Living Your Strengths - Part 2 - Discovering Your Greatness


what is greatness some say it's only talent or only intelligence others say it's the sum of your strength speed and skill these are only tools for accomplishing a god-given mission God has called us to be people who stand in the face of adversity who had the courage to destroy barriers who run the race to win and win to glorify God we believe the greatness God calls us to and inspire us to fight for change and freedom in a culture that resists it to have faith when things are going well and amidst the rubble God calls us to greatness welcome to the well at st sa a place that we like to say an ordinary place where extraordinary things happen and today is going to be one of those days where i believe that god will really inspire us to do extraordinary things and i believe that today God will really speak to some people because what we're doing today for those who weren't here last week is we're continuing in a series called living your strengths and what we talked about last week for those who weren't here is how God made us all each uniquely and he gifted us all with different strengths talents and abilities and we saw last week like in the parable of the talents that God doesn't judge us all equally or doesn't judge us all the same way but he judges us based on what we're given so you see right here each one should have a name time I got my name tag up here and my number one strength just happens to be the best of all the strength in case you didn't know there is a ranking system I have one through five this is number one okay which is mine first strength is responsibility right and yes all the responsible people any responsible people here in the room today very good turn around and judge all the people with their hands down now because you know you're already doing it very good God is going to judge me based on what I did with my gift of responsibility in the strength that he put inside me and what we talked about last week is how what your strengths are is that place that sweet spot that right fit that when you are doing what you were made to do it feels right you will have joy and satisfaction you will also have success it'll just feel like you're it makes sense you're doing what you're supposed to be doing and what we agreed last week is I can do many other things but I can't Ness I can't necessarily do all those things well like you could put me on the connection team all right and welcoming and the greeting and I could do it like I mean I have the mental capacity where I could do it but i probably wouldn't do a very good job i myself wouldn't be very happy with it cuz it's not my skill and the people who I'm greeting probably would say thank you no thank you okay if that's how friendly the people are there in that church so your strengths are all about what you do well alright and where your sweet spot is hopefully by this week by this sunday everyone has taken the strengths finder test and knows their strengths okay I see lots of nods but not a lot not so not all ok that's ok what we're going to do today alright for those who didn't get a chance to take the test you still have a chance as I announced a little bit ago is we are going to have workshops today after we finish up here at the well we're going to have two different workshops going on here in Arlington and workshops are a chance for you can get together in a small group won't be this size obviously be a smaller group of people where you can discuss and you can just and talk about and understand your strengths and kind of see other people's strengths and see how that person strength you can see how maybe you would judge that person but now that you realize that's how God made them you look at them differently you could look at yourself a little bit differently there'll be two workshops today which I invite you to join one if you are in need of child care will take place here at George Mason all right or if you don't need child care if you just want to do it right here you're certainly welcome they'll take place after we finish in the back of the room right there we may go to that small little room in the back there another one will take place just a couple blocks away in Arlington will have the address at the very end of the presentation up on the slide all right hopefully everyone can do that today if you took the test and you saw your results let me see just by like some head nods of those people who did that when they were reading it felt like that description was very accurate of how they live their lives do we agree with that statement people who took it okay very good I felt to be honest as I was reading the results of mine I felt like I was reading my own biography story like someone had wrote a story of my life and they were describing and I thought they had gotten information from my wife about our fights and things like that to put inside that story because it tells you what you're going to be strong at where your weaknesses are where you're going to excel and where you're going to be vulnerable in certain areas the goal of our lives is not just to survive especially when it comes to life in the church and just do something the goal in our church is to do what you do best and if you remember what I said last week I said this all started when we did a survey of the members of the church and we talked about our core values and that one core value of faithful stewardship of our talents and gifts and someone said I'm using my gifts but I'm not maximizing my gifts and it's another person said I feel like I don't get to showcase what I do best or something along those lines those words maximize and showcase that's what this is all about is figuring out where your sweet spot is and doing that for the glory of God you know what happens when every single person who's sitting in these chairs is serving in their sweet spot and volunteering in a place that works best for them then this is no longer a church you know we become become a tidal wave all right and there's no limit to what this church can do in the community and also in our lives and apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this as well I'll show your verse from John chapter 14 verse 12 apparently Jesus thinks that when we serve in Our Strength's great things can happen as well jesus said this so most assuredly I say to you he who believes in me the works that I do he will do also jesus said who believes in me the works that I will do he will do also and have the verse to stop right there we just said wow that's incredible Jesus is saying the stuff that he did we can do but jesus said no no that's just the appetizer for the verse that's just the first half I'm give you the second half and in fact greater works than these he will do because I go to my father for those who are at we did a conference back in February or march or January one of those months call momentum for those who were there at momentum we spent an entire weekend on this verse on figuring out what does it mean when Jesus says that we will do greater works than him like don't just take this verse in 1 year not the other like we usually do what does Jesus mean when I will do I forget about You y'all are good people but me I'm a normal ordinary person how am I going to do greater than him what did he do what's on his resume um walk on water anybody water to wine anybody watered wine anybody am I talking about going to the store and buying okay about water to wine no machines no nothing anybody five loaves to fish that any fed thousands of people anybody raise the debt healed the blind cast out not many demons just one demon just laid your hands freak-outs out just one or two demons anybody Jesus's resume is quite impressive and he tells me I'm gonna do greater like oh my god I set up the stage and hang the banner you feed in 5,000 with two pieces of fish in five pieces of bread an Auburn do greater I set up chairs I prepare powerpoints I shake people's hands as they walk in which doesn't seem like a very great task but jesus said that what I do you will do greater I don't know what this verse means but like I said we spent an entire weekend talking about this verse and I want to get into it a little bit today because unless you're smoking something which i'm not going to say what it is this verse doesn't make sense unless you are on some kind of controlled substance this verse where Jesus says you will do greater than me cannot make sense in my puny little mind like like I said what am I supposed to do like I bring the snacks am I supposed to like bring only five loaves and two fish and then feed the hundreds of people here and that's what I'm going to do how's this verse makes sense for me and you this is our topic here for today because I believe that this verse is true because the Word of God doesn't lie and if God is promising us this we have to figure out how we can accomplish this verse here's what I want to stay up the front that I'll spend the rest of the time talking about it and again for those who are up momentum to be a little bit of a recap of what we talked about refresher Jesus isn't calling us to be greater than him but rather greater with him Jesus isn't calling us to be greater than him but greater with him we define greatness with quantity bigger better faster more Jesus fed 5,000 to be greater I should feed 6000 Jesus made wine I should make uh whatever let's go away from that example okay Jesus He healed jesus healed blind people I should heal blind people and Elaine people and we view it in a quantity kind of a way I'm a priest I want to be the greatest priest means I should have the biggest church and the most number of people that I Shepherd and my sermon should be attended by the most number of people and I should sleep the fewest number of hours and if I do that then I'm the greatest we define greatest in a quantity way does Jesus define greatness in quantity let me give you a couple examples from the Bible I'm asking these question I'm asking I'm not answering once upon a time true story Jesus was sitting outside the temple where the people put the money in the box outside the Treasury and said Jesus sat there and he watched how people put money in and a big guy came and dropped a lot of money let's say for our purposes drop ten thousand dollars in there and then a lot of lady came and just dropped two pennies in there with her were two mites and Jesus said the following and I quote I tell you that this lady listen to exactly what word I say has put in more than all the rest jesus said the lady with the two mites has put in more than all the rest won't put in 10,000 won't put into jesus said who did greater who was greater 10,000 her to who was greater weight over two mites another example once upon a time Jesus told a story in Luke chapter 18 about two men went up to the temple to pray one man fasted twice a week new the Old Testament inside and out said many many prayers was a very distinguished man he stood up and he prayed a long prayer and another guy who didn't do nothing didn't fast didn't give the know any the Bible came up and said to put a little of words so God be merciful to me a sinner which one did Jesus say was greater that day the man with the big words or the man who with that sincere prayer another story you all know y'all heard of Mary and Martha a lady named Mary our lady named Martha Jesus was coming over and she got the soup ready as she got the drinks ready and she got cut the vegetables and she made the plates and she got to this and she got to that she was busy busy busy did all this stuff I know the lady lazy Lady Mary just SAT there lace you SAT there and did absolutely nothing and Jesus said this day which one did a greater work Jesus doesn't define greater with quantity he defines it with quality the problem for us is when we hear this verse about jesus said you should do greater works than me we don't have a definition of what great means we will have a clear working definition of what it means to be great in the eyes of God I can go and listen to a sermon and someone says you will be great if you sell everything that you have and go live in the desert and then I could turn the radio station to another channel I can hear sermons saying the exact opposite I knew that God made me great when he gave me a big house in a big car and all kinds of riches and then someone will say you want to be great you should pray 24 hours a day and someone else will say you want to be great you should spread the gospel 24 hours a day well i only got 24 hours i can't do this with 24 not like the two are mutually exclusive for one another praying all day means that i can't be preaching all day so which one is it is ok so that's a good question which one let's give a rank because we like you know top 10 lists what's the highest on the list praying all day are preaching all day which one's better is it possible to take you know like in the iphone the drop of pin no the drop a pin ok is it possible to take the landscape of spiritual life and drop a pin and say this is the most spiritual everyone be just like this is that possible is it possible to define one gift one set of strengths or one set of services or one set of whatever and say this is superior to all the others in our mind that's how we look at it but I don't think it's how in God's eyes and I'll prove it to you I'll prove it you that in God's eyes he looks at a different let's turn to Scripture and let me ask you a question who in the bible does Jesus say is great first person i came to is john the baptist john the baptist jesus says it's matthew 1111 he says it certainly i say to you among those born of women there is not arisen one greater than John the Baptist okay perfect case study right here we have a guy that Jesus said there's no man who's greater than this man okay let's see what this man did this man i bet you preached hundreds of sermons this man i bet you healed many sick people i bet you he started many many many churches what this man do this man had one sermon he gave week after week after week after week y'all would kill me if I did that he had one sermon now granted it was short okay so that's advantageous but if one some repent for the kingdom of God is at hand repent for the kingdom of God is at hand they say John teaches something new he say repent for the kingdom of God is ahead is that ok John we hear that last week what you got this week repent for the kingdom of God is at hand John Walczyk wise how about repent for the kingdom of God is at hand his only message repent for the kingdom of God is at hand the guy went out in the desert didn't do nothin for nobody didn't help any little orphans didn't help any widows across the street didn't do anything like that didn't build a church has had one message repent for the kingdom of God is a hand but he did that message so well that even jesus said when the Pharisees were coming jesus said y'all went out to the wilderness to see John the Baptist what were you going out to see what were you on out to see a man fancy man dressed in nice clothes preach nice sermons what are you going out to see John the Baptist did one thing but man he did that one thing really really well and I'm telling you John the Baptist reach his effectiveness was greater than all the television and internet evangelist of the world today Bible says that all of Judea came out to hear him and they repented John the Baptist was great even though he didn't do much I have our ladies just so we don't appear sexist around here and gender equality who's great among the ladies and that's an easy one you look in the Bible is one lady who's greater than all the other ladies that's Virgin Mary Mother of God herself and Jesus I'm sorry and a virgin mary said this about herself when the angel came to her and told her she's going to bear the Son of God she said and she's not speaking on her own she's speaking as inspired by the Spirit of God says behold henceforth all generations will call me blessed for he who is mighty has done great things for me she said from this point forward everyone will look at me and say this lady is a great lady this lady has done great things ok what did Virgin Mary do John the Baptist at least preached the Virgin Mary preach she say anything very few things she said prayers mainly she uttered she didn't say much did she do any miracles did she help uh-uh like I said uh widows dying like what does she help any of that stuff she did one thing what was that one thing God came to her and said you will bear the Son of God and I'm not giving that task to anybody else in the universe only one person you from the beginning of time to the end of time only one person I'm asking to do this job and she did it so faithfully and she did it with all her heart soul mind and strength even though she knew that as was prophesied that it a sword will pierce her heart and believe me in the parents understand this that knowing that your son is suffering is worse than suffering knowing that your son is going to suffer is even worse than watching him suffer like it's the anxiety of I know my son is going to die a brutal death she had all this kind of knowledge and she understood all kinds of stuff Virgin Mary didn't do much she did one thing we should do it very well how about our church history there's another person that's called great and he has a great name st. Anthony the great st. Anthony the great not to be confused with father Anthony the great you can use them interchangeably but st. Anthony was the first of the monastics the first to leave this stuff in this world and go out and live in the desert and be with God and the church gave him the title the great that's why you if you if you pay attention to the Lord Lieut article prayers we go through the commemoration of the saints we say the great father of Anthony all right what did st. Anthony do John the Baptist preach Virgin Mary board the Son of God st. Anthony did even less than the both of them he didn't even less cuz he did actually do anything what st. Anthony did is he walked into church one day and he heard this verse Matthew 19 21 if you want to be perfect go sell would you have give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven come follow me he heard his verse he did it he didn't go out and tell everybody else to do it he didn't go out and and and and build a monastery for all the people to do it he heard this verse he took it buried in his heart and he went out and fulfilled it and yes eventually he had a very public ministry and st. Anthony for those who don't know was the mentor like his disciple was Saint Athanasius after whom our church is named so you couldn't have st. Athanasian less you had st. father antenor st. Anthony the great okay either one you wouldn't have this without this so yes he eventually had that reach but that's not what made him great when he was called great is because he took one little verse and He fulfilled it and he was faithful to that calling Virgin Mary John the Baptist Anthony the great I say those three gave us a definition of what greatness is greatness is you had to come up with a definition is faithfulness to your calling greatness is faithfulness to your calling I'm not great if I have a big church as a priest or small church I'm not great if I preach the best sermons of the worst sermons I'm not great if I take 100 confessions or zero confession that's not what makes me great what makes me great is if I can stand in front of God when all is said and done and he says I asked you to do this one thing and did you do it and if I can answer the question yes then I'll be called great because as it says in first Corinthians 42 and stewards it is required that one be found faithful that's why I always say that greatness is not about what you do but it's about what you say to God not about what you do for God it's about what you say to God and greatness is about saying one thing to God it's about saying yes it's about saying this is how you made me you made me with this strength this is how you made me and I accept it and I give it back to you five loaves and two fish that's the best story y'all hear me talk about that all the time is this as God would you gave me you didn't give me ten loaves and two and four fish have you to give me ten loaves I don't for 10 loaves you give me 20 loads over 20 load do you gave me 50 in our 50 you gave me five and two and I'm telling you that if i offered four and one I'll be unfaithful and I would not be called great but if I offer whatever God has given to me that's what I'm saying that's that yes God you made me this is how you made me and I offer it back to you you gave me the gift of who got a strength the gift of woo woo is a gift apparently okay stands for winning others over okay this is what you gave me woo I give woo back to you okay you gave me gift of someone shout out another one I can't read it what's it say relator you gave me gift over later I give that back to you God you gave me gift of who empathy okay I offer empathy back to you whatever my gift is I'm not saying everyone has to be empathy I'm not saying never has to be related god knows what many of us are not woke okay but who's whoo be whoo as faithfully as you can as we're later as faithfully as you can as responsible as faithful as you can so greatness is in God's eyes believe me and you all have heard me told the story many many times number one most common questions I get asked how did you end up becoming a priest especially at such a young age so the first answer that is the truth is true true like they're both true first is I had no idea what I was doing okay and that's the truth as I really had no idea what I was doing but I knew one thing and this is what I always is that my decision to become a priest at a young age was not because I decided to say yes to priesthood to this day I never said yes to being a priest I would never asked I was told but I did say yes the most important yes I've ever said in my life was when me and my wife were dating we sat in a borders book shop I remembered like his and she'd tell you the story okay was that an aboard his bookshop we were dating and we were getting ready for marriage and we were discussing what our future holds and we discussed many many different things we had no idea at that time what God had in store but we agreed one thing that whatever God says we will never say nope whatever God says we'll never say no at the time we were both working as consultants and like I T if God wants us to be trash men will be trash won't say no God wants priester won't say no if God wants us to move to Africa at the time our heart was really like in Africa we don't say no and we said the worst thing god forbid if we end up stuck as IT consultants for the rest of our lives I'm not joking we said we won't say no to you God we feel like we can do so much more and we want to do more but God won't say no will never say no and that decision to say yes then all of a sudden I preach in front of the congregation okay drive the church bus okay be a priest okay take some confessions okay give okay because I already said yes once I said yes that was it it's like when we put on this ring was he said yes to my wife that was it there's no more thinking oh I meant that in a positive way again China may have been interpreted differently but I meant in a positive way there's no more thinking there's no we're thinking are we compatible no we're compatible why because we got a regular on her fingers we're compatible there's no more thinking is she the one for me know she's the one for me because I just said yes and once you said yes I don't figure out if I figure out how I want to say yes to god I'm not I'm not evaluate and saying God did I'm saying yes to God and once I say yes that's it that's how God's gonna judge us God is not going to judge us on what we did I promise you well let me say that again God's not going to judge us based in an objective way on who did the most Bible says in Luke chapter 12 verse 48 for everyone to much is given for him much is required for whom much has been committed of him they will ask them more just like in the parable of the talents one was given five he was asked for 51 was given to he was asked for to God did not ask the two guy for five and God did not ask the five guy for to God asked the five for the five and the two for the two because whom much is given much is required one day you will look Jesus in the eyes straight I'd to I'd straight I to I he's going to look at you and he's going to say i gifted you to be great what did you do you SAT there drinking your cup of coffee every week consuming consuming consume you are a consumer or you were a contributor i gifted you to be great and you are the only single person in the universe that can do what you can do john the baptist was the only one who could be John the Baptist virgin mary was the only one who could be virgin mary st. Anthony cause only one who could be st. Anthony and you were going who can be you you are the only one who is gifted to be you and what are you going to do with that sit on it say thank you God we praise you what's for lunch are you gonna say to God yes you know what the greatest enemy of greatness is let me tell you what's not we think the problem is well I would do great things if God and you fill in the blank if God gave me more time God gave me more gifts I would love to do with father Anthony does if God gave me that I do that I would love to do what so and so does if God gave me that I do that we make up all these excuses as to why we don't do great things want to be honest be honest you know the reason you don't do great things because you don't really believe God made you to do great things the problem the number one enemy of greatness is me with my lack of faith and I showed you all this verse a couple of weeks ago the number one enemy of a greatness is not my lacking of gifts because that would mean it's God's fault the number one enemy of greatness is that I don't believe in the end that I can really be great in the end I don't really believe that there's much use that can come out of me look father Anthony this greatness talk it's nice we tell the kids that to make them think some nice things but let's be fair let's be practical maybe I got it work deadlines on Tuesday you're talking about being great for God may I got a chemistry exam next week and I'm trying to study for then I got bills many of my back hurts my neck hurts my neck and my back oh I got all kinds of problems and you said it talk to me about be great like God if I can read one chapter the Bible that's great for me if i'm lucky if i make it to church on Sunday by 930am like that's good enough you should accept that the number one problem in life isn't that God doesn't give just problem in life is that we don't believe Matthew 1350 I told you this the scariest first in the Bible this verse sometimes makes me wake up at night like sweaty in a bad way this verse scares me because I don't ever ever ever ever want to get to heaven and hear this verse said about me my house my church my group of friends about my nothing now he did not do many mighty works there's because of their unbelief God would never ask you to be great without gifting you to be great I could never give my son a pair of scissors and say go mow the lawn that would make me a bad father God would never leave you and say go be greater than me go do greater works than these can't if God says go do greater works than these then you got to believe that he has gifted you to do it and he's giving you everything that you need not to be great in a worldly quantity kind of a way but in a quality faithfulness kind of a way and greatness is going to God and saying yes God to use the marriage analogy I do I'm in I'm all-in greatest enemy of a life of greatness is me again I'll talk about me just because I only know me I'm not saying that I'm anything special all I'm saying is on me okay I could talk about you but you'd be offended if I talked about you so i'll talk about me so don't be offended if I talk about me because I'm talking about me 2011 was the year at that time I've been a priest for 10 years now serving over and st. Mark's Church out in fairfax at that time you to ask me st. Mark's Church best church and entire universe I'll say that to the day that I died best church I was in the best church I had the best boss I was in the best congregation I had the best everything all around me my life was fantastic my life was as good as it could be I'm not saying it was easy life I was working hard I was at the time the church I was a headmaster of the school like I was working and I was doing all kinds of stuff and very easily for me to say someone says do great things for Lauren I say I am I'm doing great things for the Lord very easy you go do great things for the Lord but at that time is about a year-long process where I knew very clearly that God was calling me to do greater God was calling me to go beyond where I was I didn't want to because I know I stand up here and I talk and you say oh he's really got enthusiastic and he's faith that's not me don't be fooled by what you see up here on stage don't be fooled because you see the final page and my faith story because you missed the first 15 chapters a me scared of me running a me wanting to do anything except step out in faith so don't be fooled by what you see up here it's just that the the where the credits are rolling okay at the end of the movie and everyone's happily ever after you missed the beginning and I'm telling you you see me as a risk taker I'm not a risk taker I'm a play it safer person and at that time I was serving we just got a new house out and Clifton my kids were in school they're like our life was out there but God was saying he wanted me to do something greater and I spent one year struggling with this nobody knew about it nobody could tell now back in hindsight people could tell I had every reason to not take that step but God cornered me and he said you said you'd do whatever I said right and God said he wanted me to do something greater and that's where this church came from and the vision of this church which I won't get into right now all right but the vision of this church came out of that year struggling with and I don't want to say that I'm doing great things or great things have happened but i'll just show you some of the greater things that have happened this some of the fruit of what's happened since we started sts eight all right some of the people who have joined the church since we started the church here and just last week I don't have time to get the picture because I was on vacation all last week we added five more pictures and each one of those as I kept saying last week we don't look at this and say how many people have joined the church how many we don't look at numbers because no such thing as numbers that's that that's greatness and ours it's not greatness in God's eyes greatness in God's eyes is not about numbers it's about individuals and is about one person finding the church finding the house of God finding a relationship with God that one person and I'm not saying listen to me carefully i'm not saying that I'm great but what I'm saying is my yes my yes allowed God to do greater things through me and your yes will allow God to do greater things through you as well and if we all put our yeses together and add all those yeses um whoo umber later I'm empathy I'm responsible I'm or whatever we all put those yeses together there's nothing there's nothing that God can't do through the people inside this church you know what saying yes does you know there's a story in the Bible the Old Testament about Moses crossing the Red Sea motives crossing the Red Sea is such a good story because Moses like let's say Moses wanted across the Red Sea how much effort would it take to part the Red Sea into like how many people like I'd say Moses by himself and say ok I need help parting right so you come help me say ok we need more people we need 20 30 people 40 people 50 people without it worked 60 people 70 people 80 people 90 people hundred people to part the Red Sea without at work saying yes to god I'll put you in a new stratosphere saying on me without saying yes to God you can work and it's one plus one plus one plus one but saying yes to God like we talked about before that allows you to enter a new stratosphere which nothing could nothing could possibly reach that level of parting the Red Sea that's what I'm saying we say yes to God there is no limit to what God will do you're in a new in a new stratosphere you're a new plane you're not addition you're 62 the third what's that called exponential you're in the exponential phrase frame ok I want to go above multiplication exponential all right factorials as well all right whatever that may mean all right you know what I'm trying to say all right you're not doing addition anymore why because i believe and i believe with all my heart that if you were a child of god greatness is your birthright it was given to you the day that you received the Holy Spirit don't tell me that I have the spirit of the Living God and I'm a living ordinary life don't tell me that I have the spirit which raised Christ from the dead inside me alive inside me and I'm a live a boring life don't tell me that's possible I don't believe that's possible greatness is the birthright of the children of God and the only way that we're going to understand what that means is when we say that yes to God and we say God regardless of what it is my limitations my anxieties my fears I'm telling you again just just so I can't express this enough you see me up here you don't see I'm telling you especially the beginning of my priesthood probably I've been in priest now probably 13 years not probably exactly 13 years okay all those 13 I probably spent the first eight or nine of them every Sunday before I stepped up on the stage to preach I sit up here and I'm yet on this and that you didn't see me sweating okay my knees knocking you didn't see me almost getting sick every Sunday for I stood up to preach a sermon people say oh you're so natural at it I don't say you don't see me honestly in front of God is my witness driving to church praying for an injury of some sort pretending I'm gonna fake sickness so do I get out of preaching that Sunday I'm not joking that's the way I am you may see this but that's not what I'm saying is your limitations won't stop you from doing great things when you say yes to God your sins you don't think I have that little voice inside my head when I sit over here over there and I walk up here there's a little voice inside my head it says you're gonna go preach these people who are you let's remember what you did yesterday you don't force in let me remind you of your sink I remind you how you did and how you did and I can tell you what I did but you know okay you know what you did I know what I did you and I had that little voice that's always in my ear don't tell me limitations the only limitation is your lack of faith that's the only thing I will stop you from living a life of greatness cuz that's what Jesus said he said most assuredly I say to you he who believes in me the works that I do he will do greater he who believes not in himself not in his abilities but believes in me that I gifted him I gave him these talents and I am inside him and my spirit is inside him and he believes in me he will do greater things than me most of us aren't in danger of ruining our lives we're in danger of wasting our lives and that's the problem and the plight of the world today in the church I'm not saying you're out there robbing banks or knocking over old ladies with shopping carts or stealing babies kids cook candy okay or babies kids okay babies candy candy from babies I'm not saying that you're doing anything bad and you may say you know father Anthony chill out a little bit like we're okay like I'm not saying that you are ruining your life but I'm saying that you may be wasting it and in this church I believe with all my heart that God has to say God has great things in store for this church is an understatement you're going to start to hear about some of those great things over the coming weeks you start to hear about some of the plans that God has for the future of this church and I believe they are not great they are gigantic they are ginormous gigantic you start to hear about it and you are called to be part of it in fact you're sitting in those seats today means that you are called to be part of that journey your call be part of that greatness but the question is are you willing to say yes God are you willing to go to God and say God whatever you say to me whatever you ask me whatever you need from me like that boy with the five loaves and two fish it isn't much god but it's all that I got I don't have much gifts but you gave me this one I give it back to you and whatever it is that you need me to do I offer it back to you let's stand up together and say a prayer I want everyone to close their eyes before we pray and I want you to close your eyes and like I said his picture like you're standing in front of Jesus himself I want you to see him like giving that look to you of I've given you whatever gifts and now I'm asking you if you would give it back to me and offer yourself back to me and say yes to me in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit one God Amen Lord we don't want to finish this life and just have earthly things to show for it yes we have diplomas and we have money in the bank we got houses and cars and stuff the Lord if that's all we have when all is said and done then we lived a miserable life but we want to be great in your eyes want to fulfill this verse that says that greater things than these we will do we don't understand how piddly little us you can make great things come of it but just like that little boy didn't understand how five loaves and two fish could feed so many we offer ourselves back to you we pray that you would reveal to us how you want us to serve you how you want us to offer ourselves whatever it is Lord each one of us say this in your heart each one of us is saying yes to you God saying that we will not hold anything back from you God will offer everything that we have our time is yours our money is yours our gift is yours everything that we have Lord our energy our health everything that we have we put it back in your hands knowing that's where the blessing the greatness comes from thank you Lord for this day and all that you've given to us and I thank you for every person that you brought here to this church please Lord help them to start living this new life of greatness beginning today we pray this in the name of your only begotten Son with the prayers and intercessions of all your saints here's as we pray thankfully our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us an evil one in Christ Jesus our Lord for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory forever amen thank y'all very much don't forget about the workshops if you want to stick around as one here and then one at this address starting in a little bit