Introduction: One of the most successful quarterbacks in football history is Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys. An article in Texas Monthly tells of the night after winning his first Super Bowl. Instead of celebrating with his teammates, he went to his hotel room and stayed by himself for a couple of hours. "Here I was at the top of professional football, and I found myself thinking, ’Now what? Now what?’" In the interview, he goes on to admit that this drive to "keep raising the bar" is his curse.
There are many people in the world today that feel that same drive: athletes, business people, moms, dads, and even children feel the pressure to succeed in life. They think "If I can just get that position. If I can just win that award. If I can just reach that next level, I’ll be happy. I’ll be fulfilled in life.
Unfortunately, there are many Christians who feel the same way. Their means of pleasing God is by doing more, working more, serving more. We have come to equate spirituality with "busyness".
The woman in our text this morning holds the secret to all those who are seeking satisfaction in life. It can be found in four actions which she took:
1. First, "she came". She took a Step of Faith What step of faith do you need to take? Maybe you know that you need have a personal relationship with God. You need "salvation". Is that your step of faith? Maybe its commitment to service. You are a believer, but that’s it. You’ll never be satisfied until you step out and commit wholeheartedly to God. Maybe its giving, maybe its witnessing. In order to move forward from where we are, everyone of us is required to step out on faith.
What might have kept this lady from coming to Christ? The same things that keep us from being all that we can be for God.
A. The Flesh - "The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh...so that you can’t do the things that you would." Galatians 5:17
B. The Fear
1. The Fear of the Unknown - "I’ve never done that before."
2. The Fear of Failure - We are conditioned to avoid failure at all cost - tests, etc. "Satan’s strategy is to get Christians to become preoccupied with their failures." C.S. Lewis
3. The Fear of Critics - What someone might say. Often friends, family, church are biggest critics. "To lead an orchestra, you must turn your back to the crowd."
4. The Fear of Success - Some prefer the muddle of mediocrity. "run with the pack" mentality. "If I succeed, I’ll have to maintain. I’ll draw attention, then when I fail, it will be worse."
What is keeping you from making that first step?
2. She found the Surety of Faith. "She broke" Caesar crossing the Rubicon, burning ships, Elisha burning plow and oxen, all of these are examples of breaking the box. It’s the point of no return. It’s put up or shut up time. The church is in what is called "analysis paralysis". We are in a "perpetual huddle". How many more sermons are we going to have to listen to, how many songs will we sing, how many services will we attend, before we put our faith into action. It’s time to quit talking and start working.
What box do you need to break?
3. She made the Sacrifice of Faith. "She poured".
A. Its Costliness - a years wages
B. Its Recklessness - all of it, held nothing back "God doesn’t want first place, He wants all the places" - Tom Hayes
4. She found the Success of Faith. "She did what she could" There are no big shots or little shots in God’s kingdom. At the judgment seat there are only two groups. Those who did what they had to do, and those who did what they could.
"Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life."