Positive Perseverance Prompts Prosperity

Positive Perseverance Prompts Prosperity

Hebrews 12:1-3“1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a greatcloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin thatso easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out forus.2Letus fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for thejoy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at theright hand of the throne of God.3Considerhim who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not growweary and lose heart.” {{more}}When Mike Ditka, was the New OrleansSaints football coach he had a reputation for optimism, he came into the lockerroom to give his team a pre-game pep talk.”All right Boys!” he said,”Here we are, unbeaten, untied and unscored upon and ready for the firstgame of the season.” The anticipation was that now there are a bunch ofpeople who want to see what you guys can do.I read about a schoolboy who brought home his report card. It was heavy withpoor grades. “What have you to say about this?” asked his father.”One thing for sure,” the boy replied, “Dad, you can be proud.You know I have not been cheating!”Find something to be excited about. Lookahead with positive purposeLook forward they once asked Barry Sanders, what is your goal when you runthe ball? Barry said every time I run the ball I keep my eyes on the end zone.If I ever look anywhere else I will fail. Weneed to look forward to where God has asked us to go. If we look anywhereelse we will fail. Amen!Lee de Forest, 1926, inventor of thecathode ray tube said,”Theoretically, television may be feasible, but Iconsider it an impossibility; a development which we should waste little timedreaming about.” Thomas J. Watson, 1943, Chairman of theBoard of IBM said, “I think there is a world market for about fivecomputers.” Recording company expert, 1962. “We do not think the Beatles will doanything in their market. Guitar groups are on their way out.”All of these people were left behind because that had no vision for the future.The bible reminds us that “where there is no vision the people parish.” We mustnot forget the prosperous promises He has made or the Positive possibilities hehas shownHenry Kissinger, former Secretary ofState, Jan. 9, 1989 said, “More than at any time in history, mankind facesa crossroads; one path leading to despair and utter hopelessness, the otherleading to total destruction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choosecorrectly.”Today in the life of the church more than any other time in history we are facinga crossroads, one path leading to prosperity and another leading to a slowdeterioration. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.  Never be afraid to trust an unknownfuture to a known God. Corrie Ten Boom a holocaust survivor. Someof you may have set your clocks back but your eyes still need to look forward. Whatdo you see when you look forward?Maintain a positive attitude. Maintaininga positive attitude is a key to success. Your attitude is an inward feelingwhich is expressed by your behavior.Parents are called to a meeting at their child’s class. The issue; their 5thgrade child is causing disturbances in the class and gradesare low. The aptitude tests show that the child has the capabilities yet he isstill failing miserably. The teacher suggests that the child has a bad attitude.We talk about attitudes every day. The truth is some of the greatest people inthe world have had incredible attitudes, and some of the same people have hadincredible deficiencies and handicaps as well. So as a church you may have some wonderful tools but if you maintain a lousyattitude you will fail. On the other hand you may not have every tool you wouldlike, but if you nurture an attitude of winning, God is sure to bless theefforts. Amen!You need to grasp this concept; “My attitude dictates my performance” Amen!Lou Holtz head coach at Southern California said, “Ability is what you arecapable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines howwell you do it” John Maxwell recalls playing a high school basketball team thatwas not having a good season. One day the coach held a team meeting and said“fellows your abilities say win, but your attitudes say lose.”Amen!What does your attitude say? A few weeks ago a preacher stood up in his church andshared that he believed that if people would devote themselves to prayer thattheir building could be containing over 100 people 2 more times by the end ofthis year. How did they respond to that goal? What was their attitude towardthat goal? Do you feel that it is a ridiculous goal? Do you think it isreachable? Do you think the members allowed that idea to slip into the garbagebin of their minds or did they pray for it daily with a positive purpose inmind.When you talk to people about the church do you describe the church as havingsome crazy ideas or do you speak enthusiastically about what you are trying toaccomplish? Do you believe that a youth minister is a ridiculous idea and statethat there are only a handful of youth? Or do you see endless possibilities forministry, growth and outreach?How good is your attitude about the worship time? Is it a wasted hour on Sundaymorning or is it one of the most beneficial things you participate in everyweek? Is there someplace you would rather be or have you made a conscious commitmentto be there every week?What is your attitude about giving:The church will misuse my money or would not make the same financial decisionsthat I would? Or God is going to bless this church and allow his spirit to runfreely through this place. What is your attitude like around other people? What does your attitude reflectabout your desire to serve and become involved in an area of ministry? Whatdoes your attitude tell others about your Job? As Followers of Jesus ourattitude needs to be the same as that of Jesus. So does your attitude say winor does it say lose?Continually find thepositive. There is a story about a child psychologist whowanted to observe how different children respond to negative circumstances. Theygot a room and filled it with horse manure. Putting the pessimistic child inthere, they observed how he responded. Predictably, he whined and cried, anddespaired that he was in a room full of smelly manure. They put the other childin there, and the little guy started tearing around the room, digging in themanure with an excitement that baffled the onlookers. After a few moments ofwatching this, they asked him why he was so excited. He replied, “With all thismanure in the room, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!” Being a follower of Jesus means findingopportunity in every situation. Keep the goal in sight. Throw offeverything that hinders. Both internaland external Hindrances. The word for this is more accurately described astrapped. Sin destroys. The bible says that the wages of sin is death. Negativity Break away from the trapsthat prevent progress. Amen!A survey asked mothers to keep track of how many times they made negativeremarks, compared with positive, comments to their children. They admitted thatthey criticized ten times for every time they said something favorable. Athree-year survey in one city’s schools found that the teachers were 75%negative. The study indicated that it takes four positive statements from ateacher to offset the effects of one negative statement to a child. I am not talking about discipline. The bible is very clear that discipline isgood, but there is a difference between positive and negative spirit stomping.Children need positive experiences to occur in their development. Children needto grow up thinking they are valuable worthwhile and can accomplish anythingthat they desire to do, if they work to maintain a positive attitude.A negative spirit is a wet blanket on a warm fire. So the author of this booksays “get away from what is holding you back. Work with patient persistenceA. Stick with the planDr. Patrick J Cohn says, that there are 3 keys to playing strategic golf. Study the course make a game plan carry out the game plan. You have to study the course if you are going to make progress, you should knowwhere the sand traps are and where the water is, but you also need to knowwhere the flag is. Amen!Two friends are sitting in a pub watching the ten-o’clock news. A report comeson about a man threatening to jump from the 20th floor of a downtown building.One friend turns to the other and says, “I’ll bet you ten bucks the guydoes not jump.” “It is a bet,” agrees his buddy. A few minuteslater, the man on the ledge jumps, so the loser hands his pal a $10 bill.”I cannot take your money,” his friend admits. “I saw him jumpearlier on the six-o’clock news.” “Me, too,” say the otherbuddy. “But I did not think he would do it again!” We have to learnfrom our past, but we also have to find a way to win in the future.In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: There used to be this bully whowould demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it tohim. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But thenthe karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. SoI just went back to paying the bully. I believe that the author of this textwould say “that if you don’t learn from the past you will most certainly repeatit.” Hudson Taylor said,”We can make our best plans and try to carry them out in ourown strength. Or we can make careful plans and ask God to bless them. “Yetanother way of working is to begin with God; to ask His plans, and to offerourselves to Him to carry out His purposes.” Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lorddetermines his steps.” Amen!One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously forhours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided theanimal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway. It just was notworth it to retrieve the donkey. So he invited all his neighbors to come overand help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, toeveryone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmerfinally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With everyshovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. Hewould shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued toshovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of thewell and trotted off! We must be willing to shake ourselves off and continue upward.Be patient with God’s timingPhillip Brooks, a famous pastor of the last century, was in his office,pacing the floor, frustrated. Somebody walked in and saw him and asked,”What is the matter, pastor?” He said, “I am in a hurry and Godis not!” Amen! Have you ever felt like you were in a hurry, but God was not?All too often in the church idleness is mistaken for patience. We are reallywaiting for a day when God gives us a vision, but what happens in the meantime?In the meantime you should keep plugging away and continue to serve. You haveto work with perseverance and still wait for God to show us another goal. Amen!Do not listen to negative influences. Itis so easy to criticize. A farmer’s neighbor was so negative, criticizingeverything and anything. The farmer bought a new plow, the neighbor said itwould rust soon. The farmer remarked how it was good to have more rain thisyear, and the neighbor lamented that his crops would rot at the root with allthis rain. It went on ad nauseam. The farmer determined he would find somethingto cheer up this bottomless pit of despair. He went out and purchased thefinest hunting dog, and secretly trained him to fetch by walking on the water,instead of swimming. When hunting season came the farmer invited his sour neighbor to go with him.When the first flock passed by, the farmer and his friend shot several duckseach. The farmer yelled to the dog, Fetch! The hound darted, his feet barelyskimming the surface of the lake. He scooped up four ducks from the water andwas back in an instant, dry as a bone. How ’bout that? Questioned the farmer.Remarked ol’ sourpuss, Cain’t swim, can he? Negative attitudes can destroy thehealthiest church. This attitude can rob leaders of their joy and drain the funout of fellowship. They sabotage a willingness to serve and cut the throat ofcommunication.Anticipate plentiful progress. Expectgreat results In the course of their conversation at a dinner party, Albert Einstein’syoung neighbor asked the white-haired scientist, “What are you actually byprofession?” “I devote myself to the study of physics,” Einsteinreplied. The girl looked at him in astonishment. “You mean to say youstudy physics at your age?” she exclaimed. “I finished mine a yearago.” When Pablo Casals reached 95, a young reporter threw him a question: “Mr.Casals, you are 95 and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you stillpractice six hours a day?” And Mr. Casals answered, “Because I thinkI am making progress.”So as a follower of Jesus you need to keep worshipping. Keep being faithful, Keeplearning, and keep serving. You have to believe that every day progress isbeing made.An interesting cartoon shows a fourth-grade boy standing toe-to-toe andnose-to-nose with his teacher. Behind them stares a blackboard covered withmath problems the boy has not finished. With rare perception the boy says,”I am not an underachiever, you are an overexpecter!” You need tobecome an overexpecter. The work of Japanese painter Hokusai spanned many years before his death in1849 at age 89. But toward the end of his life, the artist dismissed as nothingall the work he had done before age 50. It was only after he reached 70 that hefelt he was turning out anything worthy of note. On his deathbed Hokusailamented, “If heaven had granted me five more years, I could have become areal painter.” We should greatly anticipate what God wants to do with us. Expect meaningful results! Now you knowwhy perserverance prompts prosperity.