Monday, January 3, 2011

The Attitude of I Refuse

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at the Sunday morning service at our church.  I've decided to share my notes with you.  It was an exciting topic that I hope will inspire you to make a choice this year.

New Year's Resolutions date back many, many years to a Roman god named Janus.  He is usually pictured to have 2 heads, one that looks forward to the new year and one that looks back to the past.  Making resolutions usually was about forgiving your enemies and looking forward to your successes in the new year.  This Janus guy is where we get January from. 

Modern day resolutions vary from getting in shape, improving finances or careers, becoming more organized, reducing stress and volunteering to help others.  Research has shown that, while 52% of participants were confident that they would succeed, only 12% actually achieved their goals.

Last week, while listening to the radio, I heard the song, I Refuse by Josh Wilson.  The words struck me and as I prepared for last Sunday's service I was lead to read them aloud.

Sometimes I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright, when I know they're not

The world needs God, but it's easier to just stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on like nothing's wrong

But I refuse
'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer, Oh I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else, to do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move, But I refuse

Those are thought provoking words.  God has called each of us to a certain time and place, He doesn't change His mind regarding that which He's called us to (Romans 11:29).  Our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers need the hope of Jesus.  We are called to be the light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16 and 1 John 1:5).

So in addition to whatever self improvement goals you are setting for yourself this year...

I challenge you to adopt (take something and make it your own) the attitude of I REFUSE...

  • not to show God's love
  • to be a bad example in my attitude, words or actions
  • to let another day go by without letting 'that' person know they are loved by God and myself
  • to ignore the Spirit's leading
  • not to take the opportunity to pray with someone when I know they have needs to be prayed about
We attended a marriage seminar this past spring, it was an incredible study about marriage and what it should look like according to God's Word.  We learned there are three characteristics that are essential to every successful marriage, but these are also the things that we need to reach people for God.

  1. LOVE - 1 Thess. 4:9b - you, yourselves, have been taught by God to love one another.  Paul said it so well in 1 Corinthians 13 - without love, I am nothing!
  2. FORGIVENESS - Col. 3:13 - Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
  3. ENCOURAGEMENT - 1 Thess. 5:11 amp - Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another.
Reminding ourselves to engage these characteristics in our relationships will lead to positive PR for God.  We are walking advertisements for Him.  If we claim to be His children, we should ACT like it!

Statistics show resolutions don't have sticking power...adopting something is making it YOUR OWN.

The challenge...adopt the attitude of I REFUSE to let someone else do what God has called me to do.

The prayer...God, you have called us to be your children and the light of the world.  I refuse to leave you out of every day situations and I choose to share your hope with those around me today!

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