Summary: A contemporary message on how we can change our lives from negative to the positive by grasping hold of the truth that we are a "new creation" in Christ!
Making a Fresh Start Series
Making Positive Changes in Our Lives
(I am a big John Maxwell fan. His books and seminars have provided me with a lot of the philosophies contained in this message along with inspiration from successful people that have mentored me in life. I have tried to give proper credit for direct quotes used in this message. I apologize for any that may be used from memory and not cited.)
We began this series telling you that we would try to show you how to get your life un-stuck if you felt like you were stuck. Tonight we conclude the series with some practical advice and hopefully some tools to help you pull it all together and make a fresh start with Jesus.
Wouldn’t you like to wake up every day with an excited attitude – anxiously looking forward to what the day holds in store?
Instead of beginning the day expecting to do the same old routine, why not make a change in your routine that refreshes your body, mind and spirit?
2 Cor. 5:13If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Too often we go through our day with “stinkin’ thinkin’.” We let negative people and negative thoughts control how we feel and act. We fall into this trap most often because we feed it. We feed it by consistently surrounding ourselves with what I call “Negative Ninnies and Nincompoops”.
What is a negative ninny or a nincompoop? Webster’s defines a ninny and a nincompoop as a fool or simpleton, one lacking common sense.
People that don’t know they don’t know are all too often the ones we are listening to. Look at an example of this in the OT:
8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers — to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — and to their descendants after them."
19 Then, as the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful desert that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, "The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, ’The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’"
As Moses is recounting the history of Israel in this first sermon to the next generation he details this 11 day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea. Upon arrival at Kadesh-Barnea, the very threshold of God’s promise, The people sent spies in to survey the land.
Instead of listening to Moses’ encouragement to go in and possess the land, they listened to the Negative Ninnies and Nincompoops and missed the opportunity.
How many dreams have you had flushed away because someone told you it was impossible or was crazy.
Quickly, I want to describe to you four kinds of Negative Ninnies and nincompoops that you should avoid:
1. The Alarmist – motivated by fear and exaggerate the risks
2. The Traditionalist – doesn’t like change. Motivated by custom and routine.
3. The Defeatist – Always see the problems
4. The Antagonist – fear that they will lose control and will try to stand in your way.
I believe God wants to do something special in your life that will bless you and bring Him glory. You stand at the threshold with a choice. Are there people around you that are telling you it’s too hard? Or, perhaps they’re telling you that you aren’t qualified enough and that you will fail.