Summary: We as Christians are to make a difference in the world we live in and this sermon gives five things to do to make a difference.
MAKE A DIFFERNCE
October 4, 2000
Jude21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
My sons Clay 14, and Luke 10, are like most brothers in that they are quite different in many ways.
I often talk to them about what they want to be when they grow up. That is when their individuality really shows up. We recently had this conversation again and both of them honestly shared what they wanted to do as an adult. My youngest, always the epitome of passion and deep emotions said, “Dad, I want to be a missionary or a marine biologist”. Well, I thought, sort of divergent career paths but the missionary idea…now there is one any pastor/dad could be proud of. I asked my oldest what he was thinking these days that he would like to be. My 14-year-old, the intellectual and schemer, caught me by surprise and made me laugh. “Dad I really don’t care what I do when I grow up as long as I am rich and famous!”
In all honesty I don’t really care what they choose either as long as they fulfill two things. First, that they devote their life to a personal relationship with God the Father and that they do as the verse above says. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Five ways to make a difference—Know your:
I. HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
1. Know your purpose—vision
"One of the things that really attracts me about mountaineering is its total pointlessness. So I’ve dedicated my life to it."
—Tom Whittaker, mountaineer
Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
A. Everyone has purpose (not career, desire, obligation, etc.)
B. God has incredible purpose for your life
C. I know my purpose—I plan to make a difference
D. Dedicate your life to your purpose it is the only thing that will bring joy!
British theologian C.S. Lewis described happiness 50 years ago in terms that make even more sense today in our commuter-driven society:
A car is made to run on petrol [gasoline], and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
Citation: C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Harper Collins, 1952) p.50; submitted by Mike Penninga, Kelowna, B.C.
2. Know your principles—sadly missing today—your creed
A. What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you is not as important as what lies within you.
B. Convictions are what you believe in principles are what you would die for.
Security in Values
Whenever there is a separation between principles and practice, things break down. In ancient China, the people desired security from the barbaric, invading hordes to the north. To get this protection, they built the Great Wall of China. It’s 30 feet high, 18 feet thick, and more than 1,500 miles long!
The Chinese goal was to build an absolutely impenetrable defense—too high to climb over, too thick to break down, and too long to go around. But during the first hundred years of the wall’s existence China was successfully invaded three times.
It wasn’t the wall’s fault. During all three invasions, the barbaric hordes never climbed over the wall, broke it down, or went around it; they simply bribed a gatekeeper and then marched right in through an open door. The purpose of the wall failed because of a breakdown in values.
Citation: James Emery White, You Can Experience a Purposeful Life (Nashville: Word, 2000)
C. WHEN OUR PRINCIPLES BREAK DOWN SO DOES OUR OWN LIFE AND SOCIETY AS WELL.
D. Your Principles will help you make a difference
The temptation of Christ in Matthew 4 illustrates his commitment to principles:
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,