The .mp3 audio file for Pastor Jerry McNamara’s January 5 message, “Optimism” is now available.
This sermon is part one of our series “Life’s Missing Ingredients” and was offered during the Sunday morning worship at Fishers Of Men Lutheran, one of the growing churches of Sugar Land.
1/5 SUMMARY: Certain ingredients are vital in the recipe of life: optimism, purpose, freedom, security, and intimacy. God is available and offers his wisdom, his power, his strength, his assurances, and his love to make sure we aren’t missing any of life’s ingredients. Today: how a positive perspective based on God’s promises makes ALL the difference!
GOING DEEPER (Extra Questions & Scriptures)
Look at John 6:5-9
[Note: you might find a look at today's live outline or the worship folder can be helpful hear to review the teaching points from "Optimism" and answer the following questions:] Have you experienced a situation that you later realized was a test from God? What did it teach you about yourself? About what you rely on? When you face your next test what do you think will happen if you say “Lord, I believe you already have in mind what you are going to do in my life. Can you share it with me?”
Look at Romans 8:35-37
Questions to probe deeper: In “Good To Great” author Jim Collins shares what Admiral Stockdale the highest ranking prisoner in the Vietnam War’s “Hanoi Hilton” said about who didn’t make it out alive: “The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end (which you can never afford to lose) with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” Prisoners of war and the apostle Paul faced death “all day long;” share the facts of the circumstance you are facing right now. On a scale of 1 to 5 (highest), how high is your faith that you will prevail in the end? That nothing can separate you from the love of God?
Look at James 1:13-15
Questions to probe deeper: How have you seen desire start someone down a path into sin and pain? Since this Word tells us God doesn’t tempt, what does He do to help us when tempted (see 1 Corinthians 10:13)? Share how the shame of repeated sin would make someone pessimistic that they can ever change.
Look at Romans 4:18-21
Questions to probe deeper: What facts limiting his circumstances did Abraham face? What facts (limitations, pain, overwhelming feelings, etc.) are you facing? Share how pessimism or negativity could do anything to help the situation. Now re-read v. 20 and share what might make you waver as you face this situation? On a scale of 1 to 5 (highest) how persuaded are you that God has the power to change that situation in your life? How are you asking God to change it? What is one thing you are hoping will change in the new year?
Which Promise Of God’s Fuels Your OPTIMISM? share your ideas here anonymously and we’ll share them in an upcoming message and/or our Facebook page.
Fishers Of Men Lutheran Church Sugar Land shares these audio sermon files through our website and our Fishers Sugar Land Church iTunes podcast in grateful response to our Savior Jesus who shares His all, and with the hope that they encourage those who listen.
Worship with us any Sunday at 830am (traditional Lutheran, liturgical), 11am (blended praise style). Learn more about our worship services at our FOM Worship page.