Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Starting over, Second Chances & Becoming the Hero of our Story

"In February 1980, the U.S. Olympic hockey team slipped its foot into a glass slipper and walked away with a gold medal at Lake Placid, New York. Those collegians had shocked the world by upsetting the powerful Soviet team, and then they grabbed the championship from Finland while the crowd chanted, "U.S.A.!" Before his team's victory over the Soviet Union which advanced them to the finals, the coach of the U.S. hockey team told his players, "You are born to be a player. You are meant to be here at this time. This is your moment."
Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 11.

In the same way today, I believe God has called you here for a purpose. He’s called you to a new way. You are not here by accident. I would like to talk with you about starting a new life. Coming to the table here is about a new start. It’s about a new way of living. It’s about starting over, and becoming all God has made us to be. Many of you have already begun down this road by participating in soldiership classes on Wednesdays. I’m here to recruit you into a new life. I’m here to recruit you into the kingdom of God. I’m the lieutenant, and you are my army, my army of love and truth.

The word of God says, Jeremiah 29:11 ESV “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

The Lord has a plan for your life, and it’s a good plan. A plan to do great things. But you still have your choice, your free will. You can choose to live a new life, or you can continue the old life. And the old life leads nowhere. Ultimately I ask you this question: What will you do? You gonna walk with God? Or go your own way?

It’s time to get off the sidelines, and become the hero of your own story. I know a lot of you lost hope at one time in the past that things could ever be better. But hope is back baby, it’s back in a big way. It’s time for a new day. It’s time for that fire to burn bright inside of you once again. With Jesus inside you can’t lose brothers and sisters. You’ve got power now. When you hit the ground before ,you’re gonna rise up in strength.

The enemy is gunning for you. That’s for sure. But you’ve got your sword and shield. You’ve got your helmet and your breastplate, you’re ready for battle. A new day is dawning in your life. You’re the hero now. And you’re gonna have to fight. But the battle is worth it. You’re going to become a man of honor, a woman of dignity. You’re gonna become a pillar of this community. I’m looking at the new heroes of the world.

What is your purpose in life? Thomas Carlyle a Scottish philosopher and writer said, “A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder--a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.”

You know, God likes to take people who don’t seem that important and make them His heroes. Jesus didn’t go talk to rich elites when he gathered his disciples. He went to some fishermen, a tax collector, prostitutes, and the sick and the miserable. Jesus flips everything around. He takes the least and makes them first.

Matthew 19:28-30 Jesus said, “You can be sure that when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the New Age, then you twelve followers of mine will also sit on thrones, to rule the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times more and will be given eternal life. 30 But many who now are first will be last, and many who now are last will be first.”

I’ve met many of the “important people” in Owosso. I’ve met some of the important people in the United States as well, what we think of as the elites. And they’ve got all the angles. They’ve figured out how to make all the money, how to get the women, how to take the power, and how to win in politics. And most, not all, but most of them think of faith in God as something for simpletons, country bumpkins, and people without a proper education. But that’s what makes God’s plan so amazing. He does something that most people can’t fully understand, like with Jesus and the cross. It seems like foolishness to rich educated people. But it’s a trip wire that God put there intentionally, to trip up the prideful, who think they are better than everyone else.

The kingdom of God is certainly open to the rich and powerful, if they will humble themselves and turn to Jesus. It’s happened before, like with Nicodemus. But overall, the kingdom of God is come to us, average everyday people, who are willing to come to God like children, simply trusting God, and obeying Him. The kingdom of God comes to us. And often times the rich and powerful, the Jeff Bezos and the Bill Gates miss it.

The first, will be last, and the last will be first. Isn’t that amazing? So it’s time to be the hero. It’s time to live the new life. You guys are the heroes now, and I think each of you are going to become mighty warriors in the army of God. So we’ll conclude with this scripture, Ephesians 4:17-24 ERV "I have something from the Lord to tell you. I warn you: Don’t continue living like those who don’t believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They have no understanding, and they know nothing because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost their feeling of shame and use their lives to do what is morally wrong. More and more they want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But that way of life is nothing like what you learned when you came to know Christ. 21 I know that you heard about him, and in him you were taught the truth. Yes, the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him."