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Maximizing Your Potential

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
October 26, 2021 8:00 am

Maximizing Your Potential

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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October 26, 2021 8:00 am

You know what your salvation does for you. But what’s it doing for the kingdom? Join Dr. Tony Evans as he shows us how the Lord has packed each of us with potential, but it’s up to us to unpack it and put it to work.

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God is looking for some folk who will exceed expectations. We're not satisfied to be average. Dr. Tony Evans says the Lord has packed each of us with potential, but it's up to us to unpack it. You're not happy with just being okay.

You're not satisfied with just trying to make it. You're going beyond what was required. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. When you're following someone, you don't get to choose the route or the destination. If you do, it no longer qualifies as following. Well today, Dr. Evans says Christ followers maximize their potential when they stay the course, even in tough times. Let's join him as he elaborates. In the last verse of 1 Corinthians 15, we read these words, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil or labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Now, let's be crystal clear. You are not saved by works. The Bible makes it clear, by grace have you been saved through faith that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not according to works, so that no one can boast. Nobody gets to heaven because they have worked their way there. The Bible says it's not by works of righteousness, which we have done. When a person says they're working to make heaven their home, they don't get it.

You cannot earn a place with God. But while we are not saved by work, we are saved for work. Because what the author of Ephesians says after declaring we're not saved by works in Ephesians 2, 8, and 9, he goes on in verse 10 and says, but we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He has created beforehand that we should walk in them. So you are not saved, converted, regenerated, redeemed, justified, or propitiated because of your work.

That comes because of His work. But if you are saved, because He says in verse 58, my beloved brethren, there is a mandate. And what Paul wants to know or what Paul wants to encourage is your work in the Lord. He wants to talk about if you are saved, how is heaven benefiting from your salvation?

If you are redeemed, how is the kingdom of God benefiting from your redemption? Or are you just chilling until you arrive in glory? So your overall mindset in the marketplace is I need a job. If I don't have a job, I need a job. If I have a job, I want to try to get a better job.

Or I want to try to get more reward from the job I'm in. That ought to be your mindset. Paul says your mindset if you've been saved is your service. How am I serving the Lord to advance His kingdom that benefits others with His name attached to it? That's the mandate. That is the expectation of God for all of His people. God is looking for folks who want to go to work. But having given the mandate, He gives the method.

He gives three things in verse 58. Be steadfast, be immovable, always abounding. First of all, in your service to God, in your labor, the word steadfast means to be seated and settled.

To be seated and settled. Right now, you are steadfast because you are seated and you are settled. You're in your place.

You're in the spot. Some of you, I always know where to locate you because you never move. You have laid claim to that seat.

I have seen some of you get some of you get a little attitude. If somebody else has the audacity to sit in the seat where you have situated yourself for all these days, months, and even years. I know where you are, which means I know if you're not here because I have scouted where you sit.

To be steadfast is to situate yourself. When I was growing up, my father would sometimes take us on Sunday drives. He would take us on the side of the church and after dinner, he would take us on a Sunday drive. The problem was often we were going nowhere. It was a drive into nothingness. It was driving for driving's sake. Now, after a few minutes, the trees look the same, the grass looks the same, the road looks the same, the highway looks the same, it becomes empty movement because there is no destination attached to it.

We're not going anywhere. When he says be steadfast, he is saying in your service to the Lord, let's settle this issue. If you've got a 30-year-old living with you, they're 30 years old and they're living with you. They're eating your food, eating your food, getting cooled by your air, getting warmed by your heat. They are benefiting from your work and the reason they're claiming the benefit is that they were born to you.

They have birthright and so they're piggybacking off their birth, leeching off of you and they're 30 years old. You need to have a steadfast conversation, a steadfast conversation. You need to settle an issue.

You need to say, have a seat young man, have a seat young lady. We need to settle something. We need to situate something. What we need to settle here is you need a job and if you are going to stay here for another minute or two, you have to work and contribute. If you're five, I'll feed you.

If you're 35, you feed you. You know, we need to settle something. He says, my beloved brethren, you have a mandate to serve God. So let's get this settled and let's stop going all over the place.

He says, let's settle this issue. You are a servant of the Most High and your service to God must be a settled issue. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. That is to whom you belong.

And so the Bible says at the end of first Corinthians 10, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. He is saying, let's make that a steadfast issue that I serve Christ. I serve him on the job. I serve him at my home. I serve him with my friends. That is my mindset.

I'm steadfast. It's non-negotiable. If somebody wanted to negotiate with you, whether you worked or not, that should be a non-negotiable.

Particularly as the head of a household, that's a non-negotiable. It's what you do to make ends meet. That's what you do. You get up in the morning and if you need help, you set the alarm because it's a settled issue.

I got to go to work. He says, be steadfast. Let's settle this thing.

Let's not plan with this. He intensifies the concept of being steadfast by saying be immovable. Immovable means not tossed to and fro, not vacillating in uncertainty.

So it's like being steadfast, but it means being fixed or locked down to, being tethered to, not negotiating. I love what Joshua said. He said, as for me and my house. Joshua 24, 15, we will serve the Lord.

The context in which he says that is all the other people were looking at all the other idols they could serve. Joshua comes out and says, I can't dictate to your house, but let me tell you about my house. As for me and my house, it's not up for discussion. It's not up for debate. Most of us as parents have probably said to more than one of our children, if you're going to live here, if you're going to stay here, this is non-negotiable.

Now you can go and move and negotiate, but if you're going to stay here under my roof, this is non-negotiable. This is immovable. This doesn't change. We live in a world today when God's view gets to change.

Everybody else's view gets to stay the same. He says, be steadfast. He's talking about the mandate of your service, your labor. He says, be immovable. Let's not negotiate this thing that you represent the Lord Christ and it is Him who you serve.

And that's not negotiable. You are a Christian. That's who you are. You belong to Jesus Christ. That's your identity.

Nobody else is apologizing for what they do. Every manner of lifestyle, every manner of language, every manner of action is being taken and everybody else wants you to accept it. Well, He says, you be immovable. Let's not make your service to the Lord negotiable.

Now it should be appropriate, but it should not be negotiable. Dr. Evans will tell us more about maximizing our potential when he returns in a moment to continue this message from the historic CD compilation, Tony Evans Top 40. This is a collection of the most hard-hitting, life-changing sermons drawn from his 40-year ministry history. It includes messages on staying faithful through the long haul, turning chaos into calm, realizing and relaying God's love, and much more.

These messages can literally change you or your loved ones' lives. And right now, we're offering Volumes 3 and 4 of this powerful compilation as our thank-you gift when you make a donation to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. Please visit tonyevans.org today, make your contribution, and receive all 20 full-length messages in Volumes 3 and 4 of Tony Evans Top 40. Again, that's tonyevans.org.

Or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat our contact information after part two of today's lesson, coming up right after this. Dr. Tony Evans talks about his first trip to Israel. A photograph became a motion picture so that I was now seeing and living color the atmosphere, environment, the feel, the excitement, the learning of what the Bible describes. Now you can have that same experience along with Tony in a new motion picture coming to theaters in November, Journey with Jesus. A lot of people want to go to Israel and it is an expensive trip and we did not want those people denied the experience that we had while being physically there. You'll travel with Tony as he explores actual sites where the most powerful events in the Bible took place, not just helping you see them, but understand what they mean and how they can change your life. We want this to be a biblical experience, not merely a sightseeing tour. Journey with Jesus in theaters November 15th, 16th, and 17th.

Visit tonyevans.org for locations, showtimes, and to learn more. And then he says, abounding. He says always abounding. You have a job description. You have expectations that have been written out for whatever the labor, the specific task is that you're responsible for in the company for which you work. There are expectations.

Abound means to exceed expectations. You went further than what was required. God is looking for some folk who will exceed expectations, who are not satisfied to be average. You're not happy with just being okay. You're not satisfied with just trying to make it. You're exceeding expectations. You're going beyond what was required.

Always abounding, exceeding expectation, zealous for God. You're not wasting time. You're not just going through the motions. You're not just showing up.

That's the person who when required to be there at 830 at 830 is ready to go at 830 because they want to abound. One of the big issues today in our country is the issue of entitlement. Unfortunately, many Christians have a spirit of entitlement. God, you're supposed to do this for me.

You're supposed to not let this happen to me. I am entitled. If you and I fully understood what He already has done for us, you'd understand that it would take eternity to repay. The mandate is what is your labor for the Lord?

What can you point to consistently, abounding? What can you show and say, I serve the Lord Christ and it is visible and evident? You see, chapter 15 of the book of 1 Corinthians is the leading chapter in the Bible on the resurrection.

Okay? I am a Christian today because I believe in the resurrection. But by the grace of God, I am what I am. And His grace toward me did not prove vain.

But I labored even more, because remember, He exceeded requirements, than all of them. Yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Verse 54, when this perishable will put on the imperishable, this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Okay. I know life may be rough right now. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the only hell you get to experience is the hell you're going through now. This is as bad as it's ever going to get.

It's not going to get any worse than this. It may be bad, but it's the only hell. In case you're here and you're not a Christian, let me explain something to you. However good it's going for you right now, this is the only heaven you're ever going to get. The main reason that you should be motivated to serve the Lord is because, watch this now, I love this, you don't get to die. He calls it the sting of death.

Okay. Death has a sting to it. When you go to a funeral and see a loved one laid out, you know, it's got a little bite to it, he says, okay?

When you have to sit down and do your will, and you got to think about what it's going to be like when you're not here and you're forced to deal with that thing or buy life insurance and be reminded that death has a sting to it. But he says the reason that death has a sting to it is that death has sin attached to it. He says the sting of death is sin. So the only reason you're going to die is because sin has come into the world and come into your life, and the wages of sin is death.

So death has a sting, the sting is sin, and the law is the thing that lets you know about the sin that's caused the death. The law is God's standard. God's standard can't be changed. He cannot grade on the curve.

He cannot dumb down his requirements. So he can't change. And the law, thou shalt not, lets you know when you shall. Because it lets you know when you violated God's commandment, either on action or attitude. So God gives the law that reveals the sin which brings about the death. But he says thanks be to God through Jesus Christ that the sting of death has been removed. If you feel like you're still carrying around that stinger Dr. Evans was talking about, Jesus is ready to pull it out for you today.

Here's a word from Tony about how that works. If what you just heard has impacted your heart, if what you just heard has quickened something within you to want to enter into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then I want to invite you to respond right now to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. So right now, why don't you go to God and let Him know that you now receive Jesus Christ into your life for the forgiveness of your sins, for the gift of eternal life, because you believe He died on the cross for you. If you will do that right now, God is ready and waiting to receive you and to give you the greatest gift that anyone could ever be given.

Dr. Evans would love to tell you more about that gift. Just visit tonyevans.org today and follow the link that says Jesus. He has a helpful video there that will answer your questions, along with some great downloadable resources to get your new life started off right. Well, as I mentioned earlier, today's lesson is part of Tony's special audio compilation called Tony Evans Top 40.

There's a lot of bonus content in this collection, including entire messages we won't have time to present on the air. But right now, we'll send you volumes three and four of this four-volume set as our gift if you can help us keep Tony's teaching on this station by making a contribution. Just make the arrangements today at tonyevans.org or let one of our resource team members help you when you call 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans will come back in a moment right after this quick shout out to celebrate the Urban Alternative's 40th anniversary. Hi, Pastor Skip Heitzig here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I want to say congratulations to Dr. Tony Evans. He is one of the most remarkable and respected leaders in the ministry in this generation.

Not only is he a remarkable pastor and teacher and author, but he stayed at the task and is celebrating 40 years in the ministry this year. A wholehearted congratulations from me and from our fellowship. We consider you a hero in our common faith, Tony, and thank you for upholding the standard of biblical expository preaching and exalting the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your years of service to the Lord and to his people. Congratulations.

And on behalf of all of us here at the Urban Alternative, we thank each of you for your continued support and encouragement. Jesus boiled down God's law into two simple commandments, love God with everything we've got and love others as ourselves. Tomorrow, Tony will unpack the first of those two mandates for us in a message called Loving God First. Right now, though, he's back with this final story. He said, but the bee is flying all around. It's going to get me.

It's going to get me. He said, boy, don't worry about that bee. He said, what you mean don't worry about that bee? He said, because that bee got one stinger, and that stinger is in my hand.

Because when I grabbed him, he stung me. So all that bee is doing is making a whole lot of noise, because it can't mess with you now. I've got that stinger in my hand. Death has a sting, but on the cross, Jesus Christ grabbed the bee and he took the stinger. Now death may be buzzing around. It may be making a lot of noise, but if you know Jesus Christ, it can't touch you now, because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Death has a sting. Jesus Christ took the stinger by canceling the sin because he kept the law. So guess what? The reason you ought to serve the Lord is you don't get to die. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-31 05:34:20 / 2023-07-31 05:42:57 / 9

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