September 7, 2008 SD21
Recover from Injuries.doc File: E (Hebrews 12)
“Go for The Goal”
[PPT p.1]Recover from Injuries
Open with video: “I Run!”
Sometimes I fall…Sometimes I get hurt…
The race started the moment I laced up my first shoes—saved!
It will end-when I say it ends—or when God says it is done!
Believers with a Go For The Goal mindset—recover from injuries
Any athlete knows that pain is part of the process of playing the game…Every Football game has a doctor nearby…I used to enjoy a day on the slopes, skiing (Penny said she would rather not be involved in any spot that has an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the hill)
But the truth is—there are injuries that can occur in any sport.
· Dara Torres had to have surgery on her shoulder the week after she competed in the Beijing Olympics…
· Serena Williams played through her tennis matches with a knee injury—evident by the way it was all wrapped up when she played---and she still played well…
· In Mexico City in 1968, American Micki King was ahead after eight attempts in springboard diving. Unfortunately, on her 9th dive she hit the springboard and broke her left arm. The result was a 4th place finish—so she missed medaling. But four years later she was back on the springboard, and—in 1972 at Munich, Germany—this time she got her gold.
Injuries – it is sad to say are also a part of life—even life in the church—and in our Christian experience
David Mains tells the story about the choir in a small church in the Midwest-- a small country church where the choir traditionally marched down the center aisle from the back.
Well, one of the robed sopranos got her high heel stuck in the grate on the floor that let in the warm air. Rather than make a scene, she just slipped her foot out of the shoe and continued singing and processing, albeit a bit lopsided. After her came the alto who athletically side-stepped the shoe while unobtrusively pointing it out to the man walking and singing behind her. It was the tenor who bent over and, still in stride, picked up the shoe—however, the whole grate came up with it. Nevertheless, he processed on, singing as best he could while casually holding the shoe and the grate next to his side so as not to call attention to it. Last came the unfortunate bass, who wasn’t really all that aware of what had just gone on—and he fell, singing, into the hole!
Friend if you are going to fall I a hole—you might as well be singing! (I hope you will come out for choir practice tonight)
Well, if physical injuries were all people had to be careful about in the church our problems would actually be quite minimal.
But we all get hurt in many ways—in life, at work, on the job—in the family---and even in the family of God
Some things have happened to you that left you reeling---
That left you standing there wondering what just happened and you never believed it would happen to you---and that it would happen through them…
But it has and left you empty, angry, betrayed—hurt—injured in the race!
And you need to learn to recover from those hurts…If you will be a Christian with a “Go for the Goal” mindset…
That has been our theme since the week before the Olympics started---and it ends today with this sermon—
[PPT p.1] But let’s do a quick review:
Sunday 1 was—Believers with a “go for the gold” mindset Remember the Witnesses. They keep in mind that outstanding spiritual champions from the past are in that heavenly crowd of witnesses watching how we’re doing. And this generation needs to familiarize itself with what earlier Christians accomplished.
Sunday 2—Believers with a “go for the gold” mindset Remove Any Hindrances. They don’t go about training for the race God has called them to run with all kinds of distractions pulling at them. They’re especially careful regarding sins of long standing.
Sunday 3—Believers with a “go for the gold” mindset Run with Perseverance. They expect that their calling is going to require some tenacity, some sticking in there. So they don’t give up the first time they feel thirsty, or get winded, or have a cramp.
Sunday 4—Believers with a “go for the gold” mindset Focus on the Goal. They not only agree that he set a marvelous example, they train their minds to return repeatedly to Christ and his work on their behalf.
Sunday 5—Believers with a “go for the gold” mindset Respect Divine Discipline. They’re grateful that a loving heavenly father doesn’t let them get by with inappropriate behavior. And when there’s a conflict of wills, they submit to his greater wisdom.
NOW—today’s lesson comes from Hebrews 12:12-15 (NLT)
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
[PPT p.1]So our theme for today is: Believers with a Go For The Goal mindset—“Recover from Injuries”
They get hurt—but they don’t get sidetracked—they get sidelined but they don’t get out of the game---they continue! They press on!
Jesus came to heal the broken hearted
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And the opening of prison to those who are bound…
YOU HAVE BEEN HURT!!!
It hasn’t felt good---but what have you done?
Have you nursed your grudge instead of seeking healing for your hurt???
Have you let your hurt turn to hate???
Has someone become the object of your scorn?
Are there certain people you avoid when they walk down the street?
Are there words echoing in your mind—rehearsed for the time you may be able to launch your own missiles of destruction?
It won’t help! You will still hurt!
The sad part is when we get hurt and ---we don’t apply the proper healing!--we just keep on letting the hurt keep hurting…
And when we let ourselves stay in that hurt we--will go about hurting others rather than healing---that is the sense of v.12-13
Someone has to take the healing path!!!
Someone must lead the way!
Lift up the hands that hang down
Build up the week knees…
Someone has to cut a straight path through the hurt and pain—a path that others who are lame and limping through life can follow… You can be one of those wounded healers!—following Jesus!
You have been hurt!
But it is time to stop the hurt by letting go of your hatred and pain…and taking the path of healing…
If you don’t the next generation after y will pick up the offense and repeat the pattern and the pain that you have will keep on hurting them…
But NOW—TODAY!!! You have an opportunity to be healed…but you have to do something
v.14—you have to be the one to pursue peace with all people—
What that means is that you have to take the path of forgiveness…
Forgiveness will heal you---it may or may not heal anyone else…but it will begin to set you right!!!
If you don’t you will fall short!!!
And a seed will be planted and nurtured in your heart until it springs forth and causes you much trouble…and by it “many become defiled.”
YOU DON”T WANT THAT—DO YOU!
The champions are those who give themselves to be healed when they are hurt---they do what it takes to not further injure themselves so they can stay in the race!!!!
Too many—have this response!
“I was hurt!” I’m going to change churches!
“I was wounded by another church…” so I just quit going altogether…
Friend, it didn’t help the hurt did it!
You still remember it! You still nurse it! You still talk about it!
You should have stayed and been healed!!!!
And been forgiven---and released forgiveness!!!!
And thereby been healed!!!
Jesus wants to heal your heart—your hurts!
Friend, Listen! We are either part of the problem or we are part of the solution!
We are either part of the hurt or we are part of the healing!
Choose to be a champion!
· Remember the witnesses—the many who have gone before you, the runners who ran well, they ran through the pain and they hurt, many gave their lives for the gospel and His great church. Remember them---and let go of your own pain!
· Remove Any Hindrances—lay aside your own weights and the sins that so easily trip you up. You are not perfect. The one who hurt you was himself hurting…forgive him…wouldn’t you want that? Isn’t that what Christ has done for you?
· Run with endurance—Don’t give up—RUN!!! RUN!!! RUN!!
· Keep your focus—on JESUS!!! He is waiting at the finish line
· Respect Divine Discipline—Your Coach will sometimes apply pretty harsh correction and discipline---but it is so that you can be all you want to be---all you set out to be when you came to Him.
· Recover from Injuries—Give yourself to His healing hands—stop nurturing the hurt and get to the healing!!!
One of Twila Paris’ early songs was titled “Runner”
I am going to have the sound team play that with the words on the PPT…as we prepare our hearts for communion…