Is it Easy to Hit a Big Target?
Title: Is It Easy to Hit a Big Target?
Type: Topical (The Glory of God)
Text: 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Cor 3:18; Hebrews 12:1
Idea: If you want to hit the big things for God you need to do the little things first.
Purpose: To explain that by doing the little things (choices) first enables you to hit the big target-The Glory of God.
I. What does it mean to do everything for the Glory of God?
Belief in God involves knowledge that leads to action.
- Living right with God is about believing the right things about God. The key word in that sentence is the verb ‘believing’, and belief in God involves knowledge that leads to actions. Knowledge without actions or actions devoid of knowledge is like owning a car and never taking it out of your garage.
- Last Sunday Pastor Kevin preached a well thought out sermon about the reasons the Bible tells us why we do communion. Can you remember? It is an act of remembrance, rejoicing, repentance and reconciliation.
- I loved some of the stories Kevin provided to help us connect with the text.
- Dr in 1800’s who realized a simple hand washing prevents spread of harmful bacteria. * The missionary who crossed a river in Third World country demonstrating to local tribe that the water was not infested with evil spirits.
- That act of reconciliation is displayed first through simple touch
To remember, rejoice, repent and reconcile are all verbs describing an action. What action are required of you to make a step of faith?
- Likewise, when Scripture tells us that we are to live for the Glory of God, it is an action that springs out of knowledge. * The Word of God is very much an active participant in the choices you make every day-it desires to both motivate and activate the power of choice so that it can honor God! It is a command.
The topic, ‘Glory of God’ is manifested, reflected, appears, relates to the believer and humanity throughout Scripture. Rick Warren says that we must recognize, praise, honor, declare, reflect and live for the glory of God.
(here are some Scriptures to support that)
GLORIFYING GOD. Commanded, 1 Chr. 16:28; Psa. 22:23; Isa. 42:12. Due to him, 1 Chr. 16:29; for his holiness, Psa. 99:9; Rev. 15:4; mercy and truth, Psa. 115:1; Rom. 15:9; faithfulness and truth, Isa. 25:1; wondrous works, Matt. 15:31; Acts 4:21; judgments, Isa. 25:3; Ezek. 28:22; Rev. 14:7; deliverances, Psa. 50:15; grace to others, Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 9:13; Gal. 1:24.
Accomplished by: Relying on his promises, Rom. 4:20; praising him, Psa. 50:23; doing all to glorify him, 1 Cor. 10:31; dying for him, John 21:19; suffering for Christ, 1 Pet. 4:14,16; glorifying Christ, Acts 19:17; 2 Thess. 1:12; bringing forth fruits of righteousness, John 15:8; Phil. 1:11; patience in affliction, Isa. 24:15; faithfulness, 1 Pet. 4:11.
Required in body and spirit, 1 Cor. 6:20. Shall be universal, Psa. 86:9; Rev. 5:13.
Saints: Should resolve on, Psa. 69:30; 118:28; unite in, Psa. 34:3; Rom. 15:6; persevere in, Psa. 86:12. All the blessings of God are designed to lead to, Isa. 60:21; 61:3. The holy example of the saints may lead others to, Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12.
All, by nature, fail in, Rom. 3:23.
The wicked averse to, Dan. 5:23; Rom. 1:21. Punishment for not, Dan. 5:23,30; Mal. 2:2; Acts 12:23; Rom. 1:21. Heavenly armies engaged in, Rev. 4:11.
Exemplified: By David, Psa. 57:5; the multitude, Matt. 9:8; 15:31; the virgin Mary, Luke 1:46; the angels, Luke 2:14; the shepherds, Luke 2:20; by Jesus, John 17:4; the man sick of the palsy, Luke 5:25; the woman with infirmity, Luke 13:13; the leper whom Jesus healed, Luke 17:15; the blind man, Luke 18:43; the centurion, Luke 23:47; the church at Jerusalem, Acts 11:18; the Gentiles at Antioch, Acts 13:48; Abraham, Rom. 4:20; Paul, Rom. 11:36.
First Corinthians summarizes this with a simple command:
1Co 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
How do I do everything for the glory of God?
II. First, you must aim for the glory of God.
- The first example is Rick Warrens concentric circles: (on powerpoint) Are designed to get you from the outside of non committed to the inside of serving a ministry.
- The book of Hebrews chapter of faith shows us that God sets the target, he determines the boundaries and rewards those who go for it.
How do I know if I am not aimed at God’s glory? If you are saddled with fear, anxiety, worry, anger, envy or resentment you can rest assured that you are not aimed at God’s glory.
Applicative Illustration of above idea:
Going to your child’s school play and nervously anticipating his or her ‘performance’ and praying that they do not fail. When this happens to me, I know Im not aimed at God’s glory but my own fears.
So, what does it take to aim at God’s Glory?
A) God sets the target:
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him q must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
What is the target? Relying on his promises (such as God’s promise not to allow you to be tempted beyond what your capable of handling).
B) God determines the boundaries:
Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run g with perseverance h the race marked out for us
This passage says ‘marked out for us’ meaning that we do not set our own course.
Illustration: Imagine racing in the Tour de France and the officials just say ‘Go’? There are no markers or no finish line. Likewise, God sets His law as our boundary markers.
Have you set personal markers to coincide with God’s markers? In other words, what movie or music is unacceptable? What events have you decided not to attend because it dishonors God? What if a friend kept you from serving Jesus Christ, would you draw the line on this and honour God?
Also, we may not use steroids for this run, but we can cheat by doing things for the wrong glory-our own. We can find our selves motivated by our passions and desires for a name, or for a material gain, or for a sensual lust.
C) God rewards those who aim for it:
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, i the author j and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, k scorning its shame, l and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. m
Greg Laurie says that we must be willing to pay the price for this journey-no matter what.
Illustration: Imagine a child who sets making the NHL as his goal, only to find that he doesn’t like the contact, the energy, the commitment, the demands and cost to this pursuit. Likewise, we must know that if we set God’s glory as our target that we are willing to persevere no matter the cost.
Do I prefer His glory more than anything else?
What if there is a price to pay for this?
1Co 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
III. Second, you must commit to doing the little things for the glory of God.
Eating and drinking were considered mundane necessities of life. Here, we are being told that even in the little things we can give glory to God.
Do you believe that if you do not surrender the little things to God you will not surrender the big things to him?
- The life of glorifying God is a life of trusting and adjusting, adjusting and trusting.
Trusting means giving Him your best ball
Michael McClure wrote to the Newsletter of 48 Days:
“Years ago I was playing golf and wondered why each time I had to shoot over water my ball would head straight for it and take the plunge. It would happen over and over again. I would approach the tee, notice the water, reach into my bag and grab the grubbiest ball I could find, tee up, and launch it into the lake. Then one day while waiting for a partner to tee off I was examining the ball I had chosen and noticed it was in pretty good shape. I wasn't sure I wanted to lose such a good one so I looked for one a bit more beaten up. Then it dawned on me, why am I setting myself up to lose this ball? Why am I planning to fail?
Why am I focusing so much on the water and not on the fairway on the other side? And that was the day I pulled out my very best ball. I chose the cleanest, newest, and most expensive ball I could find. That decision changed my mindset as well as my posture, and I shot par. I've been using my best ball on every hole since that day and, while I'm no Tiger Woods, my game has improved. But what improved most was the way I felt during the game. The changed mindset. Looking past the obstacles, I felt confident, more expectant, and enjoyed the day like never before.
It was a simple lesson I learned and I find it translates well in many areas of life. It was one of your callers that reminded me of this event. The caller was wondering why he was afraid to succeed and tended to sabotaged his own efforts. It might be the fear of change or it might be a fear of what it might do to a comfortable way of life.
Blessings, Michael McClure
I used to do this all the time, everytime I faced water I would pull out an old cut spalding and lay it down. Do you find your service and trust in God involves your old no good ‘spalding’ golf balls?
Do I trust God with my best ball?
Do I trust God with giving my best in my relationships with others?
1) Trusting is realizing that your carnal actions are bringing the faith of your family into disrepute. Adjusting is beginning to relinquish some personal freedoms to focus on God and other.
Do I trust God with giving him my best worship?
2) Trusting is to start worshipping God with a joyous and glad heart. Adjusting is act of reflection, meditation and attending worship services.
Do I trust God with giving Him full confidence that he can answer all my prayers?
3) Trusting is communicating with God and expecting results. Adjusting may be to start with a simple prayer life and learning to be more specific with your prayers for little things (like parking spaces, falling car pieces, lost bolt).
Do I trust God for my salvation, the forgiveness of my sins?
4) Trusting is to acknowledge that you fall short of his glory and set your target at that. Adjusting is to confess your offence against God and free Him to do what He wants to do. (Romans 3:23)
Illustration: I get a kick out of public announcements telling the audience that someone has left their lights on in their car. I always look to see, knowing they might face small amount of public humility, if they get up immediately or not. Humility gets up and makes the changes regardless of the perceived public laughter. Pride doesn’t want anyone to notice you made a mistake. However, pride results in a dead battery if changes are not made.
We have all fallen short of the glory of God. Humility publically announces this, pride refuses to. Humility accepts shortcomings and calls for help, pride performs for self and masks any need for help.
IV. If you want to hit the big things for God you need to be faithful with the little things first.
If you want to hit the big target you need to start with little choices.
What ball are you playing with?
Aim for His glory and commit the little things first!
Swanson, James: New Nave's. Revised and expanded; electronic edition. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, 1994
 John MacArthur, ‘Live for the Glory of God’