New Hope Notes
Igniting Our Hearts to Change the World
Pastor Randy Furushima
New Hope invited the world’s greatest Bible teacher to speak here today … but he couldn’t make it … so I’m here instead!
I was a pastor here for the first five years of New Hope and am so grateful to God to have been able to see and be a part of what God has been doing in so many people’s lives. How many of you want to be closer to God? Well, I am going to tell you how.
When I was a pastor here, I oversaw the overflow crowd at the gym. Well, one day the sound went out and so we only had video of Pastor Wayne talking silently so I went up and tried to read his lips for the audience – like I knew his heart and what he was saying. I read to the audience Pastor Wayne’s lips as saying, “Pastor Randy is the best pastor I have ever known and I learned everything I know from him …”
When we know someone, we know their hearts. So who has known us the longest? God has known us the longest. He knew you even before you were a Christian – even before you were born. And God has a special purpose for you and your life. But why does God know us? So that we can have a relationship with Him. We should look at how God can use those relationships for His purposes.
Remember that song? “Change my heart O God. Make it ever true. Make it like you.” We should be like that. We should change our hearts into more like Jesus’. God set us apart to change the world. God wants to ignite our hearts to change the world.
The Bible speaks of Paul and his disciples in this way, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here ... " (Acts 17:6). That is really changing the world when you can turn it upside down. But in Paul’s case and ours, parts of the world need to be turned upside down because it is already upside down and backwards and turning it upside down would really be turning it right side up in God’s eyes.
We should remember though that the difference between chaos and change is vision. In other words, change without vision is chaos. What if I cook but randomly change items in the recipe, like use salt instead of flour or shoyu instead of caramel? The end result would be a mess or chaos. So we want change but with a vision.
The Definition of Vision is To SEE what is not yet there, by faith.
In other words, have a vision for what God can do with your actions. It is not only positive thinking but seeing what God can do with your positive actions. Faith is believing in God’s plan before seeing it.
I believe God called on me to give myself to leading a team at Pacific Rim Bible college. When He did so, Pastor Wayne and I wrote out our vision for the college on one sheet of paper before we got started. God wants to write His vision on your heart.
I think Adam was like me too before he met Eve. He told God that he wanted a woman to cook and clean the Garden of Eden 5 times a day and serve him with whatever he wanted. God told him that He could arrange it but it would cost Adam an arm and a leg. So Adam thought for a second and then asked how much could he get for a rib? … The rest is history!
Instead of what we want, we need to focus on what God wants. As the Bible says, “So instead, they went on through Mysia to the city of Troas. That night Paul had a vision. He saw a man from Macedonia in northern Greece, pleading with him, "Come over here and help us."(Acts 16:8-9) These were words that changed the world.
The Bible continues, “So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, for we could only conclude that God was calling us to preach the Good News there ... (Acts 16:10) God wanted Paul to go to Europe instead of Asia as Paul had first wanted.
How many days did it take for Paul to decide? At once. If you know what God wants deep inside, act on it.
1. Change begins when I LISTEN.
As the Bible says, "...the Holy Spirit had told them not to go ... but again the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go..." (Acts 16:6-7) Any kind of change usually should begin by listening first. If you want to make changes at work or home or anywhere, listen to what God wants you to hear and listen to what your boss, co-workers and family have to say. Paul listened about where not to go.
New Hope member Lauren Holland also listened to God about where not to go. She grew up knowing about the Bible and using her gift of music for the church and also professionally. She was offered a leadership role in the ministry in Japan but prayed about it. She decided that God was telling her that she was not ready for that and so she believed that He was telling her to go to Pacific Rim Bible College instead for further preparation. So she had faith and spent all her savings coming here and depended on God to provide the rest and He did! Her vision is to someday build a school in Japan and God has been bringing into her life all sorts of people that could help her with that vision. Lauren is the kind of student that God wants here.
Another secret to changing the world is …
2. Change endures when I move AHEAD.
We need to listen and then act. Paul listened and then acted at once. As it is written, "So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, for we could only conclude that God was calling us to preach the Good News there." (Acts 16:10) God wants us to take action, make change but make changes that endure. Sometimes those lasting changes begin by taking a small step forward instead of a leap in another direction.
Ohio State University’s true freshman Quarterback Terrelle Pryor learned that painful lesson when he fumbled the ball trying to run wide for the long touchdown instead of simply stepping ahead for the short gain. His team ended up losing the big game because of that mistake. The principle is that you should simply step straight ahead as long as it is in the right direction rather than trying to take short cuts in other directions.
At Pacific Rim Bible College we have started the Ignite Leadership Immersion program to train freshmen in principles like that and will have an open house on Tuesday at 5pm. We are taking God’s call seriously and thank you all for your prayers and support.
The last secret to changing the world is …
3. Change lasts when I invest in OTHERS.
We at Pacific Rim Bible College believe in partnership and so have joined with the Eugene Bible College and other ministries around the world to change this world. God is working to ignite change and it is up to us to assist Him.
To help with that change, Pacific Rim Bible College has set up the $20,000 Ignite World Changers Essay Scholarship in which 20 students will win $1000 for writing why they want to change the world.
So let me leave you with six new words: Ignite your heart, change the world.
God wants us to change the world but with vision. The definition of vision is to see by faith what is not yet there. We should listen to God and others before we begin changes. We should take action and move ahead because change endures when we move ahead. We need to invest in others to make lasting changes.
1. Why do we have to turn the world upside down?
2. Why do we need vision?
3. What happened when you did something God told you not to do?
4. How do you know when God is telling you not to do something?
5. What happened when you made changes without listening first?
6. What happened when you moved ahead with God’s plan without having a complete plan?
7. How can you better invest in others?