Proposition: There is a glorious challenge in the life to which Christ calls us.
I. I AM WILLING TO DO MORE, vs. 12, 13
A. Man's part - to submitII. I AM WILLING TO SHINE MORE, vs. 14-16
B. God's part - to empower
A. Shine in my moral convictionsIII. I AM WILLING TO CARE MORE, vs. 19-29
B. Shine in my willingness to share the Word
A. Genuine concernIV. I AM WILLING TO RISK MORE, v. 17
B. Christian concern
A. Why risk anything?Conclusion: God saw in us something that made it worthwhile to take a risk, even in the light of our sins. If Christ was willing to risk all for us, then we must risk all for Him.
B. How much will I risk?
All across our country, there are amateur weather
observers who cooperate with the National Weather Service by providing
data on daily weather conditions in their area. The oldest of these
is Edward H. Stoll, a Nebraska farmer who has been recording daily weather
conditions for seventy-four years. Recently, he was honored in Washington.
Upon leaving the White House, Stoll said, "You owe service to somebody
else, not just yourself. Service is the rent that you pay for the
space that you occupy as you go through life."
In the Book of Numbers, you will read that the Gershonites
and the Merarites were given wagons to transport their goods. But
the Kohathites had no wagons, for they carried holy things. It was
required that they carry them on their shoulders! God honors us when
He gives us responsibilities in His church and in His world. Holy
things must always be carried personally!
Veteran India missionaries Archie and Maggie Watters
recalled that when a man in India became a Christian, he cut off his hair,
his pig tail that had been a symbol of his old faith. It was a sign
to the community that he had renounced the old pagan religion and had accepted
Christ. We have more subtle ways to do that in our culture, but it
must be done. Loving service must be the symbol of our new relationship.
Roberto C. Goizueta rose from the ranks to become
the president of the Coca-Cola Company, one of the world's largest business
enterprises. One of his favorite sayings is from the Japanese writer
Mishima: "To know and not to act is not yet to know." He has
made that a guiding principle of his life. His advice to young managers
is, "Do the best you can, and a little bit more. The rest will take
care of itself."
Queen Anne had seventeen children in the hope of
having a successor to the throne of England. None of them survived
her; and what she most feared happened. Her German cousin became
king of England.
Bishop Moore of the Methodist Church used to say,
"I'd rather try to restrain a fanatic than resurrect a corpse."
Michelangelo started forty-four statues, but completed only fourteen. In a museum in Italy, you can see his thirty unfinished works. There are huge chunks of marble with only a hand, or a foot, or a leg completed. Are our lives like those unfinished statues? Is the potential for beauty and purpose still locked up within us as those figures are locked in the stone?