Summary: A passionate, Biblical appeal for all to give God and on His behalf, our church and community nothing less than our Very Best. A call to revival.
“THE VERY BEST”
Perth Bible Church Sunday August 16, 2009 AM
Rev. Todd G. Leupold
Setting: removed pulpit, wooden cross center stage
I believe that one of the most dangerous combinations of two words in the English language is . . . “Good Enough.” Confused? Think about it. How much is held back, left undone, put aside, and stopped short because someone (perhaps you, perhaps me) decided “Hey, it’s good enough.” In other words, “I/we could DO more, but why bother. I/we could BE more, but why bother. I/we already did enough and it’s good enough.”
How far does that attitude really get us, though? In 2001, the highly esteemed business teacher and consultant, Jim Collins, published a book that took the world by storm and became an instant classic and ’must read’ in every business school in America and many more around the world. The title: Good To Great. The Premise: The companies that achieve sustained success are the ones that refuse to settle for “good enough” and strive relentlessly for nothing less than “great.”
Similarly I believe that perhaps the single most dangerous word in the English language is . . . “average.” What’s wrong with that? Nothing at all if you are spiritually dead in your sins and without Christ in your life. But those who have been saved from their sins, spiritually enlivened, and are indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Living God should NEVER be average or ordinary. Anyone who is actively living in the Spirit of Christ and guided by the Mighty Hand of the LORD God Most High must be extra-ordinary!
Yet, how often we fall down, fall behind, or plain fall by the wayside.
Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. (25) Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. (26) Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air. (27) Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Dim lights, and keep such throughout rest of service
ILLUSTRATION: “The Death Crawl”
- clip from the movie Facing The Giants (scene 12) 7:15 mins.
as clip is playing move off to side and sit at piano. Preach from here following clip.
Life in this sin savaged world is a seemingly never-ending Death Crawl. Only, instead of carrying a classmate who is gripping onto our backs and doesn’t want you to shake him off, we carry other much more difficult burdens – Fear, Uncertainty, Bitterness, Unforgiveness, Sickness Distraction, Pride, Selfishness, Personal Agendas, Embarrassment, Anger, Unreconciled Relationships, etc.
We rebel, we slow down, we look for another route because we believe the burden is too great and something we should not have to carry.
We expect that, because of Christ, our path should be wide, easy and a matter of following the crowd. Even in spite of His words about the “Narrow Path.
Jesus Himself warned:
Luke 14:27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
We protest and look for alternatives.
We cry out to Him “You ask too much, I’ve already put my faith in you. I’ve done such and such. I think that should be good enough. It’s not fair to ask more. I don’t think I can give more.”
But Jesus tells us:
1 Timothy 4:16 Be conscientious about yourself and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.
“But, Lord, doing any more is too hard. Perhaps another day.”
“But, Jesus, it hurts to keep enduring this, it hurts to keep trying. I’m tired and frustrated. I don’t see any end.”
“Oh, Father God, the task before me is so heavy. I’m running out of strength.”
His answer: “Give Me Your Very Best. Don’t stop, don’t quit, give me your very best.”
Worship Video: “Find Us Faithful” - Steve Green (4:51 mins)
2 Timothy 4:1-8 Before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly charge you: (2) proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. (3) For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. (4) They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. (5) But as for you, keep a clear head about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (6) For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. (7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (8) In the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.