Wednesday, 28 September 2011

How's your alternator?

Mr. Gord Park was our chapel speaker this morning: on the topic of encouragement.

He described an attempted late night departure from his cottage this summer, when a dashboard indicator revealed something was wrong with his car.

“I don’t want to get too technical with you, but the needly-thing was going in the wrong direction,” he said. “It was going down like the Titanic.”

The next-day diagnosis? A faulty alternator.

Mr. Park said his car troubles revealed the battery can be fine and the car’s engine can be fine, but without a properly working alternator, you’re stuck.

That’s how encouragement works in our lives, he said. We need people in our lives to deliver the charge that keeps our batteries full. Barnabas was like that, he said, offering encouragement to the apostle Paul.

Hebrews: 3:13: Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

“Sometimes in life, you feel like you are running low,” Mr. Park said. “We all need an alternator. We all need someone to draw alongside us.”

And sometimes you’re the alternator for someone else’s battery, he said. “It’s your job to pour into someone else’s life.”

But when things go wrong, “when we screw up,” the temptation is to withdraw ourselves, to isolate ourselves, he said. When we are tempted by things like pornography, or anger or to steal, we feel alone, “and that’s a bad place to be.”

“Temptation wants you to feel alone and weak,” said Mr. Park. “And when you are alone, you can think: ‘no one will find out.’”

That’s all the more reason to seek out encouragement, he said. “What we really need is somebody else. We were not meant to be alone. God created us to benefit from the blessings of being in relationship.”

Mr. Park encouraged us to talk with each other honestly “about the stuff that really matters,” and to encourage each other to overcome the temptations we are facing.

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

“Temptation is common to all human beings, but there is a way out,” he said. It could be the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, or a friend.

“Very often it’s the guys you are with who are your way out,” he said. “Hook up with other people you can trust, hook up with other people you can be honest with.”

“Grab hold of the things God has for you,” said Mr. Park. If God is in the centre of your friendships or the centre of your small group, “I swear to you that God’s blessing is all over that stuff.

“It is God’s heart for you to be with each other. It is God’s heart for you to be an alternator.”

We were also blessed by the members of a new student Praise Team, who led us in worship this morning.

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