Priority #5 : The Great Commission

Chapter 26 - Discovering Your Potential

I'm going to have you turn in your bibles to first Peter chapter one. The Lord has prompted me to read this to you. There may be people who are suffering, not only physical trial but some type of trial of faith today. And I don't know who all of you might be, but I know the Lord has prompted me to read this portion of scripture to you. There may be a tremendous pressure and a strain on you and the message that I'll bring just a little later in your potential in God, if you did not realize and feel and hear the voice of God lifting you, you could possibly feel that this was a hollow mockery of you and an echo of misery because of the condition that may surround your life or be pressing upon you, so I just feel constrained of the Lord to share this little portion of scripture.


Your trials, your problems are not an indication of whether God loves you or not. For you can love the Lord and be right in the middle of His will and still have some problems. But the Word tells us don't be surprised concerning the fiery trial that is to try you as thought some strange thing happened unto you. I realize there are people that would challenge that statement but I didn't make it, it's in the Word. God made it; He's going to back it up.


There are some trials that come not because of disciplinary reasons, but there are things that come our way that God brings glory to Himself through lives that our touched. There's a scent of perfume that fills the room through the crushing of the rose that would never come otherwise and so I'm going to read this portion of scripture. I trust that God will make it real to your heart.


"Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ to the strangers scattered throughout Asia. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Grace unto you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that faded not away reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed at the last time where in you greatly rejoice." Notice this. He's pointing ahead. It's something reserved for you and this is your reason for great rejoicing. "Where in you greatly rejoice, though now for a season if need be you are in heaviness through manifold temptations." I literally felt the weight today of some people that are in heaviness here through a trail. Probably not one trial but manifold trials, and I thank God that He has given my spirit this sensitivity. I can sense it, and God is going to minister to you right now by His Spirit while we're reading. You're in heaviness but He said look up, there's something reserved for you; something very special. It's an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and it fades not away.


"If need be you are in heaviness through manifold temptations that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried by fire might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." That may not be that far off. The appearing, there's going to be a tremendous revelation of what has happened. Found unto praise, honor and glory when Jesus comes. "Who having not seen you love in whom though now you see Him not, yet believing you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."


Another portion of scripture, 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, "This precious treasure, this light and power that now shine within us is held in a perishable container." That is in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and it is not our own. "We are pressed on every side by troubles, can it be? It happens. But not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don't know why things happen as they do, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down but God never abandons us, we get knocked down but we get up and keep going. These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did, so that it is clear to all that it is only the living Christ within who keeps us safe. Yes we are under constant danger to our lives because we serve the Lord but this gives us constant opportunities to show forth the power of Jesus Christ within our dying bodies. Because of our preaching we face death but it has resulted in eternal life for you. We boldly say what we believe trusting God to care for us, just as the psalm writer did when he said, ""I believe and therefore I speak, we know that the same God who brought the Lord Jesus from death will also bring us back to life again with Jesus and present us to Him along with you. These sufferings of ours are for your benefit and the more of you who are won to Christ the more there are to thank Him for His great kindness and the more the Lord is glorified. That is why we never give up though our bodies our dying; our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are after all quite small and won't last very long, yet this short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing upon us forever and ever. So we do not look at what we can see right now."


Don't look at what you can see right now. The troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not seen. The troubles will soon be over but the joys to come will last forever. In your Bible you read that these light afflictions, they become servants for us, working for us over on the other side. While that tooth is hurting, don't look at the tooth look beyond it, something is working for you on the other side. Oh, I picked a real small thing like a tooth; you've got something big bothering you. You've got a lot of big things working for you over there. A far greater exceeding weight of glory is being worked for you on the other side. Hallelujah. If this meant something to you I want you to say a big loud amen. Amen. Oh, now I'm glad I read it. Praise the Lord. That means I'm not going to be able to give you the introduction to my message. I'm going to just have to wade right into, down toward the bottom line of it. I had an experience last Friday, speaking of angels. Every time I have an experience I think this is the greatest, it can be no greater than this, but each time I almost forget the time before because of the awe and the stimulation and the truths that just seem to penetrate and become so real and the additional truth and Bible verses that just fasten themselves upon my mind and my heart so that I could never forget them. One of the portions of scripture that the angel referred to and brought to me from the Lord was the 54th chapter of Isaiah. A verse the Lord gave to me one time when I was standing here without realizing it came by inspiration, without the Word being opened, and it came complete with the reference. I think some of you will remember that. But this is something very special to God and it's a message that He wanted us to hear, this was a little part of what He talked about and so I'm going to read this portion of scripture as a little spring board into a couple of other truths that I promised to give you. Isaiah 54:6, I might say here the direction of these words was toward Israel, but the same truth and the same love is toward all of us. Because when God spoke and gave a promise to people He may have had an immediate target and those He was directing it too but when it comes from His heart He is merely telling us what He is really like and how He feels about people everywhere. And here He tells us, "For the Lord has called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit; a real God calling at a time of real mental turmoil and conflict. And He likened it to the torments and some of you know the torment of rejection and the breaking up of a lasting relationship and how it tears your heart out. So the Lord said He called us from a place of great anguish. Then he goes on to say, "For a small moment have I forsaken thee." God how can it be? But He did. "But with great mercies will I gather thee and a little wrath I hid my face from thee but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee says the Lord thy redeemer." Then He goes on to say that the great rainbow in the sky, God's reminder to Himself and the world that He would keep His promise. He said when you see that rainbow you could not only remember that there's not going to be a flood but you can remember something else. You can remember that the work that Jesus has done is complete. "It's finished and I will not be wroth with you anymore." We read it here, "for this is as the waters of Noah unto Me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed says the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Oh Hallelujah. This is all such a beautiful truth. I'd like to drop down to verse 16, God is speaking still and He said, "Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire that brings forth an instrument for his work. I have created the waster to destroy." God here is telling us the fact that He Himself has drawn into the blueprints of our lives. The desire, the channels, the drives within, God Himself has drawn that right into the blueprints of our lives. I'm just going to read a few verses from Psalm 139 the Living Bible here. I'll read from verse 13, "you made all the delicate inner parts of my body, and you knit them together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it. You were there when I was being formed in utter seclusion. You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book." What He's telling us here, he said He saw all of our members, the inner parts of our body, the planning.


When Gabriel was speaking to me about this he said that David gave a verse in Psalm 87 and verse 7 when he's speaking about how beautiful Jerusalem was and he said all of our springs, the springs that are within us of life are in you Jerusalem. But Gabriel said of the believer, that all of the life forces within us spring from God. Hallelujah. I don't know if that means anything to you but it sure means a lot to me. Those peculiar characteristics, you remember many times I've told you about God allowing me to see in the archives of heaven His plan book for each life. This was so awesome, it was staggering. I could hardly look on it. This was during that visit to the throne room and I have been awed at this. I've shared it with a lot of people, that the path those things that happen are ordered, there laid out in plan. But it was only Friday that I realized a little more fully that in God's planning it was not only the events that would transpire in a persons life and the path of life, but His planning included those little peculiarities within us that make us, us. God wrote into the person's life like this Al Mars in here. When he was a little boy, I haven't talked to his mother about this but I imagine it was so. That he drew little lines on paper. His teachers at school, when they got the papers turned in would see little lines going every which way and designs made with a pencil and so on. Did that ever happen Al? I venture to say there were plenty of them. The rest of you have probably done that. There were things that were of interest that God had put there, springs of life. I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry Teal there may have had some 40 story buildings drawn on some of his papers that he turned in, in the second grade. He's an architect now you see. And those springs had there beginning way back; God wrote those things within us.


The reason this message he brought me was so exciting, it put everybody God created all on an equal plane before God. Each with a little different design in their life and the planning and the steps that go, each of them would fit as God prodded and prompted would fit a different direction. All of these things are so important. There are some I can almost hear some wheels saying that sounds like fatalism. Sounds like not much left for us to do. Oh there's a whole lot to do. And that is linking arms with God and really moving with Him and having some excitement in watching all of the things, because you don't know all of those things that God has planned for you. But nevertheless He has really laid out some beautiful complete plans.


I remember Ted when he was a little rascal. He used to take his money down; he would devise a lot of schemes to get it by the way. It wasn't only just a couple years ago that he had to go down to provident federal and rewrite his signature. Because they looked at that passbook and they could hardly read it. Here it was printed in kind of childish letters. He had it down there; he put that on there when he was about 3 years old. But I remember the other kids in the family who also had found ways and means to scrounge money. But they were always broke. And I still remember those days when Ted had that little book and he had wrote down Sharon owes me ten dollars. You think ten percent interest is pretty high you should have seen the interest he charged back in those days.


We could look at a lot of your lives, there are different tendencies, and there are organizational capabilities. Have you ever seen a little child in putting their shoes away in the closet? They can't stand the right one on the left side. They have to have them both stuck together. Everything has to be in right order. Have you ever noticed that? This is the way it is with some children. The Lord see, built that into them in the blueprints because somewhere along the line He wanted to use them in some organizational capacity. He knew what He wanted out of Al. He knew that he would be drawing up some of the land around Boise here and subdividing.


God knows what He's planning. Don't you believe the Lord knows what's happening right here in Boise area? Why sure He knows. In fact this is a very special spot to Him; He's using it for a touch down spot right now to bring some messages that are going all over the world. God knows this place. He knows the whole world. I mentioned in the earlier service, I saw Ed Schmidt back there. And I read the 16th verse just especially for him, "Behold I created the Smith that blows on the coals in the fire and that brings forth the instruments for His work." You see God doesn't want everybody to be a school teacher. He never did plan for, well I think Ed could teach school alright, but I think he just loves to watch what happens when that iron gets to moving under his hand. It was something that was built into him as a child. And in all these things God has made us what we are. And He wants us to be the best what we are that there is in the whole world. It's God that built that into him, God did it and those gifts that you read about in Romans the 12th chapter; they are not special gifts of the Holy Spirit just for believers. Those are capabilities that God has implanted in everyone's life. There's the capability of administration, there's the capability of teaching, there's the ability to give, to be in a position to give. All of these things are capabilities; there are the capabilities of the arts, music, and drama. Why there are some people that couldn't act if they had to. But you take Michelle; she made me cry Easter Sunday. I cried four different times when she gave that. And I knew what was coming but she did it so real, she didn't look like Michelle, she looked just like I'd think Mary would look in talking, someone who had lost their loved one. But these things that God has drawn into us, you know when Sharon was about 3 or 4 she used to line her dolls up on the stairs, and get Charms dolls, and the neighbors dolls and then she would get all of the little kids around and sit them on the stairs and then right out in front of them she would put on the most terrific Easter pageants and Christmas pageants you ever saw in your life. Boy she'd put them together and she even had her mom and dad and some of the other mom's and dad's coming in to watch. God wrote those and twisted the wires to make it come out right. She would have an awful time with some things that you're able to do. But the Lord has given her that ability to dream of dynamic ways of communicating a truth through music, through the expression of song and the presentation. This is a powerful thing. Every one of us has something. And it's easy for us if everybody isn't just like us. It's easy to say well that stupid nut, there just stupid in a different way is all than you. But the Lord has definitely planted within us and drawn within us a blueprint. And He wants to make us something. He wants to make us the best possible for Himself. Now people who don't know the Lord, the Lord may have given them a gift like the apostle Paul who was picked long before he had given his heart to the Lord. All of the people, there is something, because God loves people and there's a certain amount of success because God implanted it there. But because of greed, because of self, because of sin often times the pipeline that God expects that fountain where the spring of life is to come through is warped and twisted, there are times when it becomes all plugged up and very little comes through. But it's there, with some it may be some coming through and there's a certain amount of success that they do have.


There may be some business men here today or other people that may not have known the Lord, in order to make yourself the best at what you're doing; you'll go to seminars of one type or another. You will prepare yourself in order that you might be the best. But I have a secret for you, it's a key that God has a way of making those qualities, those capabilities in you reach there highest and their purpose ever and that is make Jesus the Lord of your life. Let Him have a chance, when He has all of you and He is your Lord, He not only has you, He has the potential of your life. Do you believe that? Hallelujah. He has your potential.


Did you know that God doesn't expect everybody to make a lot of money? Did you know that? There have been some real famous artists down through the years that have almost starved to death. But today the message that they put on canvas, beautiful as they sat there and dreamed how they could best present the image that was in their mind of someone or something. They spent time thinking and so carefully worked, some of them took hours and hours and hours as they wanted to put what was in their mind down on the canvas. God put that in their heart. They could care less, they wanted to stay alive and keep body and soul together but some of them suffered some privation. To them they wouldn't have cared if their shoes were setting straight or not, they were lucky if they had any. But today there's a message that still comes forth. And those pieces of art that were written by Picasso and some of these other great people are bringing inspiration to millions of people. Of course their lifetime was short but their work really lasted. God prepared them for something special. When He prepared the apostle Paul He prepared him to put God's message down that would last for eternity. The apostle Paul said, "I'd been beaten, I've been in ship wrecks, I've been stoned to death, I've had everything go wrong." But the words that God inspired are inspiring us today. You see this life isn't the only thing we're living for. There's a whole lot that goes on beyond after things stop here and God has a beautiful place for those that love Him. I think of those of you who are working with children. God has prepared you with a special desire to help them to learn. I think of the teacher of our first grade Maranatha School. She was talking to me the other day and she said I prayed, and asked God, "God how can I make this real simple and interesting so these little children will learn it and never forget it? I pray and tears come down my face, and I ask God to help me so that I can help these little ones." There could have been somebody else saying, "You could do a whole lot more than that; you could be a model if you wanted to. But she's not interested in that, she's interested in these little kids.


I think of sister Mien. The Lord prepared her and she had such a desire somehow or other, to train to be a librarian. She had to put in a lot of hard years down by Los Angeles but now God has taken that skill and our little kids come up and go in to hear sister Mien read to them in our church library. It's something that some of the rest of you might not enjoy but it's added a real ministry and purpose there. God prepared, and trained you see.


There's beautiful goals that God has within our lives, the things that God wants us to do today is to commit ourselves, "God make me the best possible, whatever you've planned for my life. Those desires, those drives within. Do you know that those desires, those things that you would secretly love to accomplish, they've been placed in your heart by God Himself. And He said that if we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, that if we trust in Him with all of our heart, if He's Lord of all that we have, He will make those desires reality. And this gives everyone of us an equal chance because God doesn't expect us all to do the same thing. I realized that in our day there's been so much emphasis on money and earning, and we know that it takes an awful lot to live these days, but there's been so much emphasis that you're really not doing anything for God unless somehow you've been able to tap an oil well or a gold mine and be able to bring in huge chunks of money for the work of the Lord that the work might go forth.


Do you know that the work of the Lord is whatever work you are doing, because God prepared you this way? And He wants that work to be the work of the Lord. Praise God. Some of you may never be able to handle a business situation. That may be the farthest thing from your mind; it'd be like asking a scarecrow to dance or to run a hundred yard dash. I mean it's just as foreign. The scarecrow does a whole lot better job of scaring the black birds out of the corn than somebody over on the track running a race. See everything; everybody has its own purpose. We have a purpose folks.


Those of you that God has skilled in giving business talents, God wants you, I think we ought to read that over in Matthew 25:14. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one. To every man according to his several ability. Jesus was saying this, and he knows how he made people. Straightway he took his journey, and then he which had received the five talents went and traded with the same. Took them out and said, "Hey I'm going to put them to work." Boy I'd get in trouble with some areas in talking about this. Jesus is coming, why go out and trade; he said when the Lord comes make sure He finds you so doing whatever thing He's put in your heart. This question has come up several times; some of the kids in high school asked me, "what shall we do?" Shall we quit school or shall we quit what we're planning on doing because if Jesus is coming this soon and since we know that He is coming, He said, "stay with what you're doing." He said, "Occupy till I come." When the Lord comes may He find you being the best, allowing Him to help you to reach the highest potential in the thing that He's put in your life in the capabilities, qualities that you have. Then he went and traded and made them another five talents. Pretty good job wasn't it? And likewise he that received two had also gained another two. But he that received one said, "I know that the Lord is coming and it's something that He has given me and I must protect it for Him. I can't afford to put it on the market; I just have to make sure that when Jesus comes I cannot risk the loss here. I'll save it. And so he dug in the earth and he hid his Lord's money. After a long time the Lord of these servants came and reckoned with them and so he that received the five talents came and it was an exciting day for him and this day's just about here. And he brought the other five talents saying, "Lord You have delivered unto me five talents, and look I have gained beside them five more." And his Lord said to him, "well done thy good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord." He also which had received two talents came and said, "Lord you have given me two talents, I have gained two other talents besides them." His Lord said unto him, "well done thy good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things; I will make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord." Then he which had received the one talent came and said, "Lord I knew thee that you are a hard man reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not sowed and I was afraid and I hid my talent in the earth and lo here it is, every bit of it Lord. Here is that that is yours. But his Lord answered and said unto him, "you wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I sowed not and gathered where I had not sowed. You should have therefore put my money to the exchangers and then at my coming I should have received mine with interest. Take therefore the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten, for everyone that has shall be given and he shall have abundance but from him who hath not shall be taken away even that which he has. The Lord wants us to know today, we're speaking of a money measure here but this fits every area of our life. What we have. The Word tells us that there is not one good thing that we've received that hasn't come from the Lord. The question was asked, "What has thou that thou didst not receive?" You had to get it from somewhere, it came from the Lord. Hallelujah, we're his.


I could just see from this congregation this morning, people that the Lord has given some capabilities. I could see a lot of you people that the Lord has put a real love and an ability to communicate with children. When they're around you they just love you. And the Lord is saying, "Here let me be Lord of this quality that you have. Start something in your home and in your neighborhood where you can bring those kids in and tell them about Jesus. Come and see Sue Carpenter, find a job here in ministering to these children in the Sunday school. Some of you have such an ability in the area of communicating to people you may not even know. Mike is just crying for some people to help him to man the bussing program. I told him that I believe there are people there that God has put the capabilities that today could be the most successful type of communication for the people that we're reaching for God this way that's possible. And from this congregation I believe there are people that are going to say, "Hey God, I'm not going to turn over this capability just the way you gave it to me, I'm going to put it to work." Make it do something for God.