Theme: The Power of Sacrifice
Bishop Noel Jones spoke at my Pastor's 30th anniversary. I was so inspired by the sermon that I wanted to share it with you.
Do Something With It
He spoke about how their are benefactors and beneficiaries. Benefactors make sacrifices so that the beneficiaries can thrive. For example if your parents are paying for you to go to college, they are making sacrifices (working hard, in some cases cutting out their own niceties, in all cases paying an exhorbitant amount of money to help you do better). His point with this example was to say "Do something with it."
If your parents buy (or anyone buys) you an education, it's disrespectful to get bad grades. It's like pouring money down the drain. To that same end if Jesus died for your sins, don't waste your life. It's like pouring his blood down the drain.
He went on to talk about how being a Christian is not saying, hey, I'm perfect or hey, I'm doing well all the time. While, of course, we should be grateful, it's important to acknowledge that we struggle with everyday things like purity and making the right choices.
Like if you're choosing to abstain from sex, it doesn't become easier because you're a Christian. The physical struggle is the same as for anyone else, your stregnth comes from the spiritual power you gain from God. And going through that struggle, experiencing that struggle is what will take you to the next level.
By far the most inspiring part of what he said was something to the effect of "I could not be who I was in in 2008, were in not for the struggles I experienced in 2007. I could not be who I was in 2009 if it were not for the struggles I experienced in 2008. I could not be who I am in 2010 *insert Tea church shouting right chere* if it were not for the struggles I experienced in 2009. And everything that I am going through RIGHT NOW is preparing me for what God has for me in 2011."
My key takeaways were: Don't waste the lessons you've learned, the things you've been through, the sacrifices you've made or the sacrifices others have made for you. Embrace the struggle and know that there is something bigger or better for you on the other side of it.
Note to self: Buy power of sacrifice DVD from church.