Summary: This is the final in a series of 8 messages centered around the importance of changing the climate in which we live, work or play.
Changing the Climate
Part 8 of 8
USE IT OR LOSE IT
The last 7 sermons I have preached have been based around a scripture from ACTS 1:8
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
When I read this scripture, I saw it as a challenge for myself in the first instance to be a person that changed the climate that I was in. I no longer wanted the people around me to affect my attitude, stance, and commitment to God, but rather, I wanted the power and presence of God in me to change them.
I believe that as Christians that is our right! Jesus promised that we would live and abundant life – and to me that means one of focus and purpose and passion and excitement; He promised that He would send us a Helper and a Comforter; and He promised that we would be endued with power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes upon us SO THAT, we will be witnesses of Him.
Is it too much to ask for these promises to be fulfilled in me NOW…TODAY?
We are coming to the end of another year and I want to ask you a question.
v Are you happy with what you have done for the Lord this year? I’ll rephrase that.
v Have you grown in God this year?
v Or, have you been effective in your walk with the Lord this year?
v Or, are you still struggling with the same issues today as you were this time last year?
v Or, has your walk with the Lord become complacent?
v Or, ??????
No matter how many times I rephrase the question, it will still be the same challenge. My, your, our faith in Christ is supposed to be having an affect on this world. Is it?
Read ROMANS 12:1-2 from the Message translation.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Last Sunday morning, Colin Callagher had a heart attack. It wasn’t on his calendar, he had other things planned for the day! None of us knows whether we will be alive this time next week! The tragedy is that we act as if life was certain and death uncertain. But the reality is life is uncertain and death is certain. And the question is what are we going to do with our life today?
I know it’s hard to stay passionate about something for the long term in a society that is built around obsolescence, instant coffee and microwave dinners. But we are called by God to be committed for the long haul; to work through strife and struggles together; to not be conformed to this world system.
The reason I’ve called this message ‘Use it or Lose it’ is because every older person in this room understands what that means! WE MUST USE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN US!
Have you ever taken notice of what happens in a marathon? When the race starts, there is a burst of energy as those running rush to get ahead of the crowd and out of trouble from the others around them – they don’t want to be tripped up right at the start. Then there is a time when you get into a rhythm and you pace yourself. But guess what happens right at the end of the race!!! Once again, there is another burst of energy. You do not want to cross that finishing line with enough energy left in you to run a lot further!
So are you willing to push yourself to the very limit for the sake of Christ? Are you willing to risk all for Him? Are you willing to trust Him in ALL THINGS?
ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE A RISK?
One of the things that I have noticed myself doing as I have got older, is to become less willing to take a risk……… just in case I fail. It gets harder to stay young when you get old!
And yet scripture is full of mighty men and women of God who were risk takers. They trusted God!