Be Extraordinary

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On Sunday we opened a new series here called Modern Family looking at issues that affect our “families” however you define family.

And we began by looking at “being extraordinary”. In many ways we often settle. We don’t reach for greatness, or anything other than mediocrity. We look around and see what everyone else is doing, and we do that. Donald Miller wrote that we want to live deep stories, but end up settling for living for a Jetta and Roomba Vacuum cleaner.

The point is that we are called to be more than average in our lives. We are called to be more than average husbands, friends, parents, or employees.

And we know this because we desire this for those significant people in our lives. We hope that our spouses are extraordinary. We want extraordinary parents. We want to work for extraordinary bosses. The point is why don’t we seek to be extraordinary?

And to discover how we can do that we looked at the story of Gideon. The story of Gideon in the Bible is of one man – who is rather whiny actually – who saves the entire people of Israel. God picks the weakest man, from the weakest tribe to do something extraordinary.

And this should give us hope as well – because I don’t often feel strong and awesome. I can relate to Gideon. But the point is this – if God chose him, he can choose me, and he can choose you. And more than that I think he does want to choose you to be extraordinary in your life. To be an extraordinary grandparent, neighbour, co-worker, whatever. I do not believe God calls us to settle for mediocrity.

So I ended the sermon by giving us one question to focus on this week: what would an extraordinary person do? What would a great father do? What would an amazing friend do? What would the best aunt do? And for us to actually do these things.

God shows up to Gideon and calls him mighty warrior, even though he’s hiding and not a mighty warrior at that point. God believes in Gideon and calls him to be better. And I think God is doing the same with us to show up and call us extraordinary mom, courageous co-worker, or astonishing friend. God is calling us to be more than we are and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

So this week be extraordinary. Ask what would an extraordinary person do? And do that. And the great thing is that if you keep doing that, you’ll look back and soon see, you’re extraordinary.

 

Sermon Notes

Big Idea: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things

Take Aways…

  • How do we have healthy families?
  • Families are diverse and sometimes dysfunctional
  • What kind of person do you want to be?
  • You control that destiny to be extraodiary or not
  • You will never be extraordinary if you try to be like everyone else
  • God’s response to difficulty seems to be to pick someone to change it
  • But if we want to be extraordinary people, we need to learn to step out
  • God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things
  • Be extraordinary this week
  • What would you do if you were confident God was with you and for you?
  • What would someone who is extraordinary do? Now do that.

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? Are you ever tempted to settle for ordinary? In what role (parent, work, friend etc) are you most tempted to settle? Where is God calling you to be extraordinary? What do you think God sees in you if he see Gideon as “mighty warrior”? How are you going to be extraordinary this week?

Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about how God wants us to be extraordinary. Tell them we want to shoot for greatness with God’s calling in mind. So ask them what extraordinary thing they want to do, or be. And then take a step towards it with them. If they want to be an astronaut take them to science centre. If they want to be chef, take a step and let them cook. Build into them the idea that settling isn’t for them.

Challenge for this Week: Be extraordinary this week

Don’t Pick Up the Jawbone

On Sunday we talked a bit about forgiveness. You can download it here. We looked at Samson and saw how violence, anger, and hurt can just escalate and grow if we don’t deal with it. That, unless we actually learn to deal with our hurt, it can end up driving us, depressing us, and distancing us from our loved ones. We looked at Judges 15 and how when you pursue revenge you never get even, you simply get worse. The story begins with a man, a goat, and a troubled marriage and it ends with hundreds dead, an economy wrecked, and a man hated by both his people and his enemies.

We ended our time thinking about the last scene with Samson where he picks up a jawbone to go another round with the Philistines. This can happen so easily in any relationship where we get hurt and so we want to hurt back. We take a swing with a “jawbone” through words, actions, and thoughts. We lash out saying “they made us do this” (Judges 15:3), trying to get even (15:7), and paying them back for what they did to us (15:11).

The problem is that’s not how Jesus acts or treats us. Jesus gives us a different example where we don’t respond to hate with hate, or hurt with hurt. Jesus shows us a different path where forgivness leads to life. Jesus reminds us that avoiding forgiving simply leads to prolonged hurt. C.S. Lewis’ says “Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” I agree forgiveness isn’t easy, but it is right…

So we ended with this challenge for this week: don’t pick up the jawbone. This week when you are tempted to lash out, to say something snarky, or to get even, break the cycle of hurt by stepping up and forgiving. And next Sunday we’ll be looking at how to practically forgive…

Questions for Discussion

  • Adult Discussion Questions
  • How have you seen violence or hate “cycle” in your life?
  • Why is so hard to break the cycle of revenge, hate, or violence?
  • Is there any cycles in your own life that you need break? To take the first step and “drop the jawbone”?
  • Questions for Young Families
  • Ask your kids what they want to do when soemoen hurts them. Get them to share about the feelings. Ask them what the right thing is to do when someone hurts them. Share with them how if we try to “get even” it always “get’s worse”.
  • Weekly Challenge: Don’t pick up the jawbone – practice forgiveness