Faithlife Sermons

Being an Overachiever when Average Has Been Your Norm

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The empowerment of the Holy Spirit and why He is necessary to accomplish all that Christ is calling for believers to BE, LIVE OUT, & ACCOMPLISH in Him.

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Acts 1:1–3 ESV
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:4–8 ESV
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 The Message
8 What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
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TITLE: Being An Overachiever When Average Has Been Your Norm

Georgene Johnson got to the starting line 15 minutes early. The mistake cost her 20 miles and a pair of aching knees, but she said Monday she’s happy with the outcome. The 42-year-old secretary was slated to run in a 10-kilometer race Sunday. Instead, she mistakenly joined about 4000 runners taking part in the Revco-Cleveland Marathon. Rather than quit, she hung on to finish the 26 mile race.

“As stupid as I felt out there running, I’m proud of myself,” Johnson said Monday in a telephone interview. “I guess I was in better shape than I thought. I feel fine, although my knees are real sore this morning.”

The 10-K (6.2 mile) race, was to start at 8:45 a.m., the marathon 15 minutes earlier. Both Revco-Cleveland races used the same starting line. Four miles down the road, as the route left downtown and moved into residential areas, she said she “got that sick feeling that possibly I was in the wrong race.” Another runner confirmed her suspicions. Johnson finished the marathon in 4:04, good enough for 83rd place in the women’s division. Her longest run previously was 8 miles.

Source unknown

[ILLUSTRATION]
Georgene Johnson got to the starting line 15 minutes early. The mistake cost her 20 miles and a pair of aching knees, but she said Monday she’s happy with the outcome. The 42-year-old secretary was slated to run in a 10-kilometer (shorter race) but mistakenly joined about 4000 runners taking part in the Revco-Cleveland 26mile Marathon. Rather than quit, she hung on to finish the 26 mile race.
Both races used the same starting line: The 26mi marathon started at 8:30a while the 10-K (6.2 mile) shorter race started 15min later. Johnson finished the marathon in 4:04, good enough for 83rd place in the women’s division. Her longest run previously was 8 miles.
The 10-K (6.2 mile) race, was to start at 8:45 a.m., the marathon 15 minutes earlier. Both Revco-Cleveland races used the same starting line. Four miles down the road, as the route left downtown and moved into residential areas, she said she “got that sick feeling that possibly I was in the wrong race.” Another runner confirmed her suspicions. Johnson finished the marathon in 4:04, good enough for 83rd place in the women’s division. Her longest run previously was 8 miles.
FCF: Sometimes, you and I make mistakes and end up running the wrong race, and God decides to use it for his glory. Your best may be insufficient this morning/you may be considering giving up but God says if you give me your best, I will raise you one.
says, “Let us not grow weary in well doing for at the right time, we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.”
The whole of the growth, development, and duplication of the church from this point until the day of Jesus’ return is wholly dependent on the fulfillment of this promise in v. 8 …you will receive power.
At the same time, I believe that many Christians and churches alike have built whole lives and Christian communities absent of the very power necessary to survive/stay rooted when trying times arise.
[ILLUSTRATION]
A. W. Tozer once said, “We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low. We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus in the things of the Spirit is all but gone… [We] have imitated the world, sought popular favor, manufactured delights to substitute for the joy of the Lord and produced a cheap and synthetic power to substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Given our talents, experience, and education, many of us are capable of living successful lives absent of the Holy Spirit. If that truly is the case, that leaves the question: 1) What is missing from our lives/worship that only the Holy Spirit can give?
1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
The truth is that only 2-3% of ministries in the US look like the things that are often associated with “successful ministry” while most others are made up of congregations less than 100 people, are not on television, and barely have enough committed people to keep the doors open beyond Sunday worship
The bible says that we ar
1 Corinthians 6:8 ESV
8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
Paul tells the Corinthians that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit…that HE DWELLS WITHIN US.
1cor 6
If that is so, shouldn’t we expect those with the Holy Spirit to be different than those without?
[ILLUSTRATION]
If I was a baseball player and I told you that God was living in me, shouldn’t you expect to see something unique or different in me from other baseball players? Fastball, catch, and run should be uniquely different right?
The problem is that self professing Christians are only distinguishable from non believers because they tell us they are Christians, not because we see they are Christians.
We’ve heard the language and observed the behaviors of church goes who praise God on Sunday, but curse co-workers on Monday…they raise Holy hands on Tuesday, but will raise a finger on Wednesday…they testiFY on Thursday only to testiLIE on Friday....but will lay out their church clothes on Saturday to start the whole cycle again on Sunday.
This isn’t a new phenomena, but is one that James confronted long ago:
James 3:10 ESV
10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
What’s absent is the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit!!
[PROBLEM STATEMENT]

(WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT DO FOR YOU AS A BELIEVER?)

ABLE TO DO MORE

Romans 8:26 ESV
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
helps us in our weakness = sunantilambanomai + astheneia = take hold of + limitations/vulnerability to sin.
[ILLUSTRATION]

After physicist Richard Feynman won a Nobel prize for his work, he visited his old high school. While there, he decided to look up his records.

He was surprised to find that his grades were not as good as he had remembered them. And he got a kick out of the fact that his IQ was 124, not much above average.

Dr. Feynman saw that winning the Nobel prize was one thing, but to win it with an IQ of only 124 was really something. Most of us would agree because we all assume that the winners of Nobel prizes have exceptionally high IQs. Feynman confided that he always assumed that he had.

If Feynman had known he was really just a bit above average in the IQ department, we wonder if he would have had the audacity to launch the unique and creative research experiments that would eventually win him the greatest recognition the scientific community can give

Physicist Richard Feynman who won a Nobel prize for his work in theoretical physics, decided to visit his old high school when while there, decided to look up his records. To his surprise, his grades were not as good as he remembered: he had average grades and his IQ was 124 which is slightly above average.
He was surprised to find that his grades were not as good as he had remembered them. And he got a kick out of the fact that his IQ was 124, not much above average.
Dr. Feynman saw that winning the Nobel prize was one thing, but to win it with an IQ of only 124 was really something. Most of us would assume that the winners of Nobel prizes have exceptionally high IQs and academic performance
If Feynman had known he was really just a bit above average in the IQ department, we wonder if he would have had the audacity to launch the unique and creative research experiments that would eventually win him the greatest recognition the scientific community can give?
The bible says the Holy Spirit “takes hold of our limitations”
FCF: describes the Holy Spirit as a counselor who guides us in our everyday lives.... says by the Spirit you put the deeds of the body to death and will live.
FCF: Jude says “now unto him who is able to keep you from falling”…so when you and I fall instead of asking where is God, we ought to be asking “did I give the Holy Spirit access/control to “take hold of my limitations?”
[THOUGHT]
Sometimes we face troubles that exhaust our strength & try your faith.
for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Moody was to have a campaign in England. An elderly pastor protested, “Why do we need this ‘Mr. Moody’? He’s uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?”

A younger, wiser pastor rose and responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.

ABLE TO SEE THE GOOD

The church would endure heavy persecution as evident in the book of Acts: Stephen would be stoned to death, Paul & Silas would be wrongly imprisoned, and Paul (Acts ch. 14) would take a beat down in Lystra and left for dead yet the scriptures say in they returned to Lystra, “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouragign them to continue in the faith....”
How were they able to see good/to see purpose in the persecution?
FCF: We would do good to not be angry or clown because someone lied on us yet we are called to do greater and be greater in the midst of persecution!!! How is that so/possible?
Ephesians 5:18–20 ESV
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
:”but be filled with the Spirit...”…FIll = Fill to the brim/to the end
FCF: When we give place to the Holy Spirit and let Him saturate us, we don’t get hung up on things/events/people. EXPOUND Paul told Timothy in building the ministry, “Don’t get entangled with civilian affairs”...
Without the Holy Spirit, its impossible to see the good in trouble.

ABLE TO SUBMIT FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST

One of the greatest dividers of churches and families alike is the unwillingness to SUBMIT.
Eph 5
Some may say its an INABILITY and not an UNWILLINGNESS
Ephesians 5:15–17 ESV
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:21 ESV
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
We can’t get to obedience unless we pass through SUBMISSION
Paul told the Phillipian church to put on the mind of Christ () “…who made himself of no reputation and took on the role of a servant.”
Being filled with the Spirit () is the only way to bring the flesh/your pride under subjection. Remember ....the spirit helps our weakness (takes hold of our limitations...
Philippians 2:3 ESV
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Moody was to have a campaign in England. An elderly pastor protested, “Why do we need this ‘Mr. Moody’? He’s uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?”

A younger, wiser pastor rose and responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.

[ILLUSTRATION]
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XXIII Our Urgent Need of the Holy Spirit (No. 1,332)

On a cold winter’s day when the snow has fallen and lies deep upon the ground you go through a village. There is a row of cottages, and you will notice that from one of the roofs the snow has nearly disappeared, while another cottage still bears a coating of snow. You do not stay to make enquiries as to the reason of the difference, for you know very well what is the cause. There is a fire burning inside the one cottage and the warmth glows through its roof, and so the snow speedily melts: in the other there is no tenant; it is a house to let, no fire burns on its hearth and no warm smoke ascends the chimney, and therefore there lies the snow. Just as the warmth is within so the melting will be without. I look at a number of churches, and where I see worldliness and formalism lying thick upon them, I am absolutely certain that there is not the warmth of Christian life within; but where the hearts of believers are warm with divine love through the Spirit of God, we are sure to see evils vanish, and beneficial consequences following therefrom. We need not look within; in such a case the exterior is index sufficient.

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