Portland Int’l. Raceway
July 24, 2011
“Impact: Of the Personal Kind”
In part three of the “Impact Series” let’s move to the personal impact area and look at our own lives. We could talk about any number of areas but I want to look at three specifically that have the tendency to do great damage to us.
- 1. What we think
- 2. What we say
- 3. What we fear.
In the area of what we think, we need to be careful about what we first believe when we are faced with a new thought or faced with new information. For example, let me quote Ronald Reagan: “Trust but Verify.” That is some very good advice …especially when you are dealing with what someone says about God or His Word, … or about almost anything that is important or will effect your life.
Acts 17:11 deals nicely with this and I believe it is the source of Ronald Reagan’s “Trust but Verify” motto.
The Bereans had the same attitude as President Reagan:
“They received the Word with great eagerness and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were true.”
The Bereans didn’t simply believe what they were told by anyone, including the Apostle Paul, but also verified it on their own by studying.
We need to test everything we hear against God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
If we do this we will not become prey to wrong and dangerous teaching. (Galatians 1:6-7) and 2 Timothy 2:15)
That means you check out what I say also!
And test the GBB translation …”The Gospel by Bob” when I use that to clarify a verse meaning.
Second, we need to watch both what and how we say things.
All too often this problem comes directly from the first …improperly judging the new information, or not testing it to the point of truth.
The writer of Proverbs 12:18 (Solomon) describes one as an unwise person when they speak damaging words to another regardless of the situation.
“Thoughtless, reckless, rash damaging words cut and maim worse than any sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health and healing.”
Unhealthy attitudes of anger, irritation, frustration, impatience, stress, guilt, and insecurity contribute quickly to our damaging speech which wounds and divides friendships, family, and relationships. It is no wonder that God’s infamous list of seven things that are an abomination to the Lord includes one who sows discord.
So how do we stay off that list? Simply do the opposite of my attitude list from before. Avoid those things including gossip, slander, lying and boasting,
Third is fear. This one is both huge and human nature rooted in lack of faith. It reaches into the life of the strongest, bravest, hardened, person.
Once again, the first two areas of what we think and what we say can affect the chance of operating in fear before we know it.
We can falsely believe in something that is not the whole truth as well as we can avoid dealing with the past because of what was said way back when. In that case we may fear something that is not true …for example: “I cannot deal with them because they hate me” when it is not the case. It opens the door to self condemnation and living in fear.
Hebrews 11:1 says: “Faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of the things we cannot see.”
“Fear is the confidence in the things we don’t desire.”
In the Bible, God is always open to exposing the character flaws of His greatest heroes, …and fear is one of the leading flaws.
Consider Abraham. Twice he fell to fear that because his wife Sarah was so beautiful that the ruler of the land they were in would kill him to get her so he lied to Pharaoh and later King Abimelech by telling them Sarah was his sister.
Both times Abraham risks God’s plan and promise to him that through Himself and Sarah a great nation would arise.
You can follow that trend to:
- Adam as he attempted to shift responsibility for his sin onto Eve. (Genesis 3:12),
- Isaac following in his dad’s shoes by calling his wife his sister (Genesis 26:7-9)
- Samuel in fearing to anoint a King in place of Saul (1Samuel 16:2),
- King David as he fled from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13-17),
- each of the Disciples as they freaked out in the storm despite Jesus Himself being with them in the boat (Matthew 8:26, Mark 4:38, Luke 8:25)
- When they saw Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:50, John 6:19
- When Jesus was arrested in the garden (Matthew 26:56)
- Peter when he denied knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-74, Mark 14:66-72)
- and many more.
But before we criticize all these people we need to answer a few questions ourselves:
- For fear of losing our job or ride would we compromise our integrity?
- Would we set aside our values for fear of appearing old fashioned?
- Would we neglect sharing the Gospel for fear of ridicule?
- The list goes on… Pick your own fear. I sure did in my earlier life!
- I have vivid memory of not expecting to live until the age of 30 because of racing and the Air Force during the Viet Nam war overseas. There were a lot of things I did not follow through with because of that expectation.
- Never telling my family about racing or flying during the war.
The real issue comes down to is that all of these people put God’s wonderful plan for them at risk because of that fear.
- In my case, I will never know what plans God had for my racing career.
Do we think we can get away without doing the same thing to God’s plan for our lives? Will we put God’s best plan for us at risk?
Remember, only one thing will conquer our fear:
Tenacious faith in God’s Presence, Protection, Power, and Promises.
However, if you fear putting God’s wonderful plans for you at risk remember this please:
God will never ask you to do anything He can’t bring to completion, even if it requires miraculous intervention on His part.
Please remember that God shows no partiality to persons. This is clearly shown all through scriptures like:
Deuteronomy 10:17, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 31:13-15, Job 34:19, Acts 10:34
(That means pause and think about this)