Faithlife Sermons

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Universal statement: When the last chapter of your life has been written — what is the closing paragraph going to say?
What thoughts and images come to mind when you thing of being "successful"?
What does success look like for you?
I think that the word “success” means different things to each of us.
Success could equal having a happy and fulling marriage… success could means feeling financially secure.. home ownership… success could mean attaining a position or winning some achievement… Success may simply finishing a task.. for example some higher educational goal…
Think most of us are driven by the need to succeed or at least to be perceived by others as succeeding.
Here is the problem is what happens when we use the the wrong measurement of success?
There will be feelings of failure and never measuring up..
What are some of the measurements of success?
some measure success by ACHIEVEMENT - Set a goal and then you achieve the desired goal.
Michael Phelps has dominated the pool over the course of the last four Olympic games and has won a total of 28 medals.
To get a perspective on what 28 Olympic medals looks like:
Together, the medals weigh "more than 18 pounds," and "if he had been his own nation at the last four Olympic Games, Phelps would rank 13th in gold medals...
How many gold medals does it take to feel successful… it has to be more than the goal of Medals for Phelps…
John Maxwell calls the goal of ACHIEVEMENT the “Destination disease.”
It’s the belief that if one can arrive somewhere -attain a position, accomplish a goal, have a relationship with the right person - they will be considered a success.. Michael Jordan quit basket ball and played pro baseball and then returned to basket ball because he realized that he loved the process… rather than the destination.
For some maybe the measurement is WEALTH.
If only we can accumulate enough wealth then we will be successful.
The problem is that wealth doesn bring contentment.
John D Rockefeller gave away more than 35 Million in his life time and was once asked how much it would take to satisfy him.
His reply was, “just a little bit more”
Another measurement might be POWER (position)
Charles McElroy once joked, “Power is recognized as an excellent short-term antidepressant” There is some truth here in that power gives the impression of success, but it is often short lived… Every leader “position” is going to at some point come to an end… the corner office is not always going to be yours..
What is success?
I love this Definition by John Maxwell.
Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others
then he adds…
“You will never exhaust your capacity to grow toward your potential or run out of opportunities to help others.”
John Maxwell
In other words success is a process not a destination…
When you see success as a journey you will never have the problem of trying to arrive at a specific destination.. Our human approach to success tends to be - Here is my goal..
God’s approach is all about the journey- here is the person I want you to be, here what I want you to do… and here is how to be that type of person and how to do the task.
The last several weeks we have been learning from the Kings of Judah… some of them were successes and others compete failures.
What I love about this part of the Bible is that we have these records where we can glean and learn from History... where we can see the unfolding of good and bad leadership and the consequences of good and bad decisions.
We have a record comparisons and contrasts in our text… What does a good leaders do?
What should we avoid?
What does success look like?
The kings of Judah… basically the kings can be divided into two camps those who sought after God and those who didn’t… the successful Kings tore down false idols, prioritized worship and established themselves in the scripture.
One of the most successful leaders was Jehosphat!
Jehosphat was the teaching King in Israel… He was a revivalist… restored worship and order placing godly judges around the nation of Judah… and under his leadership the nation prospered… and when he was threatened by a coalition of foreign evaders (moabites, Amonites, ubasites) who … threatened to destroy them… Jehosphat called the nation of Judah together and together they sort the face of God… they fasted and the Lord answered their prayers — through His Word… The prophet declares,
“the battle is not yours the battle is the Lords stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”.... God caused confusion and the enemy destroyed itself… It was an amazing victory for Judah that day…
And you can imagine that just like the stories of Israels crossing the Jordan and destroying the Egyptians.. that this story was told over and over…
When Jehosphat was old and ready to pass on the baton of leadership to his son Jehoram…The nation was secure, worship and the word was still a priority, people were treated with Justice and as a nation they were prospering…
1. Find the Pathway to Success.
As you read through the book of 2 Chronicles you get this perspective from the Chronicler.. (who is possibly Erza).
That this is much more than a History lesson, but rather this record of history is instructive… In other words we are not peering into the distant past through a periscope.. but rather we are given practical wisdom and application for today..
For the Chronicler it was a lesson from history that needed to be heard in his own day, for it remained the pathway to success and blessing.
a. Start being a conduit of Blessing
Jehosaphat had seven sons and he blesses them and gives them an equal inheritance…
The proverbs says a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.
Jehosphat was a good man a good father who dispersed his wealth and influence equally among his children.
He gave his sons great gifts…gold, silver… valuables .... set them up in fortified cities...
Part of his was a strategy in dispersing his sons throughout Judah was to strengthen the dynasty and the nation as a whole.
I want us to notice something here… How does the last paragraph of Jehosphat's life read… How is he going to be remembered..
At the end of Jehosophats life…we can conclude...
1. Jehosphat lived out his purpose…
2. Jehosphat maximized his potential...
3. Jehosaphat sowed seeds to benefit others..
His impact on others transcended his leadership… Jehosphat is known for those lives who were enriched because he was around..
Learn from the Experiences of Others.
We’ve all heard that experience is the best teacher.
Although we all should learn from our experiences, both good and bad, there’s no good reason to keep reinventing the wheel.
Rather than learning from your own experiences, it is far more efficient to learn from someone else’s…experience....
The map of God's activity, then, is not a blank ocean between the apostolic shores and our modern day.
So we need to remember--and search for our roots in--the luminaries, risk takers, and movements of the church through the centuries.
To neglect them is not only to risk repeating past errors, it is to fall victim to a narrowing amnesia that leaves us floundering.
Timothy K.
Jones, Christian History, no.
I have been reading one of the history books of the Free Church… We have an amazing legacy of men and women who made sacrifices in the begining of our church… It is entitled — “Stumbling into Maturity.”
The title is
Spiritual legacy we have in the DNA of our movement.
People of the word--- one of the phrases that comes from our “What says the scripture?”
In the early days when revival were spreading across this nation… God raised up men like D.L. Moody who stirred revival in the nation… Some came with some strange doctrines… people would always go back to the Bible… built on the foundation principles of the reformation - Solos — only grace.. only christ — only Scriptura - only grace — only faith.
Pastors and congregations knew both theology and the scriptures...
Church planting - small groups were formed --- many churches were formed.
Missions minded Church - Free Churches have been huge proponent of supporting oversees missions.
Still leads in the area
Over came the Need to change.…
They had come out of State run churches and therefore were nervous of forming formal organized church… with membership… and pastors.. authorities..
But they realized in order to keep the fruits of revival they had to be in congregations…Services held in Swedish and there were big changes in the New World… Especially when many of the Children were learning English… As the younger generation grew up they wanted services in English and the older generation longed for sermons in their own swedish tongue… They started adding English Service… church began to grow… here is the thing those churches that didn’t change eventually died out...
T/S not only do we learn from the successes of others but we also learn from failures..
2. Avoid the Pathway to Failure
The other day Pam was driving along park street in Chico and she stoped for a red light and the car next her flew through the light… Now, you might have compassion on the guy… how many of us have gone through a red light or miss timed a light… but then at the next intersection he did it again… went through a red light… then he did it again…and
sure enough at the third light - Pam caught up to him and he was in the middle of the intersection and a car had broad sided him… Now, not sure what his thinking process was here… Maybe he in a rush to get somewhere… or was he distracted and not paying attention… But, one thing was certain - failure was almost guaranteed....
As you read through Jehoram’s life this guys life is an accident about to happen… As you read the story you know that it is not going to end well…
a. Make Success all about you.
The first things that Jehoram does when he ascends to the throne is that he kills all his brothers and some of the princes of Israel… He basically makes a power move and took out anyone who he perceived to be a threat… Ironically, this one move nearly wipe out his family line.. as you read on in the story…
Success is nothing to do with what you gain in this life for yourself… rather success is what you do for others.
Jehoram made success about himself and he ended up a failure.
Be influenced by the wrong things
It is amazing what happened to Jehoram.
Jehoram instead of following the godly role model of his father… Jehosphat.
He chose to follow the King Ahab as an example and role model… He wanted to be just like him and it was reflected in his behavior… or his conduct… Ahab was the anthesis of who Jehosphat was.... exact opposite.
Ahab was known as the wickedest King in Israel.
we are told in the book of 1 Kings that King Ahab “did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him.”
He married Jezebel who had a hatred for God’s people and he devoted himself to the worship of false gods.
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