Summary: The sixth message in a series looking at what keeps us from really dreaming great things for God.
(Please see note at the end of this message)
REMOVING OUR RELATIONAL ROADBLOCKS
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: When Sherry and I lived in Pottstown, we shopped at the ShopRite Supermarket I town. In fact I would say that at that time it was probably the most popular of the Super Markets. Well there was really only one easy way to get to ShopRite, and that was to cross a small bridge. Well, the time came after we left and moved on to our first ministry that the bridge was scheduled to be repaired and renovated. It was to be a rapid job, to be completed over the period of a couple of weeks. Well, as you can guess, NOTHING moves fast politically speaking. What ultimately began as a few weeks stretched into about 6 months. This ShopRite was effectively cut off from the town. The only way to get there was to go through the High School, winding your way from one campus entrance to another campus exit. The result was that the ShopRite could not stay in business and closed down!
While we were in Clearfield, we came across a mountain mentality. People did not want to go “over the mountain”. So as a result, most of the shopping was done at one of two Ames stores in Clearfield and Phillipsburg, or at the JC Penny store in Clearfield. People did not go “over the mountain” to Dubois, where there was a mall with a variety of stores, and to travel to Altoona – “over the mountain” in another direction was a once or twice a year trek.
What these two illustrations tell us is that roadblocks whether real or perceived block us from a variety of experiences, and will ultimately bring about our downfall. In order to function effectively, roadblocks, and in our case prejudices MUST be removed from our life!
INTRODUCTION: Last week we began to look at the effect that relational roadblocks or prejudices can have on our ability to dream for Christ. We identified two different types of relational roadblocks or prejudices. The first of these roadblocks was those that affect my relationship to those needing Christ. What we saw from the Scripture was that Jesus made removing these types of prejudices a priority in His ministry, a command in His ministry, and a key of our Christian life. The answer to dealing we these types of roadblocks is to change where we look. We need to look at people the way God looks at people – not on the outside so as to notice their differences, but on the inside so as to notice our similarities. For as different as we are on the outside, we all either have a heart that needs Jesus, or we had a heart that needs Jesus. Now we turn our attention inside the church, and to those relationships and prejudices that affect the ability of the body of Christ to function effectively and accomplish what it is meant to do.
PROPOSITION: Internal Roadblocks and Prejudices in the body of Christ will effectively shut down our ability to worship and fulfill our God ordained purpose!
I WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE
A Before we can see the roadblocks and prejudices we have to see what we are first!
B Our purpose is to bring Glory to God!
1 Isaiah 43:7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
2 1 Cor. 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God
INTERNAL PREJUDICES AND ROADBLOCKS KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING!
INTERNAL PREJUDICES AND ROADBLOCKS DRAW AWAY MY PASSION, ENERGY, AND FOCUS FROM:
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
ULTIMATELY – PREJUDICES AND RELATIONAL ROADBLOCKS ARE FORMS OF WORLDLINESS …
II WHAT IS WORLDLINESS
A WORLDLINESS DEFINED: Col. 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Col. 2:21-23 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.