Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Colossions 1:9-12 The success Syndrome

For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may • walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Scots are a wiley lot. They understood early that they would never be world conquorers, and so they unleashed a devastating malady through which they could conquer the world. that malady is GOLF.

One day , ina bid to export this malady overseas in their programme of world conquest, a Scotsman demonstrated the game to U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
After four more misses, finally the Scotsman stopped, and stood there huffing. As he wiped pieces of dirt from his beard, President Grant said, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.”

Today many define their purpose in terms that are truly counter productive. Success is the goal, but how do we define success?
The old four seem to rule the heart of western man, whether christian or non christian: FAME FORTUNE POWER OR PLEASURE! these seem to be the ways we define success. Why this is true even in the church! Success is defined as being famous, having the mega church. Some are so addicted to the success syndrome that they miss out on the true definition of success.

When you have been in dire trouble, undoubtedly you have prayed. You praued for what was important! "God get me out of this mess! Please!"
We knew what was impotant when our safety was threatened.
What you prayed about was what was important. What Paul prayed about was what was important. Here is the definition of true sucess.

1. You Can Be Successful 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Look at those words!to know and do the will of God is what is important!
there are many pastors desiring to affirm themselves as succesful by creating a mega church ministry! For every thousand that try, one is successful. Therefore there are 999 failures!
Or is there? Surely doing God's will is what important, whereever His will may be found!
Whatever His will may be! You need to know God's will.
God's will is not something hidden away and secret. 99% of God's will for your life is already revealed in His Word.
1Thess 4 says this is the will of God, your sanctification.
God desires for you to be a holy person.
1 Thess 5 says In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concering you!

Newcastle Harbour, the Hunter River can only be navigated by sailing up a narrow channel between dangerous rocks. Over the years many ships were wrecked and sank because of the difficult passage. Before the advent of GPS, to guide the ships toward the harbor, three lights were mounted on tall poles. When the captain lined up those three lights and kept them in line, he could sail safely into the harbor. If he ever saw two or three lights, he knew he was off course. God has also given us three lights to guide us toward His will. They are (1) The word of God (the Bible); (2) The witness of the Holy Spirit (the still, small voice); and (3) The wisdom of godly friends. Those three resources will never contradict each other. Don’t ever move forward unless you can line up these three lights.

2. You Can Be Delightful 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
God wants you to be pleasing to Him.
Do you remember just after you were born, well some of you may not, some may, how all the aunts and uncles leaned over the crib and said to you "there you are you cute little baby, coochy coochy coo.. aren't you just delightful!" And then you grew up!

25 years ago I helped to commence a Christian School at Albion Park Rail. We the committee met for 9 months with just one question. What would be the theme verse for the school.
I remeber the motto of my High School, Engadine High, it was "Don't Get Caught!" Our principal absconded with some gym equipment and sold it to pay off gambling debts.. he got caught. I met him again a few years ago at a funeral, his nose was red and face blotchy with alcoholism. I introduced myself to him as a former student. he said "What do you do now?" I said I was the pastor of the Newcastle Baptist church. He replied "No one from Engadine High School ever amounted to much!" I replied, "not with you as a model"
But that motto was important for the christian school, as it would set the agenda for what that school would be about. Finally we settled on 1 scripture : 2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.

We reduced it to "In all things please Him."
Now that's a good motto for every Christian life. Plewase Him who redeemed us.
We sang tonight the words of

I vow to thee, my Saviour, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love: The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test, That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best; The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago, Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know; We may not count her armies, we may not see her King; Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering; And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.

O God beyond all praising, we worship you today
and sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder at every gift you send,
at blessings without number and mercies without end;
we lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word,
we honour and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Saviour, accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favour may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrow’s be filled with good or ill,
we’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.

that first verse sums up what it means to please Him.

3. You Can Be Fruitful being fruitful in every good work,
Dr. Warren Wiersbe: “In my pastoral ministry, I have met people who have become intoxicated with ‘studying the deeper truths of the Bible.’ Usually they have been given a book or introduced to some teacher’s tapes. Before long, they get so smart they become dumb! The ‘deeper truths’ they discover only detour them from practical
Christian living. Instead of getting burning hearts of devotion to Christ, they get big heads and start creating problems in their homes and churches.”
there was a problem in the Colossian church where some said that they had expeienced a new spiritual experience that made them a cut above the ordinary run of the mill christian. By some new experience they had a new knowledge of God that surpassed anything else. (Sort of like the pentecostals today!
Paul says "hold on.. what counts is fruitfulness!"
Now fruitfulness can be our godly christian character:the fruit of the Spirit is lovee joy peace patience kindness goodness gentlenss faithfulness self control..."
Fruitfulness can also be the quality of leading someone to Christ for salvation. "You did not choose Me, Jesus said, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain. John 15.
But here furitfulness is clearly defined as every good work!
Is your life and character issuing in good works? That's a succesful life.

4. You Can Be Skilful and increasing in the knowledge of God;
With Eleisha our daughters engagement this week, a few people have asked me "How did you get to know Lorelle?" Well it all began with a wedding,We met there, and I would take around typing for Lorelle, my college essays. She'd first of all take them to a pharmacist to get translated, then she'd sit down and type the, She'd say she didn't have a clue what I'd written about. I had to agree with her. I didn't either... and either did my lecturers!
She didn't realsise that they actually didn't require the essays to be typed (I've never told her this till today). It actually amde it more confusing for them, because now they could actually read the words I'd written, it still didn't make much sense.

Yes getitng to know my wife began at a wedding and finishes at a funeral.
You never stop learning. And the same is true of our knowledge of God. Our relationship with the Lord eepens every day as we grow to know Him more deeply.
2 Peter 3 says "But grow in the grace and knowlede of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Are you growing to know Him more deeply each day? Do you read His word each day? You'll never grow without reading His Word.

5. You Can Be Powerful
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering
that's the cry today..I want power! Why? To do some mighty task? no to endure. just to endure. It's about Self Control
Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in who place you have reigned. The Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a man of blood!” “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.” “’Leave him alone; let him curse. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.’ So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt.” 2 Sam 16:7-13
“Easy, Albert. Take it easy, Albert, just relax. Stay calm, Albert.” One lady came over and said, “Sir, I just want to commend you on your calmness and control as you spoke to little Albert there.” The man said, “His name is Joe, my name is Albert! Easy Albert!”
Perseverance “It is always too soon to quit! Only by perseverance did the snail finally reach Noah’s ark.”

6. You Can Be Joyful

with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
A life characterised by joy. Hey you can have heaps of money and be unhappy! Is that successs?
You can be a powerful mogul, a tyrant and be miserable, is that success?
You can be famous, and depressed.. is that success?
Success is being joyful in whatever circumstances you are. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you!

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army was asked the secret of his success. "The Lord has all of that there is to have!"
That is the secret to success.

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