Summary: This is a sermon presented to Cornerstone Christian Church on 12/29/2013 over Joshua 1:9
Let's talk New Years Resolutions... By a raise of hands, how many here will be making a New Years Resolution? A study from the The University of Scranton shows, and sorry to be a buzzkill, the study shows that only 8% of all New Years Resolutions are ever completed. Typically, we know that those lists consist of losing weight, joining a gym, saving more money, reading more books, and even attempting to open your Bible more. For the most part, this is a lot of self-improvement. Notice the keyword there? Self? That's pride, there. Pride is a treacherous opponent against the Kingdom. Pride will get in the way of your commitment to reading God's Word. It is pride getting in the way of your prayer life with Your Creator. It is pride getting in the way of supporting the church. We are a self-improvement society, raising a needy and selfish generation. There is no self-improvement if it has nothing to do with the God whom you were made in the image of. Very seldom do we hear these resolutions: This year I'm going to teach a Sunday School class at my church, this year I will volunteer my Saturdays at a non-profit down the street from my house, or I'm rededicating my life to My Savior and telling everybody I know about Him. Those last three are seldom heard.
Recently, I was in Nashville at a conference devoting myself to a kind of Soul Care weekend where I could get away, be in prayer, worship, and fellowship while regaining my mission in the presentation of the gospel.. During my stay in Nashville, I had the opportunity to sit in a little class or breakout session, if you will, that was focused on improving the way you do ministry.. For those 45 minutes, I become a human sponge, you could have called me SpongeBrandon SquarePants... And I was soaking in every little detail that the speaker had to offer. I had a notebook with me and let's just say that no pages were spared that weekend... I went back to my hotel room that evening and laid on the bed and opened up my notebook, I was still on a high from that last session.. I went through my list of notes and ideas, spiritually invigorated on my down the list when I suddenly realized that almost every single one of my notes began with the word, "I"... I quickly made a note:
"Good ideas come from conferences, not God ideas." From that point, I knew that it wasn't what I could do for the glory of God's Kingdom, but how He could use me for the glory of His Kingdom... I'm here and then I'm gone, but it is God who remains. God's Glory is my resolution. --- Before this epiphany, fear was a product of my pride, my horribly rentless behavior in never allowing myself to lean on someone or something else. I was terribly afraid of My Creator.
Sometimes for fear of not having control, we place the word "I" selfishly in front of ideas, thoughts, dreams, goals and visions which hinders us from seeing what His great work for us really is... How many of you would agree that losing something, anything, is terrifying? Whether that be a $20 bill, your car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, or even a loved one? Fear is loss, and it is the greatest when you have no role in being the deciding factor of whether or not something stays or goes, or something lives or dies. Fear is when we lose all choice. To sum it up, fear is when we are a dangerous mix of cowardly and prideful.