June 13, 2021 – Avoiding the Easy Button
Pastor Troy Brewer, OpenDoor Church, Burleson, Texas
Last week we looked at the D-Day Invasion and the incredible bravery of the 156,000 soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy. Their bravery was all about their willingness to sacrifice and risk everything they had, and all that they were, for the greater good of millions of other people.
They fought for people they knew and those they didn’t. They fought for the people beside them and for the people back home. If they were fighting for themselves they would have stayed at home and had their personal comfort and safety as their highest priorities.
Our greatest generation had no option for personal agendas. And that’s why we look at them for the definition of Bravery.
Exemplary selflessness = A willingness to fight for everyone else, for the good of others.
THE LOVE OF GOD
JOHN 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE IS NOT HATE.
THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE IS SELFISHNESS.
This is why bravery is highly rewarded in heaven and honored by God upon this earth. Because courage is the Siamese twin of selflessness. Nobody is truly courageous unless they love somebody else more than they love themselves.
THE LOVE OF GOD = SELFLESSNESS = COURAGE & BRAVERY
PRIDE = SELFISHNESS = DESTRUCTIVE COWARDICE
Heroic exploits of faith look grand from the stadium of heaven but unimpressive to the people of the world.
It’s as simple as the single mama who loves her kids more than herself and proves it by doing everything she can to see her kids are clothed, happy, protected, educated, fed, loved, celebrated and set up for life while she is working two jobs with very little support or breaks from the hard life she is living. She makes it look easy. That’s bravery.
She doesn’t turn them over to the government and screen. She puts her hands to work and mind toward a better future for her kids and says, “I’ve got to be somebody for them.”
That’s courage. That’s bravery.
Heaven is full of brave selfless people who are full of the love God.
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
THE 13 THINGS JESUS SAID “DEFILE” US
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
If you’re going to stick with God, you are going to have to learn the true skillset of acts bravery and selfless courage. Because God’s camp is full fo people who are laying down how they feel for the betterment of others.
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
At least 4,400 Allied troops died in the Normandy landings, and another 10,000 were wounded. As the invasion started, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took to the radio airwaves to ask Americans to join him in prayer:
“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity … let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.”
Before it became cultural to call good “evil” and evil “good,” courage was known as the ability to enter very scary and difficult places for the betterment of others. Today our definition of courage is defined by man, the mob or individuals who demand the greater good be destroyed for their own personal self truth.
“I’m brave,” they say, “If I don’t care what is good for ‘us’ but what is good for ‘me.’”
To choose to hit the beach instead of hitting the easy button. To choose to set people free instead of setting yourself up for peace and comfort.
To choose to stop the hurt of someone else instead of demand the safety of yourself.
In his classic book “Spiritual Leadership,” Oswald Sanders lists courage along with humility, sincerity, and integrity as essential qualities for leaders. He writes,
“Leadership always faces natural human inertia and opposition. But courage follows through with a task until it is done.” – Oswald Sanders
So many times we learn to reach for the easy button and, in doing so. we get skilled at quitting.
Not finishing what we started because it’s just too hard. We get overwhelmed and hit the easy button.
The antithesis of courageous leadership, of course, is cowardly leadership, where leaders lack the moral integrity and conviction to do what is right for the right reasons. Here are five common expressions of cowardly leadership:
Expressions of cowardly leadership:
Conviction is missing.
Clarity is absent.
Confrontation is bundled.
It’s just so much easier to avoid ugly and difficult places altogether. To quit when times get hard and we must remove or option for selfish agendas if we are going to live life forward!
I’M GONNA TAKE YOU TO AN UGLY DAY IN THE MINISTRY OF JESUS. A HARD DAY. I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE CRUCIFIXION. I’M TALKING ABOUT AN UGLY AND TERRIBLY OFFENSIVE SERMON JESUS PREACHED.
John 6:53-58, 66-67
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
The pain and shame of offense causes many to quit.
How many pastors are quitting?
How many marriages are quitting?
How many Christians are quitting?
All because the road you are on went into a difficult place. Something you didn’t like. Something you didn’t understand so it just made sense to hit the easy button.
PRIDE IS LOVING YOURSELF MORE THAN THE LOVE OF GOD.
O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer.
This message that Jesus takes them into is not just a little bit offensive, it goes against everything they pride themselves for. TALK ABOUT OFFENSIVE!!! (Cannibalism; Most didn’t understand as they were following Jesus for dinner and a show, not to actually be his disciple).
- These people went back home. They missed the miracles, the teaching, being in the presence of their long-awaited Messiah.
- They missed the cross and the empty tomb.
- They missed Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room.
- Thousands were invited, but only 120 didn’t fall out or lose focus.
- Worst of all, they missed their day of visitation. Many missed salvation and they missed the opportunity to give that to their kids and their kids’ kids!
GO BACK TO VERSE 67
John 6:67 – Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
That’s a question Jesus asks every one of us at one time or another. Are you prepared with your answer? Because Jesus doesn’t mind thinning the herd as He did in this case. Weeding out the tares from the grain. The word says that He’s going to do it again when He sets up His Kingdom.
Jesus Himself said it’s impossible to avoid being offended.
Luke 17:1 – Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”
If you shut down, hit the easy button and walk away every time you’re offended, you will never accomplish anything for the Kingdom. You will never unravel the mystery of your identity, purpose and destiny. You’ll be a black cloud that others want to avoid. You will only bring curses on yourself, those around you and your generations.
God wants us all to pay the price for better instead of going into easy.
PAY THE PRICE!
Many quit because the price is too high. It’s just seems too hard to continue.
Love God more than you love yourself.
Verses on loving God, but look at it through the lens of avoiding the easy button
Deuteronomy 6:5 – You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 10:12 – “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul”
Deuteronomy 11:1 – “You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments.”
Deuteronomy 11:13 – “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul”
Deuteronomy 11:22 – For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him
Deuteronomy 13:3 – you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 19:9 – if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways always—then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three.
Deuteronomy 30:6 – “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.
Deuteronomy 30:16 – in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.
Deuteronomy 30:20 – by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Joshua 22:5 – Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Joshua 23:11 – So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.
Mark 12:3 – and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
Matthew 22:37 – And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Luke 10:27 – And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Mark 12:33 – and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
2 John 1:6 – And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
1 John 2:5 – but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
1 John 4:10 – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19 – We love, because He first loved us.