July 10th, 2012
One Hour on Wednesday is back this week. Join us from 7-8 p.m. as we study the life and teachings of Peter!
YOUTH will meet in the Garage for worship and fun! Don’t miss this worship opportunity.
BP&W So You Had A Bad Day Believers Statesboro 07-08-12—Sermon Notes –Listen online at
(Portions adapted from a devotional by Mark Batterson of National Community Church)
Your Focus Determines Your Reality
Vicki Medvec, a professor at Northwestern University studied Olympic medalists and she discovered that Bronze medalists were happier than Silver medalists. Silver medalists tended to focus on how close they came to winning gold so they weren’t satisfied with silver. Bronze medalists tended to focus on how close they came to not winning a medal at all so they were just happy to be on the medal stand.
“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” John Milton
· We all can find something good to focus on even in the worst of circumstances.
· We all can find something bad to focus on even in the best of circumstances.
I think there are two basic types of people in the world: complainers and worshipers.
· Complainers can always find something to complain about.
· Worshipers can always find something to praise God about.
A worshiper makes a pre-decision to look for something to praise God about even in the direst of circumstances.
Acts 16:22 The crowd (a mob) joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. (NIV)
Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (NIV)
Spiritual or emotional slumps are usually caused by zooming in on a problem.
Zooming out to get some perspective is often the attitude changer.
What’s the best way to zoom out? Worship.
Worshiping is taking our eyes off of our external circumstances and focusing on God.
· We stop focusing on what’s wrong with us or with our circumstances.
· We start focusing on what’s right with God.
One of the purest forms of worship is praising God even when you don’t feel like it because it shows God that your worship isn’t based on circumstances.
Worship is based on the fact that GOD IS WORTH IT!
“Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…” Victor Frankl
Paul and Silas were in prison. Their bodies were chained. But their choice to worship set off a chain reaction.
Your internal attitudes are more important than your external circumstances.
Next Step: I choose to have a positive internal attitude, no matter what the external circumstances may be.
Premeditated Cognitive Commitments
“You can never solve a problem on the level which it was created.” Albert Einstein
Problems created on a human plane are solved on the supernatural plane. That’s what happens when we worship God. It changes the spiritual atmosphere.
Worship sets the stage for miracles! Worship causes spiritual earthquakes that can change the topography of your life.
Worship is the way we stay positive in negative circumstances.
The key is focusing on the right reality!
We let what’s wrong with us keep us from worshiping what’s right about God.
In her book, Mindfulness, Ellen Langer says that all of us have “premeditated cognitive commitments.” Translation: we tend to see what we’re looking for.
· A pessimist will always see something bad in a good situation.
· An optimist will always see something good in a bad situation.
Eight premeditated cognitives
Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things. (NIV)
A worshiper always finds something to praise God for because they’re looking for something to praise God for.
Next Step: I choose to focus on what’s right about God, instead of what’s wrong with my circumstances.
When the circumstances you complain about become chains that imprison you, worship is the way out. It was worship that set Paul and Silas free physically. It’s worship that will set you free emotionally and spiritually. Worship sets off a chain reaction. The prison doors fly open. The chains break free.
Are there circumstances that you’re allowing to imprison you?
Have your complaints about someone or something become chains?
Stop focusing on what’s wrong about you or your circumstances.
Start focusing on what’s right about God.
Here’s an assignment. Keep a gratitude journal this week. Find something everyday to be grateful for. It’s a spiritual discipline.
Ps 103:2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–(NIV)
Next Step: I will keep a gratitude journal this week and find one thing every day to be grateful for.
In the words of the hymn: “Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings. See what God has done.”
Community Group or Family Devotional Questions
1. Do you tend to be a complainer or a worshiper?
2. What circumstance or situation in your life right now, seems to imprison you? Can you worship
3. What problems are you zooming in on, instead of zooming out and getting the big picture?
4. What have you written in your gratitude journal this week?
5. Give me five blessings in your life that are worthy of praise and worship to God.