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We have just sung the song “It is well with my soul”.
I have a love/hate relationship with that song.
There are times when I love it and can sing it the top of my lungs.
And there are times when it is not well with my soul.
Ever come to church with a heavy heart and then look around at people singing at the top of their lungs that it is well and you don’t feel that it is well at all? John the Baptist would not be singing “It is well” while he was in prison.
He was questioning and in a time of real discouragement.
I don’t think we can even take that in that the forerunner for Christ, Jesus’ cousin was discouraged?
Today we are going to look at a very interesting person in scripture.
I like to call John the baptist a humble mover and shaker.
He was a gifted speaker and thousands of people came to listen to him prech.
He was a visionary.
But there is a problem with dreamers.
What if the dream doesn’t come true?
What if the end product is different than the way you envisioned?
Dreamers are said to build castles in the sky and move in before they are ready.
That’s the peoblem with dreamers.
This morning we will look at three hungers of success.
John the baptist was so successful - far more successful than other leaders.
Oh that I could be as successful as he was.
But all of a sudden his success is the cause of his jail time.
In the next phase we see that he is in jail.
So he sends his disciples to Jesus to ask him if Christ is really the Messiah.
In the next phase we see Jesus’ response.
Jesus sends back a message to John and gives him three insights on how to have a reality check when we are discouraged.
Sometimes I look at the worlds and I want to cry out “Lord, I am really struggling!
The world is besieged by all kinds of evil that is overwhelming us.
We are struggling with the problems of child kidnapping, terrorism, crack babies, rising crime, overcrowded prisons, a breakdown of the family unit and sexual immorality.
Lord, in light of these horrible problems, why don’t you raise up leaders who can do something about it?”
Passion is the motivtion you have that when you get out of bed in the morning, you are reay to tackles the world.
You have a cause, a reason for living.
Even Victor Frankl found passion to get out of bed in the morning when he was in prison in Nazi Germany when he wrote in the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” that he who has found a why can face any what.
If you can find the purpose, you can live.
In the prison he found a passion to live.
I believe that the true mark of genius is not to create a sense of awe in others, but to be awed.
Children have a sense of awe - sense of wonder.
As they get older, many lose that sense of wonder and grow cynical, closed minded, disinterested and most tragic - bored.
William Booth once had an audience with King Edward VII of England.
His Majesty highly commended the salvationist for his unflagging zeal and wonderful work among the poor.
How revealing was Booth's reply to the King's glowing words!
He said, "Your Majesty, some men's passion is for art.
Some men's passion is for fame.
My passion is for souls."
What am I passionate about?
Gardening, sewing, housekeeping, music, good food, socializing, art, cars?
What about the lost who are bound for hell?
Are you moved at all when you consider their plight?
Our God was.
Just look at the life, death and resurrection so that sinners could be saved.
When I hear stories like this I cry out, beat my chest, fall on my knees and cry out “Lord, give me a passion for you like that”.
John the Baptist’s passion was his calling.
What was the ministry of John the Baptist?
According to Luke 1 and 3, John was born of Zacharias and Elizabeth to eventually fulfill the 800 year old prophecy of Malachi,
From the time he was a small boy his parents would recall to him the miracle of his birth - that he was born when Zacharias and Elizabeth were old.
Zacharias became dumb and could not speak until John was born and the first words out of his mouth were “John” as everyone was discussing what to name this boy.
Zacharias said “John” I am sure that John heard this story over and over as he grew up.
He was the miracle baby and as he grew he was instructed in the scriptures of this very Godly family.
Gifts & Talents
Each of us has gifts and talents.
Each of you sitting here this evening have some talents that God has given to you.
As you develop these talents and gifts, it is exciting to see them used in significant ways.
That is a hunger we all have.
Frustration is when you feel that you cannot use these talents.
John must have been an incredible speaker.
Thousands came up to him and listened.
They loved His speaking and preaching.
Passion = gifts + talents
When you speak about something you are passionate about your eyes light up, you get animated, excited, etc.
Travis - Talking about music
Wayne & Verna - talking about missions
Michaela - Talking about horsess
Jeanie - talking about prayer
Melissa - talking about family ministry
Grandmas - talking about their grandkids
When I have lost my passion for God and begin to become passionate about my speaking or leading or teaching gifts, I have my priorities backwards.
Gifts are the method of expressing our passion - they are not our passion.
Passion is your cause - it is what you believe in.
It is what you feel deep inside.
Hunger to make a difference
A lot of what we do in our lives is not significant.
We just do the job because it has to be done.
Travis and I were away and when we came back we had to spend time doing jobs that just needed to be done to get caught up.
When we were done I didn’t feel as if I had done anything significant .
I felt that I had just done a job that needed to be done.
Much of life is like that.
However, there are times in our life when we are able to use our gifts and abilities to express our passion and we feel as though we have made a difference.
We have touched someone.
We have lead them to Christ, or comforted them, or counseled them and that is exciting.
When all this adds up we feel significant.
When you are passionate about God and you can express that hunger with your gifts and abilities, you begin to geel that you are making a difference.
John certainly felt this.
And John’s ministry was having a fantastic impact.
The forerunner of Jesus came with a message of hope and salvation for those who would receive it, but a message of judgement for those who rejected it.
That was John’s ministry and his message.
He must have felt significantas he was at a unique period in time to announce the coming of the Messiah.
What could be more significant than that.
But then trouble...
With all of John’s calling and his affirmation of his ministry, why would he doubt?
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