1. Olympic gymnast champion Peter Vidmar:
“There is one quality that rises above all, and without it the athlete is not complete. The ingredient is desire. The athlete with the greatest desire to succeed will stand a greater chance of reaching his or her goal….A five-year study of many of the United States’ top athletes, musicians & scholars concluded that ‘drive & determination, not great natural talent, led to their extraordinary success.'”
2. DESIRE, DRIVE & DETERMINATION: All necessary to live faithful lives.
a. 1 Cor. 9:24-27 – We compete for an imperishable crown!
b. Phil. 3:11-14 – Desire, drive & determination…Translates into action!
c. 1 Cor. 15:10 – Paul had the “3 D’s”, & by God’s grace he succeeded!
3. Like the potter & the clay, God will shape & mold His people into what He wants us to be. We must be supple in His hands – willing to let God use us in His service for His honor & glory (3 D’s) – Phil. 2:12-13.
4. 2 Tim. 2:19-21 – Purify yourself & you will be useful for the Master, prepared to do His work.
I. THE KIND OF PERSON WHO IS USEFUL TO GOD.
A. One Who Has Godly Priorities & Objectives – cf. Rev. 2:5.
1. Matt. 6:33 (Two-fold) – Seek first:
a. His kingdom – Rule & reign of God in one’s life.
b. His righteousness – Quality or state of being righteous.
2. Whatever your vocation is, it must never be your life’s ultimate objective, because no matter how noble it is, when all is said & done – temporal.
3. God wants & uses people who have chosen eternal objectives.
B. One Who Will Pay Any Price To Do The Will Of God In His Life – Lk. 14:27-28, 33.
1. 2 Tim. 2:3-4 – Having committed oneself to God’s ob-jectives, we must steadfastly resist the temptation to be entangled in the world’s glittering attractions – Jas. 4:7-8.
2. Must ask yourself the question: “Is there anything standing between me & God?” Remove it!!
3. If you want to do God’s will regardless of the price, everything you are & have must belong to Jesus Christ! (3 D’s!)
C. One Who Loves The Word Of God – cf. 2 Ths. 2:10-12.
1. Jer.15:16 – Insatiable appetite for word of God.
a. Do you crave it like food? Submit to its authority? Or, do you “pick & choose” what you believe & obey? (1 Pet. 2:2)
b. cf. Surgeon – Scores of books to master.
c. Christian has one book to master, the Bible. (3 D’s!)
2. Must invest time in order to master it:
a. 15 min. day = 91 hrs./year.
b. 5 hrs. / week = 260 hrs. / year.
3. 2 Tim. 2:15 – Must first love the word of God – Then we will be driven to serve God, to be useful to God & to be used by Him.
D. One Who Has A Servant Heart – Matt. 20:25-28.
1. v. 25 – Men enjoy being served & exercising authority over others.
2. v. 26-28 – Not so with Christians.
a. Motto of the British Royal Military Academy: “Serve To Lead.”
b. Jno. 13:12-17 – Lesson of Jesus (Humble service is our obligation!).
3. To be used by God & useful in His service we must deter-mine to serve others, Not be determined others will serve us!
E. One Who Has A Love For Lost Souls.
1. cf. Peanuts cartoon – Charlie Brown says: “I love the world. I think the world is wonderful. It’s people I can’t stand.”
2. Yet, Christians are to be like God (and God loves all men, Jno. 3:16).
3. Matt. 7:12; 22:39 – God can use us to influence & convert others if we love the souls of people enough to take the gospel to them!
F. One Who Does Not Trust In Himself – 2 Cor. 1:9-10.
1. Psa. 42:5-6, 9-11 – Trust in God & set our hope on Him.
a. Worldliness is living as though you have no need for God.
b. Christians can never afford to live that way!
2. Rom.7:18 (Eccl. 7:20; cf. w/ Lk.17:10) – It is not due to our superior power that we are blessed by God! It is by His grace! (cf. Paul)
3. Heb.4:16 – Rest our case with the Lord & trust His power & grace.
G. One Who Has Learned Self-discipline – l Cor. 9:24-27.
1. To serve God re-quires self-discipline & sacrifice.
2. cf. A horrible thing can happen to a Christian:
-When I die, to have the Lord say to me: “Michael, let Me show you what your life could have been like if only you had done what I asked, if only you had been faithful to Me, if only you had disciplined your life as I wanted you to.” – Phil. 1:27 (cf. Jas. 4:17)
1. God uses faithful men & women – (Heb. 11).
2. You cannot become or remain a faithful person by simply being a “week- end” Christian!
3. When we have Desire, Drive & Determination we will achieve our goal of being useful to God!