Summary: It isn’t how you start that is important. IT IS HOW YOU FINISH! The Christian Life is learning to love Jesus more and more each day! The Christian Life isn’t a set of rules and regulations! The Christian Life isn’t about stuffing facts and informati
Cornerstone Church October 24 / 25 2009
Watch Out for Ambushes!
John Wesley Powell, lost his arm in the Civil War. This, however, did not stop him from becoming a hero.
“Back in 1869 conventional wisdom said that passage through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River was impossible. It couldn’t be done. The back country surrounding the Grand Canyon oozed with legends of doomed expeditions. No one had ever dared that stretch of river and come out alive. Out of all expeditions that had given it their best shot, there was not one survivor.
One army lieutenant who has explored the Colorado just on the southern side of the Grand Canyon believed that powerful river so treacherous that ‘the Colorado, along the greater part of its lonely and majestic way, shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed.’ (If you saw the River Wild, the rapids shown in the movie were a class nine rapids, which looked like a sprinkler next to these rapids).
But the one-armed explorer thought he could pull it off.
On May 24, 1869, Powell and a party of nine stepped into their four small boats to attempt the thousand-mile journey. Along the way, their party encountered numerous ambushes.
They were ambushed by legion killer rapids.
They were ambushed by waterfalls.
They were ambushed by boulders the size of cabins.
They were ambushed by the loss of boats, critical foodstuffs, and instruments.
Yet one hundred days later, Powell and five men emerged from two boats. All hope for their survival had been given up weeks before. They were suffering from exposure and near starvation. But they made it.
What happened to the other four men? One decided to go back. The other three, after numerous disagreements with Powell, left the expedition. They hiked to the rim of the Canyon...only to be killed by Indians.”
(Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong, pg. 24)
It isn’t how you start that is important.
IT IS HOW YOU FINISH!
The Christian life isn’t a sprint!
The Christian life is a marathon!
Eugene Peterson says the Christian life is:
“A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”
We hold to the truth that we are saved:
• By Grace Alone
• through Faith Alone
• In Christ Alone
• For God’s Glory, Alone!
Praise God for our salvation!
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10 NIV
• Salvation is just the beginning!
• Salvation is more than just having “Fire Insurance!”
• Salvation is the beginning of a lifelong relationship with Jesus that continues on into eternity!
Jesus made it possible for us to have a relationship with God!
• The Christian Life isn’t a set of rules and regulations!
• The Christian Life isn’t about stuffing facts and information in our heads!
• The Christian Life is learning to love Jesus more and more each day!
Becoming like HIM
Living for HIM!
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.
Romans 12:1 The Message
JUST BECAUSE YOU STARTED THE RACE
DOESN’T MEAN YOU WILL FINISH WELL!
“…holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.” 1 Tim 1:19 NIV
• Disqualified because of Sin
• Walked away from Christ
• Bitterness overtakes some
• Trapped / Held in Bondage to some addictive behavior
JUST BECAUSE YOU FELL DOWN DURING THE RACE
DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T FINISH WELL!
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isa 1:18 NIV
Dr. Robert Clinton discovered while researching various individuals in the Word of God that they all finished one of the following Four Ways:
• CUT OFF EARLY (assassinated, denounced, overthrown)
• FINISH POORLY (on the down side spiritually)
• FINISH “SO-SO” (they weren’t all they could have been)
• FINISH WELL (walked with God)
WHY DIDN’T SOME FINISH WELL?
They were ambushed!
1. The act of lying in wait to attack by surprise. 2. A sudden attack made from a concealed position. 3. a. Those hiding in order to attack by surprise. b. The hiding place used for this. 4. A hidden peril or trap.
Jack Maxson, a missionary friend of mine from Texas referred to these ambushes as a sidewinder. A rattle snake that strikes from the side!
• We can call these ambushes nets.
• We can become entangled in nets or we can refuse to let go of our nets.