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Going Out Up with a Boom

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Going Out Up with a Boom

July 24, 2004 and July 25th, 2004

 

Psalm 71

18 Even when I am old and gray,

do not forsake me, O God,

till I declare your power to the next generation,

your might to all who are to come.

/[1]/

Psalm 92

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,

they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

13 planted in the house of the Lord,

they will flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They will still bear fruit in old age,

they will stay fresh and green,

15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;

/he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”[2]/

Introduction

 

This message applies to all of us but I am specifically targeting the baby boomers. That is the group of people born between 1946 and 1964 (58-36). I am right in the middle of them born in 1955. They are called boomers because after WWII the soldiers came home to a time of peace and people started having a lot of babies. It continued at that rate for about 18-20 years.

The Baby Boom generation-the cohort of Americans born between 1946 and 1964-has long commanded the attention of demographers, politicians, marketers, and social scientists. Seventy-six million strong, Baby Boomers represent the largest single sustained growth of the population in the history of the United States. Their mass alone has had an enormous impact on the national psyche, political arena and social fabric. From the youth culture they created in the 1960s and 1970s to the dual-income households of the 1980s and 1990s, this generation has reinterpreted each successive stage of life. As the oldest of the Baby Boomers, approach later adulthood, they are again poised to redefine the next stage, retirement.

(source AARP)

There are about 76 million boomers in the U.S.; we currently represent about 29% of the U.S. population. (In Canada, we are sometimes known as "Boomies"; there are 6 million of us there. In Britain, our generation is known as "the bulge.")

The 1960s is the decade that defined the boomers. The music, events, and the social changes made a permanent impression on us. Those of us born during the "peak" boomer years, '52-'57, were in our formative years during the sixties. There were so many changes in the sixties that how old you were during the decade greatly affected how you turned out. 1961 was a whole lot different from 1969!

Those born at the early end of the spectrum were in our early 20s by 1970. The deaths of President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King; the Vietnam war and related protests; and the Watergate scandal... all made deep impressions on us.

At the other end, those born after 1959 have no direct recollection of the assassination of President Kennedy; they were not yet listening to rock music by the time the Beatles broke up. They were much more likely to use illegal drugs.... often to a great and disturbing excess.

We are amused when visitors ask what effect the boomers are having on the economy. Folks, in 2004, the economy IS the boomers! We represent the vast majority of the work force. There are 76 million of us; we ARE the economy.

What explains the explosion in the popularity of SUVs? We do. Where do we go on vacation? Everywhere. How do we get there? Every way possible. Day care centers are thriving because boomers do not want to take care of the kids they produced. And their offspring think it is supposed to be that way. Parents are not supposed to stay home and raise their children. That is what day care centers and the government is for.

Bill Gates, Ron Howard, Bill Clinton, Oprah, Madonna, George Bush, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Dr. Laura, Clarence Thomas, and many other diverse people are boomers.

They are unique because there are so many of us. Dobson had some information about how many trillion dollars this group will be inheriting soon. They will be a major force economically.

The decisions they make about the rest of their lives will influence America and the world for a long time.

YOU ARE A BOOMER IF

 

·       You know all the words to the theme songs of Gilligan’s Island, the Flintstones, or the Beverly Hillbillies.

·       You remember watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.

·       You remember pet rocks.

·       You know what a streaker is.

·       You know the name of Roy Roger’s horse.

·       You noticed right away that Barney Fife and Mick Jagger look like identical twins except for their hair.

·       If you are a guy you remember getting a flat top and covering it with Butch wax. (aka  gooey fly trap)

·       You wore bell bottoms and Neru shirts

·       You ever had an afro haircut

·       You lost at least 4 inches in height when you took off your platform shoes.

·       You know the name of Dick and Jane’s dog (Spot)

·       You can finish the phrase N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestles makes the very best…….. (chocolate).

·       You know the whole Jetson family and their dog by name

 

 

You get the point. There is a unique group of people that are at a crossroads and I believe there is a Biblical way to address where they are that relates to everyone in here today.

My sub title is:

How to go from Success and Selfishness to Service and Significance

 

 

 

Philippians 2 -The Message

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

     Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.

/     Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.[3]/

 

NIV

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature a God,

did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

7 but made himself nothing,

taking the very nature b of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

and became obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

/[4]/

 

 

·       Success

-A lot of people define success differently.

-It is commendable to work hard, start a business, achieve a goal.

-I believe God wants us to be a success.

-If you are going to work 40 or more hours a week it is great to get paid more than less. It is good to mature to develop the  responsibility to handle money.

-We have to examine what success is. The most important thing is that success isn’t the end.

 

-The dictionary defines success as; /favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence[5] /

-A lot of baby boomers have been massively successful.

-That may be as simple as having a goal to raise your children and get them into college.

-We live in America and we have been injected with optimism and the American dream.

-I don’t think that is bad. I think that is Biblical.

-The most important question to ask yourself isn’t what am I getting. It is what am I becoming.

-I have a plaque in my office that says;

 

True vision lights the way beyond success to eternal purpose.

 

-Success in school or on the job or in the ministry is only a step, not a goal.

-True success brings you to the place where you have options and choices.

-If you are struggling and barely making it you have few options. You earn enough to eat and pay the bills. Your time is pretty well controlled for you; your money is earmarked before you get it.

-When you have money to pay your bills and extra suddenly you have a choice. You have options. You can spend it wisely or foolishly. You can consume it on yourself or help others as well.

-Communism and socialism belief you are going to make bad choices so they want to make them for you. They don’t believe people have the compassion to help others so they think the government is better to do that.

-In America we have the choice to help others. Some of us do, some of us don’t.

-Success brings you to the place where the real you can come out.

-It brings you to a fork in the road.

·    Selfishness or Service

 

Luke 12

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

/21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” [6]/

 

James 5

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. a [7]

1 Timothy 6

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. [8]

 

-Think about our example with Jesus from Philippians 2.

·       He was well born

·       He was a success

·       He could have anything He wanted

·       He humbled Himself

·       He was obedient

·       He became a servant

·       He achieved significance

 

-Selfishness is the opposite of love. It is being self-serving.

-Service is laying down your life for others.

-Closely related to the word service is sacrifice. That is to give up something of value for something of greater value.

"Servant" in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master's purchased property. Bought to serve his master's needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave's sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one's Savior (1 Corinthians. 6:19-20).

What work does Christ set his servants to do? The way that they serve him, he tells them, is by becoming the slaves of their fellow-servants and being willing to do literally anything, however costly, irksome, or undignified, in order to help them. This is what love means, as he himself showed at the Last supper when he played the slave's part and washed the disciples' feet.

When the New Testament speaks of ministering to the saints, it means not primarily preaching to them but devoting time, trouble, and substance to giving them all the practical help possible. The essence of Christian service is loyalty to the king expressing itself in care for his servants (Matthew 25: 31-46).

Only the Holy Spirit can create in us the kind of love toward our Savior that will overflow in imaginative sympathy and practical helpfulness towards his people. Unless the spirit is training us in love, we are not fit persons to go to college or a training class to learn the know-how or particular branches of Christian work. Gifted leaders who are self-centered and loveless are a blight to the church rather than a blessing. 

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.

 

Most people wish to serve God -- but in an advisory capacity only.

Quoted in Sunday Express, London.

 

During the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repariing a small defensive barrier. their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again." It was none other than George Washington.

Today in the Word, March 6, 1991.

In the spring of 1883 two young men graduated from medical school. The two differed from one another in both appearance and ambition. Ben was short and stocky. Will was tall and thin. Ben dreamed of practicing medicine on the East Coast. will wanted to work in a rural community. Ben begged his friend to go to New York where they could both make a fortune. Will refused. His friend called him foolish for wanting to practice medicine in the Midwest. "But," will said, "I want first of all to be a great surgeon...the very best, if I have the ability." Years later the wealthy and powerful came from around the world to be treated by Will at his clinic...the Mayo Clinic.

Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 17.

-Jesus said the key to greatness is service.

-The motivation for service can’t be for greatness but because of love.

·    Significance

 

John Maxwell

“When you are eighty or ninety, and you’re sitting on the porch rocking and looking back on your life, how will you feel about it? You won’t have to answer to anyone or fulfill their expectations-not your parents or your business associates or your spouse. What will you have done with the gift of life? The answer will be important to you then, so the question should be important to you now. The course of your life is determined by…

·       The relationships you form

·       The decisions you make

·       The actions you take

Each has the potential to change your life. If you’re not doing something with your life, it doesn’t matter how long it is. Life does not consist of years lived, but of its usefulness. Your focus must be beyond yourself. If you are giving, loving, serving, helping, encouraging, and adding value to others, you are living a useful life. That is significance.”

-The dictionary says significant means; having meaning;

“Moving from success to significance means understanding that everyone must benefit from your vision.” (Full Steam Ahead)

-Hitler’s vision for greatness was selfish.

-Jesus’ vision for greatness took us with Him.

-This is where you see examples of;

·       Going to Haiti to serve others

·       Quitting a job and saying no to more money and spending time with your family (It takes wisdom to know that life isn’t measured by how many dollars you can accumulate. That isn’t the real score.)

-Significance is reached by loving God so much you help others.

-Our heroes are not the people who reach their goals but those who help others reach theirs.

John Maxwell: “Success is when I add value to myself. Significance is when I add value to others.

 

Find something worth dying for and then live for it!-PT 7/04

Summary

The boomers are approaching a major fork in the road that everyone faces. We are just there now. Do I focus on success and myself or do I have the wisdom to know what really counts and throw myself into others. Success is not a success without a successor. The real impact of your life is measured by leaving a legacy of integrity, generosity, and service.

 

That means doing sacrificial things like missions, like making money so you can give it away. Like looking for ways to impact the big picture even if we don’t recognize your contribution this side of eternity.

 

You have a chance for greatness, don’t miss it!

 

Acts 13:36/- “36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep;……”[9] /

 

 



John 17

/-“ 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do”.[10] /

 

 

“Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: ‘Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant. Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves.'” (Luke 22:24-27, Msg)

 


----

[1]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ps 71:18). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[2]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ps 92:12). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[3]Peterson, E. H. (1995). The message : New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs (Php 2:1). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.

 a Or in the form of

 b Or the form

[4]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Php 2:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[5]Merriam-Webster, I. (1996, c1993). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (10th ed.). Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.

[6]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Lk 12:16). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

 a Or yourselves as in a day of feasting

[7]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Jas 5:1). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[8]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (1 Ti 6:17). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[9]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 13:36). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[10]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Jn 17:4). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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