New International Version (©2011) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The Creator – The Alpha and Omega
Even if you don’t know him, he knows you. God has your address & phone number, he sees your whole facebook & it says that he even knows the number of hairs on your head.
To find out more about him, I recommend this site: http://y-jesus.com/ It addresses the historical facts surrounding the existence of Jesus but it also very adequately explores the resulting importance of why this matters to us on a personal level.
“Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries.” ~ Jaroslav Pelikan, historian
He wants it all! Your whole life, your every action and re-action. This means your job, family and all your money! In the old testament tithing was part of the law, and as the word itself means, you were expected to tithe 10% of your salary to the church. The new covenant doesn’t require you to tithe 10% but rather give him everything. A bit extreme? Not really where did it all come from to begin with? Equally God doesn’t want us on Sunday mornings only, he wants to be involved in our entire lives. Give him your weekends, your job your marriage, your relationships – your life.
I think that sometimes it is more difficult to control our attitudes than our actions and words. People can pick up on a bad attitude. Grumbling in the work place, dragging your feet when your wife or your coach asks you to do something.
This verse for me also means having a Good Attitude, as a Christ follower you should be the most enthusiatic person at work or in the team. Willing to work or push harder than anyone else and do it with a smile on your face.
Enthusiasm originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a god at that stage they were reffering to Greek Gods but the similie I am trying to draw is that as a believer, someone within who Christ dwells we should be enthusiatic and much much more.
We should be filled with the fruits of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Arguing - this is one I have had to fight against all my life! Guess what you don’t always have to be right, EVEN IF YOU ARE.
Drop it, hold your tongue, do not correct, interrupt unnecessarily, prove your point or get your way. In a team, marriage or business partnership try put the outcome or the other parties in the relationship before you.
2 Timothy 2:24 (NIV)
24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
Colossians 3:17 – New Living Translation (©2007)
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
I like the ‘New Living Translation’ here! It takes it to whole other level. More than just ‘being a good little Christian’ and doing everything for God. ‘Representative’ in this verse is bordering on scary, their is a reverence all of a sudden. It is a far more daunting and big deal to be representing God whether it be in the work place or at school be mindful of who you represent. At the same time you can also feel warm and proud! Represent God in all things that you do.
1 Corinthians 10:31
New International Version (NIV)
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
The Good News, Life is easier when you life for him with him. There is no greater comforter, there is no greater joy than living out Gods purpose in your life. He placed a deep desire in your heart and if you follow it ‘Colossians 3:17′ is not so difficult to do!
I don’t like cricket i love it,
it has always been my favourite sport. There is a real battle that takes place, especially in test cricket over 5 days. Recently in 2003 the ECB(English cricket Board) introduced Twenty 20 cricket, an abbreviated form of the game. It takes place over 3 hours and each team bats for 20 overs. Even shorter than the one day internationals played over 50 overs. In 50 over cricket teams have been progressively scoring more and more runs and at a quicker pace, some of you might remember the amazing game in which Australia broke the record and scored 434 (first time a team scored more than 400 in 50 overs) and immediately South africa managed to chase it down and won the match scoring 438.
Not even 20 years before that at South Africa’s first world cup you could say that 230 was a winning score. Pakistan won the final of th e1992 world cup scoring 249 from their 50 overs and bowling England out for 227 in the 49th over.
Now fast forward to this years IPL 20/20 tournament and the scores are just amazing – 263 for 5 wkts by Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in 20 overs and several other teams have also surpassed the 200 mark in 20 overs. Sri Lanka also scored 260 for 6 wkts in international cricket.
Now some will argue that the players are much better but I am not so sure. They play more cricket definitely but they haven’t advanced as much as the scores have. Some say it’s the bats and that may also account for a 5-10% improvement but again there must be more at play.
In changing and shortening the format they have ‘moved the goal posts’ . What was once unachievable has become the normal standard and who knows where they could move to as more players start to adjust their games and mindsets.
I would imagine that my point is clear by now but lets expand on this a little bit more. Imagine a player, lets say the best player from the world cup 1992 was suddenly transported through time and found himself next in to bat with India needing 200 runs off 20 overs. He wouldn’t have bothered to go out and bat!
Don’t let your boundaries be defined for you by society. The ‘world’ puts up fences and ceilings to restrain you, to keep you quiet and to keep you from living out your purpose and being effective for God. Remember through him All things are possible! I believe that applies to the cricket field as much as it applies to our work scenarios and especially to life and Gods mission.
Throughout this site you will find extraordinary examples of men and women who have refused to be confined in the fences or ceilings that the world has put on them. http://www.encouraged.co.za/?cat=3
A friend did a preach on living beyond your ceilings, I will try see if I can find a link for it.
Some practical examples of ‘ Who moved my goal posts’
- One of the strangest things I have noticed with many people I have known, is their inability to live within their means, As soon as their salary increases so to, do their expenses and they just never have enough?! New International Version (©2011) Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
- I have a friend whose name I won’t mention and until recently they were very happy at work. Someone made a miscalculation and it would appear that they have all had the wrong targets for the past year (and they have been achieving them) Obviously the targets have since been adjusted and speaking with him it seems there is a lot grumbling around the sales office. He indicated that it is now impossible and would take a miracle to achieve target. Now without being insensitive to him or anyone else at the company, I actually have it on good authority that it is not really that difficult and in fact most of them (not my friend) are just lazy or lets rather say complacent. They became accustomed to reaching target without too much effort and they are not making the mental adjustment. I have tried to stress to my friend that an interesting/amazing opportunity now exists. ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ As Christians we should not grumble, we should stand out, work harder, push further and moan less. The outcome is he has the chance to be the first to make the new target(not just one of many who were making target) the recognition could result in being fast tracked for management….?
- The Grass is greener where you water it! This one is personal and was said to me recently by a friend in Australia when i was asking what it was like over there. I love to travel and have seen a bit of the world. I have experienced the differences between 1st world and 3rd world, of our 40% unemployment to Australia’s 0.5% in Queensland. Yet I have to remind myself and re-fresh myself with Gods word that no matter the circumstance or challenge or situation I will trust in him.Our practical interpretation of this cute quote is to daily water our lives with Gods word. It is not easy but it works. There is no better way to start the day and give it to him first by reading his word and praying together with my wife.
- Who moved my cheese? Similar to our goal posts, their is a awesome book called ‘Who moved my cheese’ which helps prepare you to deal with change which is inevitable anyways. http://www.spencerjohnson.com/Book-WhoMovedMyCheese.html
A little bit of nostalgia – my favourite moment from the 1992 Cricket World cup
I have been asked a few times why I am a Christian, why do I believe in all this stuff. Do I need some kind of a crutch?
The simple answer is – for peace
Now I am not talking about that liberal hippy kind of ‘peace’ but more about an inner comfort, a filling of the hole deep inside of me, real no worries at all kind of peace. The only thing that makes me feel like everything will be ok is God.
Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV) 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I lived in Australia for a little more than a year and had the opportunity to drive all the way up the East Coast and spend a lot of time on the Australian beaches. We worked a bit along the way and had a BBQ almost every evening. You could say we really experienced what this Australian No Worrries way of life was all about. It is real, it is somewhat peaceful, not to worry about finding work or about crime. But it isn’t permanent even with things going well it didn’t take long until we were searching for something to make us feel better I started reading the bible and began the journey of discovering who God was, my mate I was traveling with also started reading, but all about Budha and found some peace and answers but just like the no worries Australian lifestyle, it was also only temporary. Gods peace is permanent but it doesn’t mean you won’t sometime forget that it is.
At times troubles do come our way and it is natural to occasionaly or sometimes even frequently feel stressed or worried. I found this verse in Philippians 4:4-9 quite helpful, I hope you do to…
The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s answer for us.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good report,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things.
Our pastor also did an awesome Preach on worrying, and in it he said to be a warrior not a worrier.
Below are his sermon notes –
Two businessmen were talking about the economic recession. Jack said, “I’m about to lose my job, and our house is in foreclosure – but I don’t worry about it. Bob, his friend, asked “How can you not be worried?” Jack answered, “I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all my worrying for me. That way I don’t have to think about it!” Bob replied, “That’s a fantastic idea. How much does it cost to hire a professional worrier?” “R250 000 a year,” Jack answered. “R250 000! Where are you going to get that kind of money? Jack replied, ‘I don’t know. That’s his worry!”
Turn with me in your Bibles to: Matt 6:25-34
– Combination of wisdom and compassion – He knows the heart of man
He knows we’re ready to reject the warnings of worldliness with the argument that we cannot help being anxious about the things of this life
ILL: YES Tony it’s so easy for you to say ‘don’t worry’
– you don’t know what I have to deal with and you don’t know what’s happening on my life – I have to provide for my family and in these days it’s not that easy – things are expensive and it’s tough out there – you wouldn’t really know as a pastor – “oh really?!!!!!”
Jesus foresaw these arguments and gives us an answer here in this scripture
WORRY – Oxford – a thing that causes anxiety or disturbs tranquillity, disturbed state of mind
Worry comes from the old English word meaning – ‘to choke or strangle’
Opposite – PEACE / FAITH
William Backus – “No drug will rid our lives of anxiety, no psycho-therapy can take it away, and no religion will cause it to vanish like the morning dew. Anxiety remains part of life. You have it because you are a human being existing between time and eternity, surrounded from cradle to grave with what the ancient prayer describes as ‘so many and so great dangers’. The good news about anxiety is that there is a way to deal with it in faith, so as to make the most of it, diminish its power, and find your way through it. If you are willing to stop adding to the problem by seeking every which way to escape and avoid anxiety, if you are willing to let your faith become activated and to follow it straight ahead into your fear, you can discover how to ease and reduce anxiety, and even use it to become the person God wants you to be.”
1. He refuses to allow us to keep up an anxious spirit about the things of this world
– 4 times He says to not worry/anxious about: LIFE, FOOD, CLOTHING, TOMORROW (glad He said nothing about shoes!)
– don’t be over careful – don’t be over anxious – prudent provision for the future is right – strangling, self tormenting, choking anxiety is harmful
Worry is UNREASONABLE – to worry about something you can’t change is USELESS – to worry about something you can change is STUPID
“Don’t worry about the clothes you need. Life is more important than the clothes we wear.”
2. He reminds us of the providential care that God continually takes of everything that He has created
– has God given you life??????? surely He won’t let us live without giving us the basics – has He given us our bodies???? surely He will not let us die for want of clothes
He takes care of everything!!!!
When we worry – we believe God can’t take care of us – UNBELIEF IS A SIN
Birds don’t worry but God takes care of them. Don’t you realize that you’re more valuable to God than mere birds?
3. He points out the uselessness of over-anxiety
– our lives are entirely in God’s hands – all the worry in the world will not make us live a minute beyond the time He has appointed – we will not die till our work is done
Worry is something we have LEARNED to do: no such thing as a born worrier
– from experience: mistakes, failures, unfulfilled expectations – learnt the habit of worrying – from examples: around us. Studies have shown that children pick up their peasants worries. Anxious parents raise anxious children
Good news! It can be unlearned!
Worry is UNHELPFUL!!!!
V 27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
4. He sends us to the birds of the air for instruction – we can learn from them
– they make no provision for the future
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
– they literally live from day to day on what they pick up, using the instinct God has put in them
Of course they are busy ‘picking up’ – WORKING, BEING PRODUCTIVE
ILL: Problem I’ve often seen: People complain that God isn’t providing but they are doing NOTHING. No work! “Did you go to the WIMPY to see if you could work there?” NO?????
One chap I know turned down a job because they weren’t paying enough – 6 months later he still sits without a job and is complaining ????? GO FIGURE
I think what they teach us here is that if any man is doing what God has CALLED him to do he will never fall into poverty.
5. He tells us to observe the flowers of the field
Year after year they are dressed in the most beautiful colors without any labour or striving
v28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
He clothes them with beauty every season!
THE SAME GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL BELIEVERS
Why do we so doubt that He will provide for us when we see how He looks after the flowers of the valley
ILL: observation – chap runs around outside Fourways Gardens – never seen him without clothes
6. He offers us a gracious promise, as a remedy against an anxious spirit
He assures us that if we SEEK FIRST His Kingdom EVERYTHING that we really need in this world will be given to us.
Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
SEEK FIRST – DO WE REALLY SEEK HIS KINGDOM FIRST?????????
Often we seek everything else first and then His kingdom – SICKNESS – catch my self seeking doctors, medicine etc and then we think of praying and asking Jesus
Worry is UNNECESSARY!!!! ‘God PROMISES that He will take care of us”
CONCLUSION – HOW WE OVERCOME WORRY:
1. WE TRUST GOD WITH EVERY AREA OF OUR LIVES – SEEK 1ST HIS KINGDOM
2. LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME
Jesus concludes with one of the wisest sayings ever:
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
– we are not to be consumed by cares before they come
– let us attend to today’s business; leave tomorrows worries for tomorrow
We don’t even know what will happen tomorrow!!!
We can be ASSURED of this: that if tomorrow brings a cross, He who sends it, can and will send grace to bear it
– Half our miseries come from things that we worry will come upon us – and half the things we expect to come upon us, don’t!!!!!!!!!!!
3. TALK TO GOD
Phil 4:6-8 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This we can be sure of, that David’s words are true:
Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
By Tony Sivewright