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Becoming a Person of Real Power

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“Becoming a Person of Real Power”

Philippians 2

January 25, 1998

·         It's Super Bowl Sunday and all across the U.S., a sports event and sports heroes have grabbed the headlines. Many of us look at those multi-millionaire players and say, "What a life! I'd give anything to be like them."

·         What is it we’re really longing for?  Everyone I know would love to have more ________________.  We equate money, popularity, extraordinary skill, and position with power.

·         Most of us ____________ the feeling of “powerlessness” that we sometimes feel.

·         The conflict in our lives is which _________ do we take to move toward greatness? How do you attain or experience power?

·         Philippians 2 may be the most __________-cultural chapter in all of the Bible!

·         Madison Avenue would have a difficult time coming up with an advertising campaign promoting “____________ mobility.”  Can you imagine a jingle that says, “Lose it all.  Imagine the possibilities!”

 

·         Although, at first it seems totally _____________, a closer look will show that downward mobility makes perfect sense and in fact is the only way of life that brings pleasure to God.

1.     Live the Way _________ (the Ideal Man) Lived His Life

Þ      If you were the Son of God and wanted to impact the world, how would you try to do it?

                        His __________

                        His ____________

                        His _____________ years

                        His arrest and __________

                        His _____________

Þ      And no one can deny the effect He had on the world!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

 

2.     The ________________ That Gives You Power

      Philippians 2:5

Þ      Is it that God is ________ with us and wants to keep us   

      hidden away in a dark corner without any appreciation ever  

      expressed?

Þ      No! God longs to ________ His children – to lift us up to places of honor and glory. What sickens Him is the sight of us, His children,  _____________ ourselves, advancing our own causes, pushing our _________ at the expense of others, and longing to be __________ rather than to serve.

 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

James 4:10 (NIV)

3.     What Does This Have to Do With Power? (Matthew 2)

Þ  Adler said power is the “great human ______________.”

Þ  _____________ referred to power as “the great aphrodisiac.”

Þ  It has been called the “single greatest catalyst in ________.”

            Herod: 

            M.O.: ______________

            Fear & ___________

            _________ compassion

Approach to Relationships:  _____ them up and __________ them away

            Philosophy:  _____ first!

            Power:  Get it. Hoard it. Use it for ____________.

            Lifestyle: ____________

            Jesus:

            M.O.: _________

            Peace & __________

            ____________ compassion

            Approach to Relationships: _______ them & help them change

            Philosophy:  ________ first!

            Power:  Use it to benefit __________.

            Lifestyle: _____________

Your Two Choices

F      Way of Herod: Follow your desires, avoid crosses, _____.

F      Way of Jesus: Serve others, pick up your cross each day, __________.

“Becoming a Person of Power”

Series: Making Your Life Count!

 August 25, 1996

 

·         Everyone I know would love to have more power. Most of us detest the feeling of “powerlessness” that we sometimes feel.

·         What is it we’re really longing for?

·         The conflict in our lives is which track do we take to move toward greatness? How do you attain or experience power?

·         Philippians 2 may be the most counter-cultural chapter in all of the Bible!

·         Madison Avenue would have a difficult time coming up with an advertising campaign promoting “downward mobility.”  Can you imagine a jingle that says, “Lose it all.  Imagine the possibilities!”

 

·         Although, at first it seems totally illogical, a closer look will show that downward mobility makes perfect sense and in fact is the only way of life that brings pleasure to God.

Reasons for Believing Downward Mobility Makes Sense:

1.     It is the Way Jesus (the Ideal Man) Live His Life

Þ      If you were the Son of God and wanted to impact the world, how would you try to do it?

                        His coming

                        His childhood

                        His ministry years

                        His arrest and trials

                        His execution

Þ      And no one can deny the effect He had on the world!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

 

2.     Jesus’ Attitude is Revealed as Our Model

      Philippians 2:5

Þ        Is it that God is angry with us and wants to keep us   

     hidden away in a dark corner without any appreciation ever expressed?

Þ         No! God longs to exalt His children – to lift us up to places of honor and glory. What sickens Him is the sight of us, His children,  promoting ourselves, advancing our own causes, pushing our agenda at the expense of others, and longing to be served rather than to serve.

 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

James 4:10 (NIV)

3.     What Does This Have to Do With Power? (Matthew 2)

Þ  Adler said power is the “great human obsession.”

Þ  Kissinger referred to power as “the great aphrodisiac.”

Þ  It has been called the “single greatest catalyst in history.”

            Herod: 

            Deception

            Fear & Force

            False compassion

            Approach to Relationships:  Use them up and throw them away

            Philosophy:  Me first!

            Power:  Get it. Hoard it. Use it for yourself.

            Tyrant

            Jesus:

            Truth

            Peace & Choice

True concern

            Genuine compassion

            Approach to Relationships: Serve them & help them change

            Philosophy:  God first!

            Power:  Use it to benefit others.

            Servant

           

Your Two Choices

F      Way of Jesus:  Serve others, pick up your cross each day, give.

 

F      Way of Herod:  Follow your desires, avoid crosses, get.

Herod

·         Never known for his humility or for his sense of security. When he heard a potential rival for his throne had been born, he did everything he could to find him. Now, realize, the rumor was about a little baby – when he could locate the baby, the answer was obvious, have all the little babies taken from their parents and killed.

·         More than crazy --  was addicted to power. Power – getting more & holding on to what he had was all that mattered. Obsessed with moving up.

·         Man of revenge – His father, also a king, had been poisoned by a political enemy. So, some time later, he threw a dinner party & invited those who plotted against his Father.  His greeters were also hit-men. He slept well that night.

·         Became more and more violent and paranoid about people whom he thought wanted his power.

·         But, when it was politically expedient, he could present a kinder, softer image. Put together a relief program during a famine. Identified and bankrolled construction projects that would excite certain special-interest groups (including remodeling the temple in downtown Jerusalem).

·         Bought loyalty. Served himself by occasionally serving others.

·         Used people. Married 10 times!

·         Self-protecting. Network of spies. Brutal in his treatment of any rebels. Used slave-labor to build 12 emergency fortresses, complete with aqueducts and swimming pools. Rivals were disposed of –even if that was a wife or a son – he ordered executions for 2 of his wives and 3 of his sons.

·         Was so afraid that there would be no grieving in Jerusalem when he died, that just to make sure executions were carried out by his orders at the moment of Herods death – just to make sure someone was weeping.

Jesus

·         Was more of a king than Herod could ever dream about.

·         Had all power and yet was willing to set that power and position aside, for the good of others.

·         His entry onto the scene was less than impressive – a baby who was born in a stable.  So, while King Herod rages in his palace, King Jesus nurses on His mother’s breast.

·         When challenged by Satan to use His power to draw a crowd or meet a legit. personal need, Jesus declined.

·         Was never flashy or paranoid or insecure about other teachers who may have been drawing a bigger crowd. But He walked in a quiet quthority that made you know there is far more strength and power in this Man than we could ever realize!

·         For those who didn’t listen to His words, Jesus painted a picture:  God’ Son nailed to a cross!

·         About the only thing these two Kings had in common was that they both believed that there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be solved by bloodshed!

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