- Pastor Tom Cunningham
FOUR ESSENTIALS TO LIFE
Portions of a sermon preached at The Potter’s House in New Philadelphia, Ohio (June 5, 2011) Sudden Impact!
If we are going to truly make impact, then there are four essentials to life.
1. Sacrifice This should be blatantly obvious. We have to be ready to give of our all if we are really going to make impact. Too many people are spectators in their own lives, never willing to give a little more than the average.
When I was in high school, nearly a million years ago, we used to have to qualify for the Presidential Fitness Exam in Gym Class. That means minimum standards for your age, gender, size, weight etc. I used to judge whether or not I could achieve a task successfully based on the “average” expectation for my age. If I matched them, I didn’t worry at all. Average was fine — passing grade was acceptable. If the standards stated 20 push-ups, then I did 20, no more, no less. Even if I could do more, I stopped at the average standard. “Next test please.” I had little desire to be a whole lot better and I fear a whole generation of video game enthusiasts are just like that in real life — they will meet any minimum standard that will allow them to get back to their virtual world.
Pastor Harold Warner, Senior Pastor of The Door in Tucson, AZ, quipped, “Between his lack of responsibilities and an entertainment media devoted to his every pleasure, today’s young man has no reason to grow up”.
Sacrifice cannot be a taboo word if we are going to allow our lives to make real impact on our world.
2. Equal Cooperation—Group Effort Understanding that we need each other, in cooperation, if we are ever going to do anything truly impactive; anything at all on a grand scale… We cannot do it alone. There are no “lone-ranger Christians”, anybody doing anything that is truly affecting change in our world is a part of the body of Christ, the local church, turning the world upside down.
3. Achievement You can’t get by this one. You not only have to try… you must actually achieve (through God). We cannot keep making excuses for our failure by saying, “Well, I tried my best.” That is… (1) Not true (2) Bringing God down to your best — which underrates God. I know this is hard to hear in this generation, but you might even be forced to finish something you start… We have heard enough excuses about race, economic status, dysfunctional upbringing, past abuses and any other of a plethora of reasons for personal failure (sometimes even before you start). It is time to start achieving, getting it done, refusing to lose or turn back… making some real impact.
4. A Sense of Adventure It is time to quit being a faithless scaredy-cat! Have some adventure. Do whatever it takes to step out in faith, make yourself vulnerable in order to lift somebody else up, sacrificially invest in the Kingdom of God. Take your checkbook all the way down to $1.27 for Jesus one time… then trust God and believe Him! This will change you — alter the way you think — bring you to a new level in faith, all the while sending a chill up your spine at the ‘faith-risk’ you are taking…
There are some people who spend their whole lives in their little circle of influence, never imagining for one moment how amazing and enlarging one divine adventure in God can be! There are some that spend their lives in a tiny sphere of existence year after year and whole generations of potential have made no lasting impact on the human race — when it’s right in their grasp! All you have to do is to take a step into the adventurous calling that God has given you…
People miss incredible opportunities by simply opting to watch instead of participate; being spectators in their own lives… in it only for what they can get, instead of throwing their lives in the middle of God’s amazing will — giving and getting… and making impact!