Summary: If our divine purpose is to "change lives", How do we accomplish this?
(For the accompanying powerpoint - http://www.hueytownbaptist.com/pastorspage/sermondownloads.html)
Changing Lives for Time and Eternity – How? #3
* What do you think when you hear the word, “FEAR”? Fear is the great motivator, or better said, the great De-motivator.
* Few things in life will trap a person in bondage like “fear”. Fear has the uncanny ability to lock us down and keep us from fulfilling our dreams.
o Fear keeps the young man from asking his dream girl out for a date.
o Fear keeps the man from leaving the security of a job to launch out and open His own business.
o Fear keeps the woman from following her dream to go to school.
* Fear keeps everyone from attempting something which we have always wanted to do or to be – because – we’re afraid of what might be revealed about us. Maybe (just maybe) we don’t know HOW. We’ve never been “instructed”. And if we FAIL, well, in our minds that’s worse than not trying.
* How does this concept of fear play in our purpose of changing lives for Time and eternity? We must remember and nail down this truth; “this church will never achieve this goal until those of us who make up this church possesses this desire in our lives.” Candidly most, if not every one of us, simply do not see ourselves as “change agents.” We see ourselves as normal, average, every-day believers who struggle. We do not see ourselves as possessing the “know how” to change lives.
* Fear of failure keeps us from giving it a try. Fear of failure keeps us from sharing our faith. Fear that we might not have EVERY answer. Our church culture has so indoctrinated us to where it is believed we must have a theological degree to be equipped for the sharing of our faith.
* But I have a belief that is quickly becoming a conviction. It is my belief that every person who had placed their faith in Christ WANTS to HAS A DESIRE to be a change agent. We want to influence people, want to see people go to heaven; want to make a difference in the lives of friends.
* The rub is; that we don’t really know HOW, or we don’t think we know how, or we’re afraid we don’t know how.
* Turn with me to our text and let’s watch God’s word be the living word. (Read)
* One of the most frightening times for any father is Christmas morning (Maybe Christmas eve) when the kids have received all this new stuff and it has to be “put together”. Listen, we men KNOW we can put it together, but we are back to the “fear” cycle again. We’re deathly afraid we’ll have to read the “directions, instruction, the how to”.
* In our verse of scripture we are told to “fulfill our ministry”. This literally means to complete our ministry and comes from the Greek word which means “fill up”. I remember pulling into a full-service gas station and saying, “fill it up”. That meant put in as much as you can. This verse gives us three way to “put in as much as we can” while changing lives. SO, how are we to do it:
1. We must Learn Consistently. The HCSB says, “Keep a “clear” head”. Other translations use words like “sober, steady, watch, and watchful”, Peterson (the Message) says to keep you eye on what you’re doing. He saying be focused. The only way I know to keep a clear mind on the task at hand is to fill my mind with the right stuff! LEARN.
> It’s time for truth among us. We have become a generation of “lazy learners.” I am the leader of this group. In High School and College my idea of learning was to accumulate enough of the information to pass whatever test my instructor had. In fact, it was my considered opinion that school and learning was something invented by parents to keep us from having fun and enjoying life. I did just enough to get by. For many, if not most, we have adapted this “just enough to get by” mentality to our belief system when it comes to study and learning. Yet the Bible teaches us something entirely differently.
> Consider these scriptures; “study to show yourself approved unto God”, “take up your cross and learn of me”. However, learning is a 2-pronged fork and we must engage for prongs. Let me illustrate.
> At our house, I am the “grilling king” (with all due modesty). On Wednesday, I grilled “steak”. A useful tool was a two-pronged fork to handle the steaks. When I flip those steaks it is necessary that I have both prongs in the steak to control the motion or it may land where I don’t want it to land.