New Hope Notes
Letting Go of Whatís In Your Hand
Discovering Your Potential
Pastor Bernie Federmann
We are continuing our series:ďDiscovering Your Potential.Ē† We are following Dorothy and her friends in what God has planned for them. Pastor Bernie Federman, a good friend of Pastor Wayne and New Hope, from a church in Lompoc, California is our guest speaker today. He is going to share with us Godís word about letting go of what is in our hand to discover what God has for us. He is going to give us steps to follow. God gave us so much within us; we donít need to go anywhere but to Him in order to develop what is within us. Do you have anything to let go so God can use you?
I have to share with you about a time I had with my son when he was in second grade. I use to take him to McDonald, the Golden Arches.† Since I was always watching my weight, I ordered a three-bite cheeseburger and a diet coke, but I ordered a Happy Meal for him. After I finished my three-bite cheeseburger and I was slurping down the bottom of my drink, I saw his French fries. It was calling my name. I told him, ďBrian, lookÖa fire truck!Ē He looked. Most of the time, it worked but this time, as I reached out to pick up one of his French fries, I felt a hand on my wrist. A strong voice which was unlike my sonís voice said to me ďThat is my French fry! Itís MINE!Ē This disturbed me. I tried not to be upset but I was. I was telling myself that I could go get my own but why do I have to. I paid for it. So I told my son, ďYes, I could get money at the ATM and buy more fries. I also could hold his wrist in one hand and eat all his fries with the other hand. What Father gave, Father could take away!Ē Donít we sometimes do that to God. He reaches out to us and then, we grab his wrist and tell him, ďDonít take my French fries. Donít touch it.Ē Or better yet we donít want to give him of our time, talents and treasures. OR like the lion we donít have courage to do what we need to do at the moment.
David, the giant slayer, the shepherd boy and the King realizes something, Ölet us read in the Bible verse on top of your notesÖ
"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand." ( I Chronicles 29:14 NIV)
My son has the fries because I placed them on his hands. So does, God has placed in our hands our time, talents and treasures. David mentioned in the verses as he realized all our gifts come from God. Who are we not to give them back to Him? Have you ever regifted? Okay, confession time is good to the soul? Yes, I see several hands up. Maybe some of you gave your original gift and rewrap them and give them again away. On the other hand some of you, use the same gift wrapper, use the same card and cross out the previous note and write the current recipientís name and regift it. God is the only one happy when we regift our gifts to him. He gives us so much time, talents and treasure. We, in turn, give him only a portion of it.
Let me give an illustration of what this is all about. I have a bucket here and a pipe.
Some people are like buckets. They just want to collect all the blessings and keep them to themselves. Others on the hand are pipes that bend and curve and Godís blessings flow through them in the open end to others. In this journey of life which one are you?
A great example of someone in the Bible was Moses. Moses thought he was very inadequate. He told God to find someone else to do what He wanted. He had a speech impediment. He tried to argue with God. Moses had to let go of what he was and let God work on him and use him. God told, ďMoses let go of the stick. Moses let go.Ē† He doubted. He finally let go. Then, the miraculous happened with the ordinary.
Another example in the Bible was the feeding of five thousands in which a Jewish boy had to give up his lunch. I grew up in a Jewish home. Everyone knows that a Jewish mother canít let her son go out through his day without fixing him lunch. I believe there were so many children or other people that own lunches and they held it back. They hid it in their ďbuckets.Ē They didnít want to share with others. This particular boy gave up what he had to be used by God. He had the courage like the lion. He allowed to be use by God, so His blessings could flow to others. The miraculous happened. Five thousand people were fed.
A few people might say I donít have enough to give. Some might be scared. Others might say that I am not like Pastor Wayne or Pastor Elwyn. We think we are not worthy enough. Another person might say there is so much ďjunk in my trunk.Ē
But in reality you should sayÖ
Whatever you have is what it takes. His call is His enabling. Where God guides he provides. Donít say I donít have my act together. Donít say I donít have a good prayer life. Donít say I donít have enough Bible knowledge. Donít say I need a better daily devotions. Donít wait until you have your act together. In all honesty, you already have everything God has given you to fulfill his plan for your life.
Let me share with you the story of two men named Peter and John on how they realize their God-given potentials.†
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Act 3:1-10)
When it was time for Peter and John to realize their potential they had to realize they need to pray. They need to spend time down on their knees and have a conversation with God. At the same time also, they need time to listen to Him. We, in turn, also have to do our devotional time with God daily. In our devotional time, we could hear what God has to say and get closer to Him. We need to do what is right. †Next, we need toÖ
On the way to prayer, Peter and John were interrupted. The beggar asked them for coins. Peter and John instead gave them much more. They mentioned that they didnít have any coins but in the name of Jesus, they healed the man. Sometimes got reaches out to us and want to use our time, talent and treasures. We canít just slap His hand and say ďNo, Lord!Ē You might be going through so much things in your life right now. You donít know about your next job. Your finances are not doing well. You might be wondering what are you are doing in a church like New Hope and them doing church as a team. God has a different plan. According to Godís term, ministry is never convenient but worthwhile. Next step is toÖ
Peter and John laid it straight to the beggar at the Gate called Beautiful that they donít have any silver or gold but they have much more to give him. They made him walk in the name of Jesus. Peter and John paid attention to his need. The needs are all around us. God directs us to the need and we just have to discern about it like the apostles and follow the Lordís leading to act upon it. †He will provide for the assignment He gives us.
Peter gave the beggar more than he ask for. Through Peter, God gave back the capacity to walk to the beggar. Through this miracle, God, the Father was glorified. Peter had to let go of his treasures and follow Jesus. He was used for the glory of God. He gifted the man life everlasting. Before I came to the podium, I was nervous. I ask my son to pray for me. He also reminded me to breath! God has given me gifts and talents to share with you. Like Peter and John, I had to step up. I have learned not to compare myself to anybody. My gifts and talents are unique to me. God has provisionally given me everything I need to make God's plan for my life happen at this moment. Catch this: what Peter and John have was what the beggar needed, so was mine.
By mentioning Jesus name, Peter recognized his source. Everything comes from God. He never ask us to do it alone. He is always with us.
A great example of this is Pastor Wayne and Anna went they took a risk and started this church almost 15 years. He had to let go of so many things. Pastor Wayne also said yes to God concerning church planting and growing emerging leaders and creating Bible colleges. He trusted and had faith in God. Another example is Pastor Elwyn. He didnít say no in leading this church. He took a risk and gave up being a circuit judge.
Every gift, talent and treasure comes from God and him alone. Recognize Him in all† we do.
In conclusion, are you a bucket or a pipe? Are you allowing Godís love and grace flow through you for others. The world needs to see the authentic Jesus.
1. In Pastor Bernieís illustration of the bucket and pipe, which one are you? Discuss
††† which one are you with your group and give examples.
2. What past situation is holding you to be all you can be for the kingdom of God?
3. Is your calendar so busy that you canít be interrupted by God? What do you have to†
††† give up for the kingdom? ††
4. Is there a need around you that God is asking you to fill? Have you responded?
5. Have you taken a risk for God? Could you share with your group?