Bible Passage: Romans 12:1-2
I want you to know that challenges will always be around. !# Let’s look at it two ways:!• FIRST—There will be challenges and issues in life; expect them; embrace them.!o It’s amazing how today’s obstacles often prepare you for tomorrow’s opportunities.!o Life will not always go your way. Get used to it. Learn from it. Grow from it.!• SECOND—Life is an adventure.!o, Let’s look at that word for a moment. Adventure is deﬁned as…!– an exciting or very unusual experience!
– a bold, usually risky, undertaking with an uncertain outcome!– There are some wonderfully descriptive words in those deﬁnitions:!– exciting!– unusual!– risky!– uncertain!o Life is all of those things…and more.!– Life will be ﬁlled with moments of excitement—enjoy them.!– Life will involve the unusual—go with it. Perhaps we can call that a “plot twist.” (i.e., me beinga pastor instead of an attorney)!– Life will ask you to take risks—evaluate them…and then jump in when it’s right.!– Life will be uncertain—expect the unexpected.!Now, let’s consider setting for a few minutes. The setting is where a story takes place. Since ourlives are more like novels than short stories; they will most likely play out in more than oneplace.!• (For instance, my story has unfolded from living in only one state, but I’ve visited 38 and 14countries)!• Each of those settings has contributed to my story and helped make me the person I amtoday.!You’re in Dallas. Where did you live when you came home from the hospital? Where will you bethis fall? Next year? 2022? 2023?!The setting is critical because some parts of the plot can only unfold in certain settings.!• For example, My son wanted to be on Broadway, well that doesn’t happen in Dallas; he had tomove to NY.!•!The point is that his “story” could only unfold that way if the setting were to change.!Perhaps some of you will be travelers while others may be homebodies. Whatever your makeup, your story will be aﬀected by the setting.!Now, let’s talk about the character in your story. This is the most important part. You see,without a character, plot and setting mean nothing. !We are here because of your story—your life. !You are the main character. !Right now, it’s all about you (but not after we’re dismissed).I tend to see characters in two diﬀerent ways—either deep or shallow. Be a deep person—do allyou can to develop the main character in your story.!• Mentally—whether you’re a right- or left-brain person, develop your mind.!• Physically—take care of your body. Medical science can do a lot of things, but you still onlyget one.!• Spiritually—submit to God and resolve to live your life for Him.!• Socially—pay attention to the company you keep. After all, we are known by our friends.!Another way to ensure that you aren’t a shallow person is to know the value of the internal andexternal parts of life.!• Many people think that the important part of our stories happens to us on the outside.!• However, I submit that the internal story is the more important part. Your external life willbe a mirror of your internal reality.!Please allow me to revisit the passage read before I started:!Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)!So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—yoursleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as anoﬀering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t becomeso well-adjusted to your culture that you ﬁt into it without even thinking. Instead, ﬁx yourattention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants fromyou and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to itslevel of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.!In short, pay attention to your story—the plot, the setting, and the character. !Today, we close one chapter for you. The next begins tomorrow.