Week Three Volunteer Series: Serving Others Without Getting Penalties by Pastor Hal
Pastor Hal of Saint Cloud, FL CFC reminds us that to grow in our mission to live transformed lives, we cannot remain fans in the stand but must become players in the field and on mission. To grow God's kingdom and be disciples of Christ, we must focus on being team players, walking in step with the Heavenly Father, and growing as ambassadors of Christ. If we cannot serve others and our team faithfully, we can risk becoming a burden or demoralizing and discouraging others until they perhaps quit the team.
Everyone loses when this happens. In this third sermon in the volunteering series, Pastor Hal looks at three areas we can all grow to control to serve God and others well. While we cannot control others, we can control ourselves by inviting God into our lives so that He may transform us and our lives through His Holy Spirit. We should therefore consider three potential penalties that Christians can learn to avoid: offside penalties, false starts, and unsportsmanlike conduct. When we fail to pay attention or choose to ignore or miss crucial details, we can be lined-up past the line of scrimmage. To avoid this penalty, we must pay attention and be self-aware. Otherwise, we could be like Saul and win the battle but miss the mark. Sometimes we let go of the Father's hand and excitedly run faster than the LORD and his timing. When this happens, we receive a false start, which we can avoid by inviting God into all of our decisions. It can become all too easy to become more self-reliant than God-reliant, so we must learn to become more dependent on God.
Our focus must be on the LORD's will and timing, so we must pause before acting. We must depend on God and then decide: Seek Him first in prayer. Finally, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty is much more than rudeness or hostility. Any time we are not acting in accord with Jesus and how He did life, we are committing this penalty. Unsportsmanlike conduct happens when we forget who we are and whose we are. We must not speak or act like people who had never believed in Jesus or had the Holy Spirit enter and seal them. We must remember our identity in Christ. Some Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 15:13-16, Ephesians 5:15-17, James 5:13-16, and 1 John 3:1-3.