Holy Spirit for Kingdom service. Part 4 of the series "How to Change Your World."
How to Change Your World – Part 4
November 4, 2001
Nichelle Nichols was the actress who played Uhura in the TV show Star Trek, and in 6 Star Trek movies. She was one of the first Black women regularly featured on a weekly TV show. As such, she had obstacles to overcome. According to Steve Jones in USA Today, a few studio executives were hostile toward her character, which was often diminished by script rewrites, and the studio even withheld tons of her fan mail.
After one year on the program, she was fed up. Nichols, who was also an extremely talented professional singer and dancer, told Gene Roddenberry she was going to quit and pursue her performing career.
Then she met Dr. Martin Luther King. King encouraged her not to leave the show, to see the bigger picture, and understand she was a role model for many.
Nichols said, “When you have a man like Dr. Martin Luther King say you can’t leave a show, it’s daunting. It humbled my heart and I couldn’t leave. God had charged me with something more important than my own career.”
Not only did she become a fixture on Star Trek, she actually influenced NASA, challenging them to hire Blacks and women for their astronaut corps. She led a 1977 NASA recruitment drive that saw 1600 women and 1000 minorities apply within four months.
By giving up her plans to sing and dance, Nichols found the defining role of her career in one of the most popular TV shows ever. At first what seemed useless and in vain ended up influencing a nation. (Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers, Editor, Craig Brian Larson, p. 45)
Like Nichelle Nichols, as we die to ourselves – we can pursue something far more important – the cause of Christ where we find our God-given destiny – to change the world.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Nothing you ever do for the Lord is useless. There is a bigger picture and a bigger purpose. So don’t quit.
Last week we learned the power of the Holy Spirit is given for a purpose – to be witnesses.
If our service for God is done in His power, it will always accomplish what He wants accomplished.
TRANSITION: There are three trademarks of a world-changer who engages in extreme service. First, a world-changer…
I. Serves with Conviction
1 Corinthians 15:58 says…
Stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Grammatically this is a present imperative – meaning, keep on standing firm. Continue to be settled and firmly situated. Stay totally immobile and motionless in your convictions – don’t waver.
What does Paul mean by this? Well, I believe a number of things. For one, he means being…
Convinced that Jesus rose from the dead
That’s what the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is all about.
v. 3 – For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures….
v. 14 – If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
So you see…
If our conviction about the resurrection wavers, we are sure to lose our desire to serve God at all.
The words to the popular hymn “He Lives,” echo this truth, “I serve a risen Savior, he’s in the world today. I know that He is living whatever men may say.”
Extreme service flows from a conviction that Jesus Christ is alive and well.
By serving with conviction Paul also means being…
Convinced there is a reason for service
1 Corinthians 15 ends by reminding us that through faith in Jesus, we’ll be raised to eternal life as well.
A primary reason for serving God is because He’s promised us a home in heaven. We’re storing up treasures there instead of here on earth.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:12…
Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (1 Timothy 1:12)
Paul was convinced of his eternal reward. And he would work like a man whose days on earth were few.
And serving with conviction means being…
Convinced God’s ways are best
Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like truth. (Ephesians 4:14, NLT)