Mountains

Preached by Mike O’Donnell, August , 2007

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You can build a mountain of faith to overcome the hilly obstacles in your life!!

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Who of us went through this past week without a single challenge? Your life was smooth sailing the whole time?! We can all relate to life’s challenges but what are we joyfully learning from God as we go through our “light and momentary trials? God’s purpose for allowing our path to wind up those steep hills is to allow our faith to grow and grow. How are you exercising your faith?”
“Building Mountains”
Preached by Michael O’Donnell
Sunday, August 12, 2007

2 Peter 1:3-9
• Very often, we become self-reliant, thinking that we can rely on our own power and on our own strength.
• It is only when we truly rely on God that we can truly overcome the challenges in life.
Question: How can you get to a point where you can truly rely on God?
Question: What are the things that you can do to truly rely on God even when you go through the little hills in your life?

1. You have to build God’s Mountain
We have to go into strict spiritual training!
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
• Jesus gives us things to help us strengthen and build up His Church.
2 Peter 1:3-9 (Amplified Bible)
“For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature. For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins.”

Question: How many of you are strength trainers, bodybuilders or athletes?
• Interval training assumes that you have some level of health already.
Question: What does exercising your faith mean to you NOW?

Mark 11:22-24
• Have faith in God.
Question: How many of you pray as if you have already received it?
Question: Do you have faith that your reaching out to someone will lead him to Jesus?
Question: Do you have faith that if you obey God’s Word that you will see Him in heaven?
• Faith is the foundation of everything that we do as disciples of Jesus Christ.
• The foundation has to be our faith in God.

Question: How strong is your faith today?

We have to make sure that we have a strong foundation.
a. As you exercise your faith, you develop your virtue.
• As you exercise your faith, you develop your virtue or goodness.
• If we had a stronger faith in God, then we would have a better sense of right and wrong.
Question: Where do we get our morals, virtues and standards of right and wrong?
Generally—parents get from their parents who get from their parents . . .

b. By exercising your virtue, you gain knowledge.
Question: How well are you studying and investigating the Bible?
Question: What is your favorite topic of investigation?
Question: What do you like to investigate?

Colossians 1:9-12
Question: How was your quiet time this morning?
Question: Did you have your quiet time today?
Question: Did you have your person time with God today?
Question: How did your quiet time change you today?

c. By exercising your knowledge, you develop self-control.
Question: How often have you flown off the handle?
Question: How often have you jumped to conclusions?
Question: How often are you easily angered?
Question: How often do you think that your uneducated opinion caused you to get angry?

Titus 2:11-13
Question: How is your self-control?
• If you have faith, virtue and knowledge, then you should be getting close in your self-control.

Hebrews 4:12
• God knows your heart (the unspoken word).
• If you even think these thoughts, God is aware of them.
• Self-control is not just an outward act but also an inward attitude.

d. By exercising your self-control, you develop steadfastness.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
• Christ displayed unlimited patience with Paul.
• Steadfastness and patience are connected to each other.
Question: Are you patient, kind and loving?
Question: Are you willing to be the steadfast friends through thick and thin?

e. As you exercise your steadfastness, you develop godliness.
• The definition of godliness is the wholeness of the commitment to God.
Question: How are you doing in your affection for God?
Question: How are you doing in your submission to God?
Question: How are you doing in your gratitude toward God?
Question: How are you doing in your obedience to God?
Question: How are you doing in your dependence on God?
Question: Do you have that unwavering steadfastness toward God?
Question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be godly?
Question: How godly are you?

1 Timothy 4:8
• Our godliness speaks volumes to those around us and assures that we go to heaven.

Romans 2:3-4
• Sometimes, you are not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance.
• God gave us a new covenant through Jesus Christ.
• We have a kinder God.
Question: Do you accept that?
Question: Are you developing your kindness?

f. As you exercise your kindness, you develop love.
• We have to have love as your pinnacle.
Question: How does the Bible define love?
• The Scriptures tells us what love is and what love is not. (1 Corinthians 13)
• Faith is the foundation of everything we do as disciples of Jesus Christ.
• Friendship-kind of love is the meaning of the Greek word philia.
• Romantic love shared between a married couple is the meaning of the Greek word eros.
• Agapao, which is a Greek word, means the inseparability or a unity that cannot be explained but can be felt. It can also mean a sense of underlying oneness or kinship.
• We have built our mountain.
• We have strengthened this mountain.
Question: How do you use it?

2. You have to use your “mountain!”

a. Confrontation.
Question: How many of you enjoy confrontation?

Matthew 16:21-23
• Peter was on this pinnacle. Jesus told him that he would have the keys to heaven.
• Then it all went downhill: Peter rebuked Jesus. Then came the confrontation.
Question: When do you confront people?
• You need to confront people in the moment.

Luke 22:31-34
Question: Why do you confront someone in the moment?
Question: How do you confront someone in the moment?
• You set the standard. You show them the standard has not changed.

Luke 22:47-61
• The following are three steps of how to confront someone in the moment:
i. Have a good reason for doing it.
ii. Have a specific purpose for doing it.
iii. Be sensitive of how you do it.

Let’s confront Hypocrisy.
Matthew 15:1-9
• Unfortunately, hypocrisy is still very alive in the church. As long as we’re alive, so will there be the temptation to live differently than what we preach!
• “If you see it, say it.” – Christopher Broom, Evangelist of the Chicago International Christian Church
• Hypocrisy can creep up in everything that we do if we are not careful.
• When you find hypocrisy: exposing hypocrisy is beneficial, practicing hypocrisy is detrimental and breaking the habit of hypocrisy is painful.

b. Surrender.
i. Surrender to God.
• When Christ came down to Earth, He gave up a glorious life.
Question: Are you surrendered to what He wants for you?

Hebrews 12:1-3
• The faithful let go! That is a challenge! (Hebrews 11:1)

ii. Surrender to Christ.
Philippians 2:3-11
• When Jesus Christ was on Earth, He walked with us, talked with us and lived with us.
• The example Christ set for us.
• The following are three big areas that you will be challenged to let go of:
i. Your possessions: it is all scheduled to burn anyway.
ii. Your position: your job or occupation other than being a disciple of Christ.
iii. Your plans.

Conclusion: God has given us everything we need to build a mountain—His Kingdom—out of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. From this place near the heart of God, we will never forget his forgiveness and we will always be fruitful in helping others into this holy place!
(2 Peter 1:3-9).