Friday, January 27, 2006

Important Steps To Creating A NEW Year Series: "Two Revolutionary Approaches To Life"

(This is our 2nd message in this series that I spoke on January 15th. This beginning part was interactive with the church. That's why you'll see questions at the begining of this intro.)

Let’s do a quick recap from last week and talk about this together a little…

We began our “Important Steps To Creating A NEW Year” series with the first sermon “The Key To Experiencing A NEW Year”.

I used some common math symbols as an analogy for the choices we have as we begin 2006. You can choose to be greater than (>), you can to be less than (<), or you can choose to be the same (=). Only one of these choices is really a good one and that’s the choice to be greater than!

Some of your experiences and results this year will be out of your control. But, a lot of your experiences and results will be TIED into this choice you make: to repent or not to repent.

Repentance is your key to a NEW Year! Plain and simple it means this…
  • Repentance => healing and growth = a new life
  • No repentance => more pain and lack of growth = same old same old

What do you think about repentance being the key to change? Does it make sense to you?

Last week, we looked at Mark 1:15 and saw that this message of repentance was what Jesus began his ministry with. This is how the NIV translation words it… “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

You have to stop doing something and start doing something else to really experience change.
You have to turn from something and turn to something for change to begin.

Repentance is a U-Turn. It’s turning from the way you were headed to the opposite direction! But it’s more than that! We saw from John The Baptist in Luke 3:7-9 that repentance is something that’s DONE, not just SAID!

It’s something that produces results or “fruit” in our life!

What do you think about that? How did the thought of repentance being an action not just words resonate with you?

Repentance is tied into faith. You have to believe something new to do something new. What’d you think about the repentance and faith connection?

Real repentance ISN’T just feeling bad and wanting not to be in trouble anymore. That kind of repentance doesn’t lead to any lasting results!

Real repentance is believing that something is bad so you want to stop doing it, OR it’s believing something else is better, so you want to start doing it instead.

Do you see the difference? What do you think about this description of REAL repentance?

Last week, I said that there were two things that can lead us to repent: sadness or gladness. We need to stop settling for where we’re at. We need to become sadder about the areas where we’re less than we should be!

But an even more powerful incentive to repent comes from gladness

I showed you last week that Jesus said, “Repent and Believe the WHAT news?” Good news!

Get this. Jesus is basically saying...

The time is here! The kingdom of God is now near, so believe this incredibly good news and do a U-Turn!

Any thoughts or comments about sadness and gladness as things that motivate us to repent? Which seems to work the best with you?

I also told you that the only way we’d be able to conquer the greatest areas in our lives through repenting is only going to happen WITH God and each others help.

How has it been trying to live it these ideas last week?

Anyone what to tell us what happened?
What have you learned from it?
Any other questions or comments?

Cool. Thanks for sharing your thought and ideas about this stuff. This interaction will help us all to apply it more in our lives!

Today, I want to talk about the next step to creating a NEW year in 2006. I want to talk about “Two Revolutionary Approaches To Life”.

I saw a story that Bernie May told in his book, "Learning to Trust”. He said this…

For the past forty years Eunice Pike has worked with the Mazatec Indians in south-western Mexico. During this time she has discovered some interesting things about these beautiful people.

For instance, the people seldom wish someone well. Not only that, they are hesitant to teach one another or to share the gospel with each other.

If asked, "Who taught you to bake bread?" the village baker answers, "I just know," meaning he has acquired the knowledge without anyone's help.

Eunice says this odd behavior stems from the Indian's concept of "limited good." They believe there is only so much good, so much knowledge, so much love to go around. To teach another means you might drain yourself of knowledge.

To love a second child means you have to love the first child less. To wish someone well--"Have a good day"--means you have just given away some of your own happiness, which can’t be reacquired.

The way that some people live around us everyday, you’d think they believe the same thing about "limited good"!

But limited good is lie. The opposite is actually true!

When we give, we don’t lose. We GAIN! The apostle Paul said it like this in Acts 20:35 "It is more blessed to give than to receive".

Today, I want to talk to you about a way of living that will change what you do and why you do what you do.

This way of living can be seen in two approaches to living life. These two approaches are so powerful that if everyone in the world used them it could solve many of the world's problems!

What is this way of living I’m talking about?

I want to stick with math symbols as a way to show you this idea this week...

There are two ways to live life:

+ Add to others and this world.
– Subtracting from others and this world.

It basically comes down to living to give or to get. You either live to GIVE to God and others or you live to GET from God and others!

There’s a book by a guy named Matt Rawlins called “The Lottery – A question can change a life”. This book is one of those modern parable books like a lot of business books are today.

In this book, Matt Rawlins tells the story about an eccentric old man who spent the last years of his life trying to find the keys that would save mankind from destroying themselves while creating hope for tomorrow.

He spent his entire fortune, which was a pretty large amount of money and hired thousands of researchers from around the world. He had a computer system built that could compile the data.

No one but himself was allowed to read all of it.

Historical archives were carefully examined. No page was left unturned as these researchers looked for the keys to success in helping humanity move forward. The research was compiled and placed very carefully in two identical books.

After this man died, he gave the two identical books to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC so that they could auction one off to the highest bidder and give the other book away in a Nationwide lottery.

They held this fancy event to have the auction and lottery.

There were wealthy and well known people there who all wanted a chance to buy the one book. All of the major news outlets where there to see who got the two books and they also wanted to find out what was in the books.

They held the auction and a really wealthy guy paid a lot of money to get the first book. They then had the lottery. Anyone around the country was allowed to enter their name so everyone was watching to see if they would win.

They finally chose a name and it was a guy named Mark Stephen who won. All the media started trying to contact him and see what he was going to do. He was trippin’ and didn’t know what he was going to do at first, but finally decided to at least go down and see what was in the book. They brought him to a bank vault to see the book.

When he opened the book he was totally shocked!

On the first page was a simple question mark. That was it! All the other pages were blank.

At first, he laughed and thought it was a joke. But he quickly realizes it’s not and the whole rest of the book is about this journey to discover what this QUESTION MARK means.

He eventually learns the message and it’s what I want you to understand today…

He discovered that succeeding in life is all about asking the right questions!

He learned that questions create a focus and because of the focus of the questions we don’t see other things that might be important.

The questions we ask set up what we find. The author says it in this was through the character Mark…

“The right question, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people is one of the most powerful tools in the hand of any man, woman or God.”

If we change one simple question in our lives then amazing things will begin to happen!

Let me read forward of the book "The Daily Drucker" (which is a book filled with different quotes, concepts and ideas from a man who was a the late management guru Peter Drucker) to show you an example of this change.

This is what it says…

"His generosity of spirit explains much of Drucker’s immense influence. I reflected back on his work, ‘The Effective Executive’, and his admonition to replace the quest for success with the quest for contribution. The critical question is not, 'How can I achieve?' but 'What can I contribute?'"

We need to go from “What can I get?” to “What can I give?”!

Listen to what Jesus says in Luke 6:38

Hear the message below.
(Warning: I was STILL fighting off laryngitis, so my voice is still really raspy!)

MP3 Stream

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