Summary: Our potential is God's gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to Him. How will you use yours?
“Reaching Our Potential in Christ”
Dale Carnegie wrote the book titled “How to Win Friends and Influence people.” It was an overnight success selling over 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie was a master at identifying people with great potential. He was once asked by a news reporter how he had managed to hire 43 men who were all millionaires. He said well it’s simple, none of them were millionaires when I hired them. All of them became millionaires while they were working for me. They wanted to know well how did you know they had the potential to become wealthy? He said you find potential the same way you find gold. Several tons of dirt must be moved to get one ounce of gold. But you don’t go into the mine looking for dirt......you go in looking for gold. You look for potential.
Discovering and living out our potential is the same way today. You may have heard of the young boy who was drawing a picture...his parents asked him what he was drawing. He said well I’m drawing a picture of God. They said well you can’t do that. He said well why not. And they said well no one knows what God looks like. He said well they will when I’m finished.
Now we could ask the writer of this passage. What are you drawing here: what are you picturing? He says I have here a picture of a believer who has reached his fullest potential in life. That is something every one of us desire to achieve. But people will look at you and say well you can’t do that...no one knows what that looks like but he says well they will when I am done writing down this scripture.
So let me ask you two questions this morning…. have you discovered your full potential in Christ? (2) If you haven’t do you want to? Most believers settle for mediocre lives. We can be very average people; we can be an average church. But I believe God has so something better for all of us. We do not serve an average God.
Now look with me at some ways the apostles reached their potential. First of all the Bible tells us that they constantly spoke to God. v. 14. One of the cornerstones of the early church was prayer. Without it the church could not have been established. Look at the variety of people who were in this group. Eleven men are named here in v. 13. There were women, we don’t know how many. Mary the mother of Jesus was there and also his brothers were there. The Bible tells us that Jesus had brothers and sisters. That may be new to you. Four brothers are named. The Bible tells us he had sisters. But we do not know their names or how many. But what we do see here is that all of these are focused on two things (1) They are focused on Jesus and
(2) They are focused on the common goal of building the church. I have said for several weeks now that one of the things that will quickly keep us from reaching our potential in the church is division. When a group of people are working together and they come from different backgrounds---they are not exactly alike...they can be easily divided. They don’t know the same things, they don’t think the same way and so there is a strong opportunity for division. One group might even begin to think they are superior to another. There were all kinds of opportunities for this to happen. Look at what was happening…
* one group stands up and says hey, we are the brothers of Jesus. We were raised in the same home. We’re special.
* John was there. He could have reminded everyone that he was chosen by Jesus to care for his mother Mary. Right at the foot of the cross, Jesus chose him.
* Mary was even there. She could have said look I’m his mother. I rocked Jesus to sleep at night--I raised him—I took care of the Savior.
But none of this happened. Pride was set aside for the sake of something greater. They managed to work together. How could they do that? Well it was never about them...it was always about Jesus. Whether they were leader or follower they supported each other.
You see they not only believed in Jesus,
they also believed in each another.
One version says they were all in one accord, the version I am using says they were joined together constantly...the Greek NT says they were of one passion. Their passion was Jesus.
To reach our potential Jesus must be our focus.
There are several applications here. They were not just together in one location, they were together in their thinking....their beliefs. Now will all of us in the church think alike? Absolutely not. As I have been saying we are very different people. But it is a necessity in the NT church that we think alike on the things that matter. How do we find salvation? Through faith in Christ. Is Jesus God or just a man? He’s God. Is the Bible inspired by God or just the ramblings of men. Does the Bible have errors? Absolutely not. On these things you see we must agree for the church to reach her potential. We must be of one mind. We must be of one passion.