New Year’s Resolution: Act on Faith

INTRO:

  • Looking forward to 2016, Dream Project > RtB
  • RtB defined
    • Grow in your faith (Be the Church)
    • Move to a new location (Activate a New Location)
    • Reach out to the community (Reach the Lost/Community)
  • 2016 Theme: Act on Faith
    • James 2:18, “I will show you my faith by my deeds.”
    • Overcome Obstacles (might be you <>)
    • To achieve the vision we will have to come, work, succeed together.
  • Mission: We exist to win people to Christ, to train believers in Christ, and send disciples out to impact their world through service.
    • Each of us will need to be committed to RtB vision and the mission
    • Great companies, teams, churches have 1 thing in common: Everyone is all-in and committed.
    • Danger: We can say everything is good now <>
      • We have enough people, funds, resources, things get taken care of
      • C3 doesn’t really need me Wrong! We need everyone to act on faith!
      • ILL: The time is now in America
        • Values, downtown to uptown, from city to local halls, schoolyard to the shipyard, moving away from Xian values
      • I want to challenge your faith, enlarge your view of God, out of comfort zone, Raise the Bar of your commitment, act on faith.
    • Every one of us is needed.
      • This year I ask you to recommit to the mission of C3. I’m all in.  Count on me.
      • If we are going to impact Western Tidewater, to think about who God is, we must believe that God is able to do more than we can ask, think, or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us.

BIBLE, Benaiah

  • Background
  • 2 Samuel 23:20-21
    • This shows his incredible courage,
    • Normal people do not do this <>
    • Wouldn’t it be more realistic that after the lion fell in the pit he walked away? <>
  • This story tells us something about God: Just as God placed Benaiah in a strategic place at a strategic time he also places us in a strategic place for a strategic time. Write that down: God has placed us here in this strategic place at this strategic time. You are not here by mistake.
    • God’s timing can seem like the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Encountering the lion can seem like bad timing, but God was giving an incredible opportunity.

LESSON: If we are going to raise the bar, act on faith, then we need to embrace these 4 takeaways from Benaiah’s experience.

  • Past experiences prepare us for future opportunities.
    1. Things we have gone through in our past prepare us for where we are and where we are going.
    2. ILL: Benaiah, verse 23, he became the captain of David’s palace guard. <>
    3. How you react to problems and difficulties prepare you for the future.
      1. We can cower if fear and run or have the courage to embrace the opportunity before us.
    4. APP: 2016 Budget
      1. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the heart in the dog.
      2. Where is your heart when it comes to C3? It is about friendships or is it about changing lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • ILL: Budget double when I came in 2007- we met it.
  1. Take note, when it comes to finding a new, permanent location, it’s going to be risky either in money, location, or both, and you will be asked to look deep down at your heart and ask, how big is your heart? How big is your God?
  2. Dream Project: All of Western Tidewater <>
    1. If we are going to have a big impact in WT then we will need a big church.
    2. God has prepared us for this year.
  3. Look at your past experiences…
  1. Opportunities are often disguised as problems
    1. Lion’s on snowy days a big problem, but Benaiah turned it into an opportunity.
    2. It feels risky to treat problems as opportunities. (Abraham > Isaac, David > Goliath, Esther > King, Peter & John > Sanhedrin, Peter > Boat.)
    3. ILL; 1900’ San Antonio
      1. How can people look at the same thing so differently?
        1. The truth is people who think big insist on solutions that propel the organization
      2. ILL: Successful employees: 5% availability; 5% adaptability; 10% ability; 10% appearance; 70% attitude. Attitude makes the difference.
        1. Talent isn’t everything.
        2. It’s our attitude that gives us the ability to go after God sized dreams.
      3. What’s your attitude like. Our biggest regrets our missed opportunities.
      4. In 2016 we have a great opportunity to move our church forward.
  • You have to trust God regardless of your problem.
    1. Too often we pray to God to reduce our problems instead of asking him to make them greater. We want God to make our life easier instead of making our faith bigger.
    2. The truth is God likes impossible odds and often God will not intervene until it is humanly impossible.
    3. ILL: Benaiah with a sword or spear.
    4. ILL: David and Goliath <> The other grown men of the Hebrew army looked at Goliath and said we can’t beat him. David looked at Goliath and said he’s so big I can’t miss him!
  1. ILL; Gideon <32,000 > 300 vs. 100,000 men [grasshoppers]
    1. You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, anyone who trembles in fear may turn back.”
    2. APP: I believe God is saying the same thing to us in 2016, “Anyone who trembles in fear may turn back.”
  • God can do more with 300 faithful men and women than he can with 32,000 frightened people.
  1. Too often we ask God to reduce the odds in our favor. Faith is trust God regardless of the odds.
  2. Most of our struggles come from not really understanding who God is.
    1. For most of us God is too small
    2. This is because we only ask God to soothe our soul and not challenge us.
  • Then we wonder why God doesn’t move.
  1. Problems look really big when our God is small.
  1. And when your problems are bigger than God instead of God being bigger than your problem you act on fear and you do not act on faith.
  1. The bigger God gets the smaller the problem becomes.
    1. How do you enlarge your view of God? it’s when you place yourself in a life situation where the struggle you are going through forces you to depend on God.  <David, Abraham, Peter>
    2. If you don’t then you will never depend on God; so then you will play God and be in control.
    3. ILL: The Floating Axe in 2 Kings- It never occurred to the guy God could do it for him.
    4. Men- we have a tendency to categorize miracle- I can handle the small miracles. Truth is all miracles are just the same to God.
    5. We never ask god to handle the little things. There is a strain that I can handle the small stuff and I ask God for the big stuff.
    6. Question: Question: Why do you want to miss God being active, doing miracles, in your everyday life, even the small stuff? Why miss a miracle even if it’s small?
    7. God is always bigger and smaller then you can think or imagine.
  2. Nothing is impossible to God.
    1. Benaiah and a Lion, David and Goliath, Peter on the water, $32,000 offering, $120,000 to buy the land, Friend to come to the faith, Grid
    2. Never stop asking God for big things.
    3. The problem isn’t the budget, a new location, it’s how big your God is.
    4. APP: Following God financially
      1. Video
    5. APP: Tithing, 10%
      1. Many of you do not tithe, this breaks my heart.
        1. You do not trust God.
        2. You are missing our on God’s blessings.
      2. If you are not giving 10% then you are not tithing. (eslsewhere)
  • How to give
  1. Takeaway: If we are going to be successful in the RtB campaign then we will have to have faith in a God bigger than the one we currently believe in.
  2. In what area of your life do you need to stretch your faith? Think big and impossible- we have a God who dwells in the impossible (The fiery furnace, the lion’s den, on the water)  God is not in the safe place!

CONCLUSION

  • Act on Faith, “I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18
  • Advice: When think of your problem think smaller. When you think of God think bigger!
  • Act on Faith!

PRAY

TIME OF COMMITMENT: Jesus believed in a God so big that by his one act everyone can be fulfilled and know God.

           

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