Tom Scott - 29/12/2013
Date: December 30,2013
This is the last E-study for 2013, but it is the first in which I will talk about our preaching emphasis for 2014. Hopefully you will have a Happy New Year. We are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us in the coming year as we embark on a new adventure here at Cumberland. As I shared yesterday, in the message, our preaching emphasis for 2014 centers around the words of Paul in Philippians 4:13 where he boldly proclaims the promise of God that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” These ten words are very powerful when we take them to heart and live them out in our lives. If you missed the sermon; check it out on our website. Here are five questions to help you reflect upon the message:
1. As we get ready to step into a New Year, there are lots of thoughts that come to mind for us. Some of us make New Year’s resolution and others just take time to reflect upon the past several months. Yesterday, I began the message with a story about a nine-year-old boy named Austin who has raised over a million dollars to help orphans in Africa dealing with the AIDS epidemic. When you heard that story; what was your initial reaction to what he was able to do with a basketball and a nagging desire to do something?
2. In the heart of the message, I talked about three steps that we need to take in order to realize the power of those ten words we find there in Philippians 4:13. The first step is to discover our passions. Again, let me stress that what I am passionate about is not necessarily what you are passionate about. Jesus was passionate about saving us from our sins as we see in Luke 9:51. If you were to list three things that you are passionate about right now; what would be on that list?
3. The second step is to discover our purpose. Focus on the Family suggests that in order to find our purpose we must listen to what others are saying and to what our heart is saying to us. In Ephesians 2:10 we discover that God has prepared a work for us to do once we have been saved by His grace. There is a reason for us being here today on the earth. Do you have a strong sense of purpose in your life and if not; when was the last time you prayed about this?
4. The third step that I shared in the message was to discover our plan. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God does have a plan for our lives; plans to give us hope and a future. Austin discovered his plan when he shot 2,057 free throws on December 1, 2004. God has a plan for our lives as well and it is up to us to discover what that plan is for our life. Would you agree with the statement that Jeremiah shares with us that God has a plan for your life and do you know what that plan is right now?
5. At the end of the message I asked you to take these words of Philippians 4:13 to heart. Jesus promised that we would do even greater things than he did if we would believe in the promises of God. As we get ready to step into a New Year, I want us to claim those promises as we seek to Impact Lives For God. We need to have an “I Can Do” attitude that believes that through Christ we can accomplish whatever tasks or missions God lays out for us. Henry Ford said that, “Success begins with I can. Failure with I can’t.” Can you imagine what this church will accomplish in the coming months as we ask the question: What Can I Do?
Back in February of 2012 we introduced a three year strategic plan for the church called: The WAY Forward. The “A” in that plan stood for attitude. One of the goals was to develop a Christ-like attitude. When we read the scriptures we see that Jesus told his disciples that he had not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for others. As we get ready to step into 2014, we want to model the attitude of Christ by serving the Lord. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Have a safe and Happy New Year.
Introduction: Have you ever read an article in the paper or heard a story on the news and wondered: What can I do? Honestly, what can we do about the problems of this world? What difference can we make in this community? Who am I to influence the world in which we live? There is something that we can do to impact lives for God. In 2014, we will ask the question: What can I do? Paul tells us that we can do all things through Christ.
I. A moment of inspiration.
A. Paul had faith in God. Philippians 4:13
B. We need to have faith in God. Isaiah 41:10
II. A moment of reflection.
A. We need to discover our passion. Luke 9:51
B. We need to discover our purpose. Ephesians 2:10
C. We need to discover our plan. Jeremiah 29:11
III. A moment of dedication.
A. Take these words to heart. John 14:12
B. Take these buckets with you. Hebrews 10:24
Conclusion: Some of us may be asking ourselves the question: What can I do? Paulís answer to us in this: We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Letís use what time we have left here on the earth to impact lives for God. This year, letís have the same attitude as Christ had when he told the crowds that he had come to serve and not to be served.
Key Thought: We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us when we put our faith in Him.