Dayspring _96 2
"Every generation has a story to tell, of the rise and fall of people and the times they know so well. Won’t you Lord please help them that my generation sees there is hope for our tomorrow looking back at Calvary."
This generation know as the "X" Generation, also known as the "Buster generation", "Xers", "Thirteeners". the "Fix-it generation" or whatever label is added has its own story to tell. They are some really good things that have happened is this generation_s lifetime, such as the collapse and the destruction of the Berlin Wall. The fall of Communism. The introduction of the cellular phone and personal pager.
So some really good things have taken place and have been developed during this generation. But along with the good, we’ve seen our share of the bad. At the very front of this generation all the way back to 1961. The first babies of Generation X were being born. In this year the medical community came up with a neat little idea know as the pill. From now on people could be selective on when and how many kids they would like to bring into this world.
Another medical procedure that had and has an effect on the birth pattern of this generation begin to take a steady climb, this selective process is known as abortion. If it wasn’t for the pill and abortion, Generation X would be the largest generation in history. We were facing problems before we were even born.
A lot of things that used to be some of the more stable in society that gave us security and hope began to fall apart. In the political area, Kennedy was assassinated, Nixon got way over his head in Water Gate, and then there’s the president who didn’t inhale. These and other events over the years have caused us to loose trust in our political system, which should be the back bone of our society, has become more or less the funny bone. We have a hard time taking them seriously. And the national debt ticks away faster than the hundreds hand on a stop watch.
Technology has also become a let down. Yea, there’s a lot of cool toys to play with, but people thought technology would be the answer to a lot of our problems. Technology went bust when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up on national TV In front of the eyes of the nation, technology lost its attractiveness to be the answer for our hurting world.
The Medical field has also suffered a major blow when it came face to face with AIDS. A disease that at this time cannot be cure by medicine or any other medical procedure.
And our homes and home life haven’t proved to be the place of safety that we thought they would be. Close to half of our generation has gone through a divorce. Families torn apart for so many different reasons. We’ve suffered sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and the abuse of being neglected. The abuse of not being loved. Even close friends have betrayed us, date rape, or stealing from us to buy drugs.
One description of this generation that describes us pretty well is being the "Wounded Generation".
If you set up a chart and wrote on one side the good things that have happened in this generation, and on the other side wrote down the bad things that have happened to us, I think the list on the bad side would out weigh the good. When we look at the world in this manner it causes us to have a feeling of hopelessness. It seems that the bad keeps on getting worse, and it causes us to loose hope. Like the future holds no hope for us. It?s a lost cause. The political system is questionable, technology isn?t going to solve all our problems, and the medical community even though it?s making great strides still has its limitations. The family has taken a beating, and so have we. All of this contributes to this sense of hopelessness, that there might not be a future for us.
Along with this hopelessness comes another feeling that?s probably worse and that?s aloneness. This isn?t just the condition of being by yourself, being alone on a weekend with nothing to do, but aloneness is like standing in a crowd of people and still feeling by yourself, unconnected with anyone.
Aloneness is the result of being dumped on, let down by, abandoned, for some of us by our families, or close friends, and by society as a whole. It?s the feeling that the only one that you count on is yourself. You can?t depend on your friends, your family, on society. There?s no one, just yourself, and that creates this state of aloneness.
Now, aloneness and hopelessness combined together has a very adverse effect on our outlook of the future, and more than that just the outlook of facing another day. With aloneness and hopelessness it?s not only difficult to see a future for us, but it makes it hard to see to the end of the day. How am I going to make it just through today? Who has time to even think about the future if we can?t even see past today?
**** What I see in the Future, Can I see in the Future past Today? ****
(Short answers by Campers)
For a lot of us the future isn?t very clear, the vision of a future might not even be there.
"Won?t you Lord please help them that my generation sees there is hope for our tomorrow looking back at Calvary."
The only way to get a clear vision of the future, a vision of hope for tomorrow, and for today is by looking back at that man who hung on the cross at Calvary. We?ve all heard it and may have even said it, that hind sight is better than 20/20. When we look back on something, we see it more clearly, and it helps us to see ahead a little bit better.
Well, taking a look back on Christ and the words that God has spoken, and spoken through his son and through his followers, we can get a clear understanding of how our society has gotten to the place where it is today, but more importantly we can a get sense of hope in our life, for today, for tomorrow, and for our future.
The verse that will launch us off for this week of Dayspring _96 is
Jeremiah 29:11, and this is what it says,
"I?ll bless you with a future filled with hope -
a future of success, not of suffering."
God?s promise to each one of us is a future filled with hope, it?s a future of success, and not a future of suffering.
But as we look at the condition of our society, and our lives, we say, "How can there really be hope for our future, do you really believe that this can happen?" We see the corruption of our society and it looks like there?s not a rewind button on this thing. How can we have hope, when things are going downhill, the finger is on that fast-forward button, so how can we have hope?
Let me try to explain it this way. One of Jesus? followers, Paul, a man who wrote half of the books of the New Testament, wrote this in
II Corinthians 4:16, "Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day."
Paul was talking about his own body. He was saying, even though my body is getting old, and becoming broken down, wasting away with age, and waist line expanding, even though it?s doing all these things, that it?s dying, I?m still being made stronger each day. Even though my body is wasting away, I?m becoming stronger each day.
This strength that Paul is talking about is his hope in Christ, and his hope in Christ isn?t controlled by its outward environment. The outward environment may be crashing but that which is within is growing with strength. That?s one of those mysterious workings of Christ.
You seem, our world maybe falling around us, but we can still have a hope growing within us. That is the kind of hope that God is promising us, a future filled with hope.
God also promises us a future filled with success. We might could debate this one too. How can we have success when all we can get with our college degree is a McJob? With a McJob we won?t be able to afford a house, two cars, a vacation to Hawaii every year.
Well God?s success and worldly success are two different things, and we usually get Godly success mixed up with worldly success. Worldly success is not based on who you are but on what you have. How much stuff you have is how successful you are. It doesn?t matter if you?re a rotten crook, if you?ve got a lot of stuff, you?re successful.
God?s success is based on who you are as a person. You?re not defined by what you have, but in who you are as an individual. Godly success is coming to know who you are In Christ. When you come to know who you are in Christ and you began to experience Christ working in your life on a daily bases, you will fill successful, like you have a ton of worth even without a dime in your pocket.
I know that this might be hard to understand, because God?s way goes definitely against the flow of our normal thought process. It?s like I don?t understand how it can work, that?s an irrational thought.
I believe that this is what God wants all of us to understand this week. He wants us/you to be able to understand the hope that he can bring alive in your life. He wants you to know the success that you can have in a life with Christ. But he just doesn?t want you to know and understand it, he also wants you to experience it, first hand, for yourself.
The verse that we will use this week to guide us into discovering the hope and success that God promises us is Ephesians 1:4. It?s the verse printed at the top of your page titled Monday Night Worship. Why don?t you take a look at it while I read it.
"Before the world was created God had Christ choose us to live with him and to be holy, and innocent, and loving people." (CEV)
Before the world was created, God had a plan, and his plan was to have a very large family. So he created this world. put people on it and told them to multiply. Well, the first couple messed it up for us. Adam and Eve decided to do their own thing. They chose to be their own boss, and rebelled against God by being disobedient. They went form being an in-law to an outlaw.
Well, God knew that this was going to happen, so phase two of his plan was put into action. You see, someone would have to pay the price for that disobedience, and the price would be high, because it wouldn?t just take care of Adam and Eve?s debt, but it would pay the price for everybody. The only one that could cover that debt would be God?s Son, Jesus. The price would be that high.
When Jesus died on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins, he was saying I?m doing this because I choose you to live with me and my Father. I?m doing this because I want you to live with me, (and this is the only way that this can happen.)
You are chosen to live with him. God had Christ choose you to live with him, and that makes you a chosen generation. You are a chosen generation. I don?t care what the world may say about you. God say, "You are chosen". You are a chosen generation. You are chosen to receive the relationship that Christ offers you.
Accepting that relationship is the beginning of that future filled with hope that God has promised you. Now, we accept that relationship by simply repenting of our sins. We do that by saying, "God, forgive me of my sins and come into my life." That?s it. No test, no forms to fill out. It?s easier than getting a drivers license.
If you?ve been putting off accepting a relationship with him, this would be the perfect time to go for it. Not because we want you to do it for us or for the Dayspring Camp, but, because accepting a relationship with him tonight would give you a whole week to really get grounded in your faith in him.
Take that step because you have been chosen to live with him.
God has some wonderful surprises in store for us this week. One of the surprises that he always surprises us with here at Dayspring is an out pouring of his power.
In addition to be chosen to live with him, you are also chosen to,
"know about the great and mighty power that God has for his followers." Ephesians 1:19
To know about God?s power is not to just know it with your mind, but it is to experience it, to see it , to touch it, to have it transform your life. That?s knowing God?s power, and you are chosen to know about the great and might power that God has for his followers.
I remember when I first came to know about God?s power. It was the day that I cried out to him, to save me from the fear that was attacking me. That?s been almost seven years ago. On this one particular day I was struck with fear, on a scale of one to ten, it wasn?t a one. It was a thirteen. It was paralyzing fear. What it seemed like for minutes, I couldn?t even move. I was paralyzed buy this fear that was coming over me.
I wasn?t a Christian at the time. I wouldn?t have consider myself one, even though I asked Jesus to come into my life in the seventh grade. To put it this way, I don?t think my life was making God happy. At the time I was a drug addict, and I had been one for ten years. I was a daily user of drugs. I?d lost a job a year earlier that I had for six years. I was a flight attendant for an airlines, that?s where I met my wife, we were both flight attendants for the same company. On losing my job, we lost our house, our cars, and our credit cards. We lost almost everything we owned. We were in some very rough times in our life.
On this day that I cried out to God, I was doing some painting for a church, on one of their houses. It was during the middle of the day, and the electricity went off on the part of town where I was working. Even with the lights off you couldn?t tell, because in was in the middle of the day, but I had this fear begin to pour over me, and I heard these voices laughing at me. It wasn?t a nice kind of laugh, OK? Like I said, it was paralyzing fear. As I was standing there motionless, my mind was searching for a way out. Then the thoughts about God began to come, and he released me from just enough fear so I could pray. I prayed that God would get that fear out of there. He gave me enough strength to move and go get some help, and I went and got the youth minister.
I shared with her what was going on, and she told me what I needed to do and that was to pray some more. She told me what to pray, and we stood in that house, and she held my hand, and I began to pray. I prayed that God would cover me with the blood of his Son and that he would drive the Devil and the evil out of my life.
As I was praying, I began to feel this surge of like electricity. It was racing all through out my body. I was actually experiencing the power of God. On that day He came into my life in a might way. He totally destroyed the fear and that laughter. He also did something for me that I had been trying to do unsuccessfully for the last ten years, and that is He delivered me from my drug addiction. No cravings, no withdrawals, no desire, nothing, as if I had never done it before in my life.
God allowed me to know His great and mighty power that day, and it?s transformed my life completely, and that?s why I do what I do today. I want to tell people about the great and mighty power God has for his followers. He has the power to transform anyone?s life. God has the power to do anything. There is nothing that he cannot do.
The question I raise is how is God?s great and mighty power able to help our generation? What can His power do for us? How does God?s power intersect with our lives? I think all of us could come up with some pretty good ways to have God?s power help us out. His power could produce all the money that we would ever need. He could easily wipe out all of things that cause problems in our lives, and all the evil in the world.
God could change all the external factors around us, and provide us with a pretty good life, but God?s power can do greater things than this. He can change a person?s life, and turn it into what it has always meant to be. A life of internal hope, happiness, success, wholeness, innocence, purity, realness, strength, a life filled with hope for the future. There?s no other power in the world that can do this, only God?s power can do this for us.
The way that God?s power can help out our generation is by making us complete and whole on the inside. When we?re changed on the inside, our whole world becomes changed. Even though our external world may be the same, it will different because when God?s power comes alive in us, the world no longer changes us, we change the world.
That?s what God?s power can do for our generation, and this is what he?s going to begin within each one of us this week at Dayspring.