―Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.‖ - Colossians 3:23 BY REV. RUBEN BARRETOIT’S THAT TIME ONCE AGAIN TO REMOVE THE LIMITS THAT MAY HOLD US BACK FROM REACHING OUR POTENTIAL IN GOD.HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING IN LIFE ONLY TO SEEMINGLY BE MET BY FRUSTRATION AND FAILURE?PERHAPS YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE WAS ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: “OH WELL, MAYBE IT’S JUST NOT MEANT TO BE.” “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, I QUIT.” “YAWN, I’M JUST SO TIRED OF TRYING!” “MAYBE GOD DOESN’T WANT THIS FOR ME.” “AARGH!!!! HULK SMASH!!!”WELL, HOPEFULLY NOT THAT LAST ONE. HOWEVER, THE TRUTH IS THAT WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT WAS TRULY MEANTTO BE IF WE DON’T MAKE AN EFFORT. WE’LL NEVER KNOW WHAT GOD HAS IN STORE FOR OUR LIVES IF WE SUDDENLYGIVE UP AND THROW IN THE TOWEL. THE BIBLE TELLS US, “LET US NOT BECOME WEARY IN DOING GOOD, FOR AT THEPROPER TIME WE WILL REAP A HARVEST IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP” (GALATIANS 6:9). AND TRULY, HOW WILL WE EVER KNOWWHAT IT IS THAT GOD WANTS US TO ACCOMPLISH IF WE DON’T AT LEAST TRY AND WORK HARD AT IT?SMASHING NOT REQUIRED.
Making An Effort Means: TO TRY; TO WORK TOWARDS A GOAL. TO DO THE VERY BEST YOU CAN. SOMETIMES WE LIMIT OUR OWN POTENTIAL IN CHRIST WHEN WE GIVE UP TOO EASILY.YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS MAY NOT COME IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, BUT IF YOU WORKHARD AT IT AND KEEP TRYING, NO MATTER WHAT, SOONER OR LATER YOU WILL SEE THE RESULTS OF YOUR EFFORT. TOO MANY PEOPLE THESE DAYS ARE WILLING TO QUIT SO EASILY, BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT ANYTHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR: FAMILY MARRIAGE BLESSINGS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, ETC… REQUIRES EFFORT. I HAVE A SAYING THAT I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER - ―DO YOUR BEST AND LET GOD DO THE REST!‖
SO, WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER YOU HAVE MADE AN EFFORT AND TRIED YOUR BEST? TWO WORDS: PATIENCE & PERSISTENCE Hebrews 6:12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised James 5:7-8Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lords coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuablecrop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lords coming is near. Isaiah 40:31But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 1 Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. James 1:2-4Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
NOW I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT SOMETIMES IT CAN BE FRUSTRATING AND AGGRAVATING WHEN WE’RE TRYING OUR BEST AND PUTTING FORTH OUR BEST EFFORT IN LIFE TO SUCCEED, ONLY TOBE MET BY MOMENTARY SETBACKS AND SEEMINGLY FAIL. BUT I JUST WANT TO REITERATE THAT THE SUPPOSED SETBACK IS ONLY MOMENTARY AND NOT FOREVER. IT MAY LOOK LIKE YOUFAILED, BUT IT’S ONLY FAILURE IF YOU GIVE UP WITHOUT TRYING YOUR BEST. IF YOU ARE MAKING THE EFFORT TO BECOME A BETTER CHRISTIAN, PARENT, WORKER, OR STUDENT, THEN YOU ARE ALREADY AHEAD OF THE GAME AND SUCCEEDING MORE THAN YOU KNOW. SO MAKE THE EFFORT OF TRYING NOT TO LOSE YOUR COOL AND BE UPSET RIGHT AWAY, JUST BECAUSE THINGS DON’T SEEM TO GO YOUR WAY. HOW WE REACT TO SETBACKS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE EFFORT WE ARE PUTTING INTO EVERYTHING WE DO. BESIDES, THE―SETBACK‖ ITSELF CAN BE TURNED AROUND BY GOD INTO A ―SET UP‖ FOR A BIGGER BLESSING.WE CAN ACTUALLY HURT OUR PROGRESSION BY ALLOWING OURSELVES TO BE FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY AT EVERY TURN. SO DON’T LOSE YOUR COOL. STAY CALM AND JUST KEEP DOING YOUR BEST.
BUT ME HULK GET ANGRY FAST!!! BE ANGRY FOR A SHORT WHILE, BUT JUST DON’T SIN (EPHESIANS 4:26A; PSALM 4:4) & DON’T LET IT LAST TOO LONG EITHER (EPHESIANS 4:26B). YOU MIGHT TURN GREEN. JUST KIDDING.
AS FOR ALL YOU HULKS OUT THERE, PLEASE CONSIDER THIS: James 1:20 for mans anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Psalm 37:7-9 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm.For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. BEING EASILY FRUSTRATED, ANGRY ALL THE TIME OR HAVING A QUICK TEMPER ONLY LIMITSYOUR POTENTIAL. MAKE THE EFFORT TO REMOVE THOSE LIMITS IN YOUR LIFE WITH THE HELPOF THE HOLY SPIRIT. ASK HIM TO HELP YOU IN THOSE AREAS AS YOU MAKE THE EFFORT TO PRAY AND SEEK GOD MORE. MAKING THE EFFORT SIMPLY MEANS TO DO YOUR VERY BEST. ONLY YOU AND GOD KNOWS IF YOU ARE DOING YOUR VERY BEST.
AND AS I SAID IN OUR LAST SERMON, IN THE FAMOUS WORDS OF ROB SCHNEIDER IN EVERY ADAM SANDLER MOVIE… SORRY, I JUST HAD TO.
You can have all the skills, talent, wisdom and education in theworld, but it is those who truly persist and give it their all that usually succeed. The simple formula is to never give up. In fact, Calvin Coolidge once said… ―Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent.‖ Helen Keller once wrote that… ―We can do anything we want, if we stick with it long enough.‖ Winston Churchill Said… ―Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.‖
JUST LIKE LAST TIME, SOME PEOPLE MIGHT ASK THE AGE OLD QUESTION OF: ―BUT WHAT IF I FAIL?‖ WELL, JUST LIKE WE SAID LAST TIME…―THE ONLY REAL FAILURE IN LIFE IS THE FAILURE TO TRY.‖ AND… ―IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY AND TRY AGAIN.‖ EVEN IF YOU GET FRUSTRATED AT FIRST, IF YOU KEEP TRYING AND PUTTING FORTHYOUR BEST EFFORT, YOU WILL HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH AND ACCOMPLISH ANY GOAL YOU HAVE IN MIND. THE FACT THAT YOU’RE TRYING MEANS YOU ARE NOT FAILING.IN FACT, REMEMBER THE HELEN KELLER QUOTE EARLIER ABOUT HOW ―We can do anything we want, if we stick with it long enough?‖ WELL, SHE IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF HOW THAT IS TRUE.
SHE WAS A PROLIFIC AUTHOR, POLITICAL ACTIVIST (CAMPAIGNED FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS), AND LECTURER. SHE WAS ALSO THE FIRST DEAF BLIND PERSON TO EARN A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE.HOWEVER, BEFORE SHE GOT TO THAT POINTSHE WAS A PERSON WHO WAS ISOLATED BYA NEAR COMPLETE LACK OF LANGUAGE OR COMMUNICATION SKILLS. IN HER EARLY YEARS OF BEING TAUGHT BY A VISUALLY IMPAIRED TEACHER BY THE NAME OF ANNESULLIVAN SHE BECAME FRUSTRATED AT ONE TIME AND BROKE A DOLL THAT SULLIVAN HAD GIVEN HER. IT WAS OVER TRYING TO LEARN THE WORD FOR ―MUG‖.
HOWEVER, SHE KEPT TRYING AND TRYING HER BEST.SHE GAVE HER BEST EFFORT. NOT ONLY DID SHE GET A BREAKTHROUGH, SHE WENT EVEN FURTHER. DETERMINED TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS AS CONVENTIONALLY AS POSSIBLE, KELLER LEARNED TO SPEAK, AND SPENT MUCH OF HER LIFE GIVING SPEECHES AND LECTURES. SHE LEARNED TO "HEAR" PEOPLES SPEECH BY READING THEIR LIPS WITH HER HANDS—HER SENSE OF TOUCH HAD BECOME EXTREMELY SUPPLE. SHE BECAME PROFICIENT AT USING BRAILLE AND READING SIGN LANGUAGE WITH HER HANDS AS WELL. SHE WENT FROM THE WORD―MUG‖ TO BECOMING A WORLD-FAMOUS SPEAKER ANDAUTHOR. NOT BAD FOR A DEAF BLIND WOMAN AND HER VISUALLY IMPAIRED TEACHER. THEY BOTHACCOMPLISHED A LOT THROUGH THEIR GREAT EFFORT.
AND AS CHILDREN OF GOD, YOU AND I ARE CAPABLE OFACCOMPLISHING WHATEVER GOAL, VISION OR DREAM THAT IS SET BEFORE US. REMEMBER, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD, OR FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE! SO KEEP TRYING! Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith assmall as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Mark 9:23 “If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." John 11:40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
God has already placed everything you need inside of you. Simply ask HIM to help you bring it out. We can and will remove thelimits that hinder us. We will make the effort. So be encouraged, go forward & Continue making the effort to succeed & grow. So the only thing that is left to ask at this point is…