All Bible Heroes were there to FULFILL GOD’S TASK. When Christian heroes fulfill God’s task, they in turn fulfill their own personal life goals.
What is it that makes one’s life count on this earth? Many people have made a name for themselves – whether it is in music, the arts, education, science, religion, literature, or technology. Some have won the enviable Nobel Peace Prize and stand out as icons or heroes in today’s world. In turn, they made great sacrifices where some risked their lives or even lost them altogether.
Jesus advises us to die for something meaningful: Mark 8:35-36, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Could it be that we are living and dying for the wrong things? Or, do we have the guts to make a sacrifice for what really matters even if it does not make sense in the eyes of others. Jesus gives us the reason for living, by saying, if anyone wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his own cross and follow me, otherwise life profits nothing.
From a Kingdom perspective, we loose when we miss out on God’s MISSION. Verse 36 says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?“
The world has seen many Heroes- some got everything that this life could offer but lost everything as far as God was concerned. I am intrigued by:
- Michael Jackson: He was considered in 2010, as the Highest-Earning Deceased Artist by Forbes Magazine. As the King of Pop, he transformed the face of pop music and popular culture-he however died of drug overdose.
- Adolf Hitler – Was one of the most powerful and infamous dictators of the 20th Century to rule Germany. Adolf Hitler committed suicide with his wife on April 30, 1945.
If we are not careful, we can live fighting and and putting our lives on the line for the wrong things.
1 John 2:15 NIV, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”
How can we ensure that we are not living for the world and its offering?
We must learn to seize our God given moment when it presents itself.
Speaking about the sons of Issachar as recorded in 1 Chronicles 12:32 the Bible says that “All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.”
Knowing your task is as important as getting the timing right. Timing is critical to any effort to achieve desired results.
Jon Gordon says, “The best people seize the moment because they don’t allow their fear of failure to define them. When the best are in the midst of their performance, they are not thinking “What if I win?” or “What if I lose?” They are not thinking “What if I make a mistake or fail?” The best are focused solely on the moment.”
They do not second-guess themselves; like the sons of Issachar, we must understand the signs of the times as we participate in the mission that has been assigned to us.
Individually and corporately, God has called each one of us to join him in his mission (task).
Rick Warren says, “God is at work in the world, and He wants you to join Him. Your life mission is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you.”
In addition, Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us,”Whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
It is important to realize that if we do not know how to see, sift, sense or seize the opportunities that come our way, then we are not going to know what to do with this life. Most likely, we will miss on God’s plan for us.
We must find joy in investing for eternity.
Jim Elliott puts it this way, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot loose.” Individually and corporately, we have a specific mandate to fulfill.
God has called ICC to the task of creating the future for this and future generations. Our children, Teens and Young Adults’ participation in our services last month gave us the opportunity to see what can happen to a church that is intentionally investing in its people.
What dream has God given this church?
- We need to Build the CHURCH BEYOND SUNDAY CORPORATE WORSHIP by building AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS (Megs, CGz, etc)
- We need to Equip disciples with the aim of PRODUCING TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERS.
- We need to INVEST in the BUILDING of character, values, talents and gifts of our Next Generation (NextGen) – through our CONNECTION CENTERS
- WE need to EXPLORE, nurture, and release the talents of our children/NextGen to fulfill Godly purposes
- We need to Make ICC a HUB where our youth will DEVELOP, be mentored, encouraged, and INSPIRED to greatness in God.
- BUILD a mature, loving and caring cell-based, Multi-Locational church, with FACILITIES that are ATTRACTIVE and WELCOMING, which will help to FACILITATE MINISTRY
- Our INTENTIONALITY in MINISTRY DELIVERY methods ENABLES SEEKERS and BELIEVERS to find the freedom to SEARCH for God, KNOW Him personally, WORSHIP Him, and be DISCIPLED for victorious Christian living.
- Be a church with a BIG HEART for the city and the community
We must interpret our dreams from God’s perspective
Heroes are INTENTIONAL about their PURPOSE in their generation. Acts 13:36 speaks of David who served God’s purpose in his own generation.
Rick Warren asks, in his book “Purpose Driven Life”, WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?
William James once said, “The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” Only the Kingdom of God is going to last forever. Everything else will eventually vanish.
1 John 2:17 affirms, “And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”
Therefore, why would we give anything else a higher priority? WHY WOULD WE NOT INVEST IN WHAT LASTS FOREVER?
Our life is worth nothing unless it is used for doing the work assigned to it by our Lord Jesus. If a person or church fails in their mission, then, they will have wasted the life God gave them. When we live for God’s glory, He will find pleasure in what we do.
What comes to mind when you think of Noah?
Genesis 5:29 says, “Lamech was blessed with a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.”
Noah’s parents saw a hope and a future for God’s people who had been swept into sin. Noah’s heroic act was not just in his ability to BUILD AN ARK, but also to have FAITH in God while living in a FAITHLESS generation. How ‘stupid’ and ‘foolish’ in the eyes of his friends and countrymen he must have looked. However, faith opens spiritual doors of opportunity that make what looked IMPOSSIBLE to become POSSIBLE.
We have to realize that DOUBT is the greatest obstacle to our ability to perform heroic acts.
Those who are willing to set themselves apart for God will attract His favor, blessing and an open door of spiritual adventure. This was the case with other great heroes like:
- Nehemiah who built the Walls of Jerusalem,
- Moses who WAS USED BY GOD TO lead Israel out of Egypt
- Abraham who OBEYED God and was WILLING to OFFER HIS ONE AND ONLY SON as a sacrifice to God.
- Joseph who saved Egypt from a famine thereby serving the purposes of God in that generation.
Other than FAITH, the other notable thing that was common about these heroes was:
- God appeared only to them – they were ENTRUSTED with the MESSAGE
- It was their RESPONSIBILITY to CONVINCE and RALLY the people towards GOD’S MISSION – They were God’s MOUTHPIECE
- The people had the CHOICE to either OBEY or DISOBEY God’s voice through these servants.
Noah lived at a time when the world was overtaken by evil, compromise, violence, moral decay and corruption. As a result, the DISTRACTIONS WERE MANY. Sometimes what triggered the heroes to action was the surrounding hindrance, problem, or issue that needed resolving; this was immediately followed by God’s call for a response.
- Noah: He lived in a world of sin, rebellion and compromise. God calls him to be part of the solution.
- Moses: He was faced by the persecution and suffering of Israel in Egypt. He had to respond to God’s call to deliver Israel.
- Jonah: Nineveh was facing God’s judgement because of sin. He was called by God to deliver a message to the city about the impending judgement
- Mary the mother of Jesus: She was chosen by God to be the bearer of the Good News that would save the world.
The bible says of Noah, in Genesis 6:9, “Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.”
What truths can we draw from Noah’s biblical account?
- RIGHTEOUSNESS SETS US APART FOR GOD: Righteousness and purity attract God’s favor. The bible states in Matthew 5 that the pure in heart shall see God.
Not only was Noah righteous, but also a blameless person who walked with God during that generation embraced so much wickedness.
- RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL EXALTS THE GODLY: God will draw near to the faithful no matter how faithless the generation they live in can be.
It is the godly who have the answer to the decaying morals and to the serious issues facing this generation. In a society saturated with sin and rebellion, Noah made a conscious choice to live for God.
- OBEDIENCE AUTHENTICATES OUR FAITH: God is attracted to those who live a life of obedience and total trust.
Because of Noah’s obedience, God chose him to be the person that He would reveal His heart to. We need to maintain a life of unwavering faithfulness in the midst of godlessness and wickedness.
One phrase that punctuates Noah’s life is found in Genesis 6:22 and 7:5, “Noah did everything just as God commanded”. In essence, Noah’s life of 950 years, was a LIFE of TOTAL OBEDIENCE.
HEROIC ACTS ARE ENJOYED by those who LIVE BY FAITH and SHOW total dependence on God. Hebrews 11:6 “And it is impossible to please God without faith.”
Most people including children would say that Noah is remembered because “He built an Ark.” However, the Bible in Hebrews 11:7 says that, “By FAITH Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
First, this was a hard task. How do you convince people that God was sending rain and its water will cover the whole earth, when you have nothing to show for it? When God gives us a big task, He requires us to move in unquestionable and indisputable faithful obedience.
God has given us a task of CREATING THE FUTURE where the coming generations will meet with Him. We have the responsibility to create this future for ourselves and our children.
THIS ACT NEEDS FAITH. When I look at what God is asking us to do, I can get scared or make the choice to move with Him by FAITH.
I am reminded of his instruction to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
KILL THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE EXCUSES
Jeremiah gave excuses: “I do not know how to speak” …“I am only a child” But the Lord said to him, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child’ … Do not be afraid … I am with you …”
GOD HAS PREPARED US FOR THE TASK
God also said to him in verse 17-19, “Get yourself ready! … Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land–against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you. For I am with you and will rescue you”