Summary: In this message I am teaching the message that we find our purpose and potential in Jesus Christ, as individuals and as the church. Prayer, working together and focusing on Jesus are the main points.
The Power of a Changed Life
“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 him. 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.
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. We might then say 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 this morning, have you discovered your full potential in Christ? If not do you want to do so? I believe that most of us settle for mediocre lives. We can be very average people, we can be an average church. But I believe God has so much more for all of us.
Now look with me at some ways the NT church apostles achieved their potential. 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 Bile 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 Jesus and they are focused on the common goal of building the church. You see 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.
* one group stands up and says 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 deserve special treatment.
But none of this happened. With all of these people who were so significant in the life of Jesus they still all 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 believed in one another. The KJV says they were all in one accord, this version says they were joined together constantly...the Greek 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. We are very different people. Turn to the person next to you and say you’re different!
But you see 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.