Sunday, September 27, 2015

From Good to Great

Acts 18:18-23 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus. And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch. After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

Pastor Kyle, continuing in our Sunday Sermon series through the book of Acts, tells us that there are “Be” aspects of being in Christ and there are “Do” aspects of being in Christ. The Lord God loved us enough to save us from our sin, but also loves us enough to not keep us in our sin. We assume the “Be” in Christ aspect of being a Christian, but Ephesians 2:1-9 is followed by Ephesians 2:10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Kyle emphasized five simple keys to transform our everyday life from good to great: (1) The first person that we need to please is God, so learn to say “No” to people nicely. Discern your personal boundaries and stick to them. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop - Proverbs 16:27, but “Busyness is not just from the Devil, it is the Devil - Carl Gustav Jung. We need to sometimes say “no” to even some “good” things in order to allow us to do some “God” things. (2) We need to realize and accept that our communication always needs improvement. Even the best gifts need refinement. When we seriously take an honest look, we realize just how shallow our relationship with the Lord truly is. Accept that, this side of eternity, our communication skill needs improving and maturing. (3) We need to embrace Positivity. Negativity is a battle in our mind, but we choose what comes out in word and deed or lack thereof when appropriate.

Philippians 4:8 “Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Your words have power. Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Bring every conversation back to the goodness of the Lord. (4) We need to know and love the Holy Scriptures. We do not need to be a Bible Scholar or Theologian, but we all can express to others how the Word of God is making a difference in our lives. 1 Peter 3:15 “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and reverential fear. Tell of your hope and God’s help in your story. (5) We need to stay teachable. God knows the big picture, but only gives us pieces for our time in His story. We never really stop learning. Life changes, evolves with the times, stages and ages, but God’s Word  and His promises do not. The deeper our humility becomes, the more you want to hear the truth. Greatness is not a destination; it’s what you do every day.

IT boils down to one question: Would we rather fall attempting everyday greatness or succeed in achieving everyday mediocrity. Spend time with God and His Word today. Don’t settle for “good enough”, but shoot for “great” for God every day through the hope of glory through Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed Sunday, Brian

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