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Message Recap - 4/23/10 - Revolutionaries: Part 2

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last week, we started a new series which explores the meaning of our name, Revolution Church. You can take a look at part one here:

Part 1: Acting with Vision

And now for Part 2: Acting with Focus. This sounds similar, but it's really a different thing.

Pastor Dan is really into time-wasters. Video games like Nintendo, Bejeweled, Tetris and Quake. He's also into projects, like building his own guitar pedal. He spent hours late at night working with the soldering iron, burning himself, making the pedal just right. He also likes to read. Pastor Dan can read a lot, for extended periods of time.

Now, these things are not necessarily time wasters per se, they can be useful. But Pastor Dan has a tendency to lose balance. He'll give up eating and sleeping in order to continue to work on the project, read the book or beat the game.

He doesn't see the forest for the trees. He gets so out of focus that he misses the goal – he focuses on one small part and misses the whole point.

How much of our lives are spent on purpose? How often are we living for a purpose? How often are we living on purpose instead of accidentally?

Last week we discussed some revolutionaries from history and how they changed the world. They didn't have superhero powers, but they had vision. They thought beyond tomorrow or next week. We looked at Isaiah 9:6-7. That verse basically says that he reason Christ came and died was to overthrow the government of the earth. Not the political one, but the government of sin and death inherited from Adam and Eve. That war is still in process today and we are all soldiers in it; God has called us to changed the world!

Just seeing the problem doesn't make you a revolutionary. It's a start, but it doesn't get you there. Being passionate about the problem doesn't get you there either. Even having vision doesn't make you a revolutionary. Revolutionaries become revolutionaries when they take action; when they fight. When you take action, you become a revolutionary. How much of your time is spent moving toward a goal? Do you do things for a reason? Do you think about why you are doing something; is there a point?

Look at 1 Corinthians 10:23-30. What's all that about? It's talking about not doing things mindlessly. There was an argument among Christians of the time over whether or not to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Paul was saying that no matter what you decide to do, do it with a goal and with purpose.

Sometimes that means changing your actions because your actions don't line up with your goal. If you want to be a professional athlete, sleeping til noon and eating a steady diet of Twinkies doesn't line up with that goal. It simply won't help you get there.

Whatever your goal is, make every action line up with it. Sometimes acting with purpose means changing your actions to line up with your goal. Most of us understand this principle. But sometimes it also means doing the same action, but with a new purpose. That is what the above scripture is about. Doing the same action but with a new purpose can change everything. It means knowing why you are taking action. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Take sleeping for instance. It's OK to have down time to relax and recharge – in fact it is needed sometimes. But taking a nap to escape from real life is not beneficial.

When you know why you are doing something, it gives it purpose and gives you focus in that action. Knowing why is huge.

Let's look at Gideon's life in Judges 6:-14 and 6:24-35. Gideon is sitting in the wine press thinking only about surviving the immediate future. He had a vision; he saw the need, but he wasn't doing anything about it at the time. Yet from the moment the angel left him, he had a purpose. Everything he did from that point was for the purpose of attacking the Midianites. He wasn't just wasting time, pulling down idols for no reason.

Your life becomes powerful when you focus it. Like light – when it's spread out over the whole room, it gives a nice soft illumination. When it is focused it is a powerful laser. Your life is the same!

So, you may be asking where to focus your life. Here are two questions to ask yourself to help you figure out what you should do:

1. What bothers you? Where do you see injustice and you can't let it go, you can't sleep at night. The injustice that upsets you is the injustice that you're supposed to do something about.

2. What can you be the best in the world at? What is the thing that you are better at than anything else? Because God made you passionate about that for a reason, he gifted you for a reason.

God has a plan and a goal for you. When you focus your life on that vision your life has power! When God's people act with focus mountains are moved, victories are won and kingdoms are established. The kingdom of darkness is defeated, God's kingdom is established on the earth.

Act with purpose! Have a purpose and a goal for your life, and let your actions line up with that goal!


Message Recap – 4/16/10 – Revolutionaries: Part 1

Sunday, April 18, 2010

After a super long absence (four weeks), Pastor Dan is back in the pulpit! Yay! Tonight is the start of an all new series! Double yay!

Revolutionaries Part 1

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Maybe you've noticed that we're called Revolution Church. What does it mean to be revolutionary? What does it mean to be a revolutionary? Does your life fit the definition? Wait, why is this even called Revolution Church in the first place?

We'll start in Isaiah 9:6-7 (click to read).

The purpose of Christ's death was not merely so that we could have an emblem to wear on our necklaces, nor to merely forgive our sins, though it is a part of it. The main purpose was to reconcile us to God; for us to become part of God's country. The second purpose was to overthrow the world's government. Whoa! Overthrow what, now? We'll get to that.

The disciples took this literally, and they thought that Jesus was gonna overthrow the Roman government and return Israel to the glory days of King Solomon. But they were mistaken. Christ didn't come to overthrow a natural government, but a spiritual government which was put in place when Adam & Eve sinned. Sin, death and darkness reigned in the earth from the time of Adam & Eve until Christ – in people and even in nature. Christ came to overthrow that government of sin and death.

Of the increase of his government there will be no end,” means that even today His government is going forward, increasing. We as Christians are freedom fighters in this revolution. We are spiritual freedom fighters, warriors and revolutionaries.

That is where our name comes from. We are rebelling against an oppressive government of sin and darkness.

The question to ask yourself is, "Am I carrying on that freedom fight or am I distracted from it?"

Here is a financial illustration of this week's subject. Even if you work at minimum wage your whole life, and put away just 10% of your pay each week, you will have $1.3 million at the end of your working life. Plenty for a comfortable retirement! Sounds great, right?

Everyone wants the $1.3 million, no one wants to wait for it, to put away for it consistently each week, to not spend the money on guitars or other "toys". Money is much more powerful at your age than at Pastor Dan's age. Why? Because you have so much more time for your money to earn interest before you retire. When you invest for your retirement, it takes vision. Vision to put that 10% in each week, to see that your goal is more important than a TV, a guitar, a car, whatever you are tempted to buy. And vision is what we are talking about tonight.

We all have one life to spend. We can easily get distracted in our lives today by what we can spend our lives on now. Are we investing our lives in the moment, in making ourselves feel good right now? Or are we investing in the future with our lives? What's your vision for your life? Take a look at Luke 10:38-41, which is the familiar story of Mary and Martha's response to Jesus. We can easily be like Martha - worried and upset, distracted about many things and miss the one thing that is needed. Jesus Christ was in the room! Wasn't hearing what He had to say more important that if the potatoes were overdone?

Never having vision or a focus keeps you from accomplishing anything in life! Sometimes you have to let go of some things to focus on the one thing. The truth is you can't have everything, do everything and accomplish everything.

Matthew 10:37-39 says, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Sounds pretty harsh, right? It's saying that you cannot be focused on everything, you have to let go of some things in order to focus on the one thing.

Nido Qubein said, “Nothing can add more power to your life than focusing your energies on a limited set of targets.”

You have one life to spend. Spend it with vision.

Check out 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. The one thing that is worth anything is Christ and His cross When you live for Christ, when you make Him your one thing there is a promise you can stand on:

Matthew 6:32-33 says, For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

When you make the cause of Christ your one thing, God adds all these things to you as well!

Nothing gives your life power like focus, nothing gives your life weight like vision!

Instead of investing your life in video games, TV, Facebook and other things that have no lasting value, spend your life with vision. Focus on the one thing and God will take care of the rest. You have one life to spend. Spend it with vision.


Message Recap – 4/2/10 – What Defines You?

Monday, April 5, 2010

And this week once again, we have a special guest speaker! I know you guys really miss hearing from Pastor Dan, but you're going to have to wait another couple of weeks. The good news is that this week we get to hear from Kris!

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Today is Good Friday – the day that we remember the crucifixion of Christ. A couple weeks ago Kris was reading in the book of Luke, chapter 23 verse 32-43 (click the link to read). That's an awesome story of redemption and forgiveness that we have probably all heard a few times. But tonight we will look at it from a little different perspective.
The two men who were crucified with Jesus – what do we know about them? Not much. We know that at one point they were children, just like all of us were. But at some time in their lives they decided to become criminals; thieves to be exact. And here, 2,000 years later, all that we know about them is that they were thieves.
I don't know about you, but 2,000 years from Kris' life, he wants to be remembered for honorable, awesome, noble things, not for his work in a grocery store.

Most people are remembered for just one thing after they're gone. Here are a few examples:
Thomas Edison - the light bulb. The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction. O.J. Simpson - “If it doesn't fit you must acquit". The one thing you are known for will either be your greatest success or your greatest failure.
A comedian who we won't name says that if you want to know what people really think of you, listen to the second sentence they use when describing you to others. What is in that second sentence when people talk about you? Words like patient, peaceful, kind, loving, joyful, faithful, gentle, self-controlled or good?
When Kris' kids were born, he made some changes in his life so that his girls would remember certain things about him. He wants them to remember that he loves them, that he's always there for them.
Back to the passage from Luke. So often people use the thief on the cross as a role model for their own lives. He lived his life how he wanted, all for himself, and then at the 11th hour he made a play for forgiveness and made it into heaven.
What's wrong with that mindset? Plenty, but one big problem is that there were two thieves on that cross. One had a soft heart and asked for forgiveness for what he had done. The other one let his heart become hard and dark. He refused to soften his heart and ask for forgiveness. All that he had to say was, “Me too!” That's all it would have taken. But his heart had become too hard.
It seems that there's often a common trend among altar calls. The scary story of dear little "Jimmy" who didn't respond to the altar call and ended up dying in a car crash on his way home from church that very night. Yes, that could happen. But the truth is, if you ignore the call of God, sooner or later sin will get a hold of your heart, and all that will come from your heart will be hatred and anger. You'll become like the second thief.
God has been calling many of you guys. And no, you probably aren't going to get in a car accident tonight. But if you keep putting off responding to God, darkness will take over your heart; hate, anger and bitterness will overtake your heart and you will no longer have room to invite God in.
Over the past few weeks there has been a strong call to give all that we are to God, yet we have resisted. We've pushed it aside, ignored it.
Don't resist the call of God, that gentle nudging on your heart!
What defines you? Or rather, what will define you? You still have the chance to choose what will define you. What will it be? Will you be Cotter, the midget with the eye-patch or will you be Cotter, full of love? (You can't all be Cotter, you'll have to insert your own name there.) How will people describe you when you're not around anymore? What words will they use? Will they say you are loving, peaceful, kind, etc? That is what a life devoted to Christ, surrendered to Christ looks like.
God is calling. There's mercy, grace and forgiveness in your grasp – all you have to do is say, “me too! I want it too!” That's all it takes, to give your life to Christ and change your legacy. That's all it takes to change what defines you!