Running In Your Lane

2 Cor 10:12-18

 

Growing up – one thing that my Dad told me that really stuck w/ me was that if you are good at something – there is no need to convince others by talking about it

A)Just let your play or your talent speak for itself !!! – Wise words from Pops – Kept me from giving into the temptation to boast in my abilities

 

B) But there were always those people who always had to tell you about how good there were / always boasting in their exploits / always embellishing

1)    Stories & the Heroics get a little bigger each time

2)   those who tend to be that way- also have a tendency to attack others in order to make themselves look better

 

Well that is exactly what had happened in the Church at Corinth where a group of False teachers had infiltrated the Church

A)Seeking gain a following & undermine the ministry of Paul /

 

B)They would talk about their accomplishments, their endorsements their credentials  - Challenging that Paul’s didn’t compare w/ theirs

1)   We noted in our study last time they accused Paul of writing these Powerful letters – but being weak in person as a Speaker

 

C) Well it is concerning these men & their tactics that Paul wrote the last 4 chapters of this letter –

1)   In which he defends himself / his ministry and his place in the life of the Church in Corinth

 

D) Totally get the impression Paul doesn’t like doing this – talking about himself in this way :

1) He does this though to protect the flock from these men who wanted to use the Flock rather than minister to the flock { Always the case }

 

Now in our last Wed night study we looked at the first part of Chapter 10 where Paul defended the accusation – Bold letters / weak Speech

When I was 19 yrs old God called me into the ministry: Helping at CCCM in the High school ministry w/ RC

A)Started hanging w/ a group of guys who also felt called to the ministry / we studied together /served together & grew together

 

B) We taught Home Bible studies / school studies / counseled & discipled kids in the High school ministry

 

C) At one pt during that time I found myself looking at these other guys and comparing myself to them: Here is what I felt

1) Some of them were a lot smarter than I was / some of them were more articulate / more Charismatic / most of them played Guitar & led worship

 

D) And I started thinking: I will never make much of an impact – God can’t do much w/ me / Am I even called by the Lord ?

1)   I was comparing myself to them – and it wasn’t wise – Which is exactly what Paul says here – Not wise to do that

 

When we compare ourselves by ourselves it is not wise for two reason

Potential to get Puffed up / or Pulled down

A)I can first of all get puffed up because I can usually find someone who I am better than at something –

 

B) Also get Pulled down – because I can always find someone who is better than me : { More Spiritual

 

C) Illustrate: Couple of weeks ago – Staff meeting – great discussion on being led by the Spirit – our need to be sensitive to the spirit’s voice

1)   Here in the ministry & at home w/ our wives { Prayed –

 

D) Rough day – lots of meetings – Running late – came home: Quick dinner before rushing off to take my Daughter Amanda to Dance

1)   Then go straight from there to My Daughter Amy’s Basketball Practice

 

E) Come home: Thrashed & I asked my wife – if she could take Amanda instead: My Reason: Eat my dinner & read the Paper

1) No big deal right? Well after this great talk on being sensitive to the Spirit – I was completely insensitive to my wife/ what her day was like

 

Her day was as busy as mine – maybe more so – I totally inconvenienced her / changed her plans / why ? Eat in 10 min instead of 5 & read

A)Needed to read – about Sports / Wars / Crime

 

B) Now here is the thing: Later on – my wife gently let me Know what an inconvenience that was to her

1)   You know what I felt so bad – Great Job: Mr. Pastor / Mr. Sensitivity to the HS { I felt Pulled down

 

C) None of the other guys would have done that – Not Howard to Lucia / Steve to Jeanne / Def. Not Eddie to Dawn / Maybe Doug

1)   I am such an  IDIOT – Satan right there – Yes you are !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

D) But you know what I could have started rationalizing in my mind

1)   At least I am not like some guys – They don’t even talk to their wives at least I’m talking to her!!

2)   I might not be saying the right things – but at least I am talking to her!!

 

E) At least I am asking her to help me { I can try to Puff myself up} –

But Either way it is not wise !!! It is Stupid

1)   JESUS IS THE MEASURING STICK !!!!   See Him – Realize God has a lot of work to do – I had better stay close

 

F) I need to be concerned about Rob Salvato and How he measures up to Jesus Christ & no one else – That is the right measure of ministry

 

So Paul says look I don’t want to get into this comparison thing w/ these guys – It is not wise    Read v. 13-16

 

 

13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us -- a sphere which especially includes you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men's labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, 16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you,& not to boast in another man's sphere of accomplishment.

A)Now Paul declares here v.13 we are not going to boast Beyond Measure but w/ in the LIMITS of the sphere which God has appointed to us

 

B) The limits of the sphere may refers to the  lanes that were allotted to runners in a race.{ Each runner has a Lane to Run

 

C)The Corinthian Christians would recognize this because they loved races and held the famous Isthmian Games in Corinth. 

1)Paul is saying, “I’m running in my own lane and not in someone else’s.”

that is the area I am concerned w/ !!! Area I can rejoice or boast in

 

D)Each of us has a lane to run in – appointed by God – I need to worry about my lane – my calling / my sphere of influence

1) I can rejoice at what God is doing thru me & w/ me in my Lane

 

Now Often times we get into trouble when we are looking at the other guys lane – lose the race : Keep focus on your lane – surprised win

A)Remember I said : I couldn’t play Guitar – Charlie Abrisch

Yrs later – how I met Denise – [First in the group to get married !!!]

 

B) They had Guitars I didn’t have a guitar but I got the Girl/   That was my lane – God’s plan: 

1)   I was thinking last week – talking w/ Greg – God has used my life in a greater capacity than all those guys – 8 different countries / Radio

2)   I have Pastored in 2 States { Pastor a great Church } Live in an Awesome area

3)   My life is a testimony: God can do w/ Availability !!! Run in my lane

 

C) What about you{ Your lane ? Focused on someone else’s lane

Paul was running in his lane – his sphere of influence which included the Church at Corinth which he started

A)Which is why he says there in v.14  For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), Started the Church

 

B) Paul wanted to be able to rejoice in what the Lord was doing there/ he wanted to see them grow / their faith increased

1)   Wanted to see them be used in ministry

 

C) As the Corinthian Christians would grow in maturity and in outreach, their church would grow and plant many other churches. 

1)   This would, by extension, enlarge Paul’s sphere of authority.

 

This is an awesome thought: Each person that we send out to the Mission field – enlarging &  expanding our sphere

A)Greg said: We reap in that blessing – we share in that reward – a part of us in each Church plant – part of you

 

B) Every Calvary owes it’s existence to Chuck Smith – He paved the way

1)   Chuck’s sphere is enlarged – Send out{ Remember impact

      SD – 40 Churches – Mike’s Sphere: Remember who paved the way

 

Now in v.15 Paul says I don’t want to boast in other men’s labors

A)Why is Paul stressing the point that he has not, and will not, take authority in another man’s sphere? 

 

B)Probably because that is exactly what his opponents among the Corinthian Christians were doing. 

1) They were trying to boast in Paul’s sphere of accomplishment.

 

C)Instead, Paul’s passion was to preach the gospel in the regions beyond. 

1)   He was not interested in building on another man’s foundation, and trying to horn in on someone else’s sphere of authority.

D) Sometimes there can be so much competition in ministry: When in reality there are more people to reach than we could ever imagine / 3% NC

You have a lane to run in / A sphere influence that God has given you

A)Married spouse – God has given / Kids – part of your lane / sphere

Friends / Ministries / Where you work – all a part of your sphere

 

B) I have my sphere: I don’t need to be worrying about your kids –

1)   Your ministry: Shepherd the Flock that is among you – 1st Flock is Denise and the kids / 2nd CCV –

 

C) You have your Flock – More people influence more that flock grows

 

D) You take care of your flock – Start getting into areas where you don’t belong – You are going to as Paul says v.15 Extend yourself beyond measure

 

E) Numbers Borders & Boundaries

 

Staying w/ in those Borders & Boundaries not going outside of what God has called you to – or Boasting in things you had no part in v.17 Key

17 But "he who glories, let him glory in the LORD."   18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

 

A)Paul’s point: The Lord commends us – for doing what he called us to do – But all glory should go to Him !!!!  He quotes from  Jer 9:24

 

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. 

 

B) The Corinthian Christians were the types to glory in wisdom, in might, and in riches, instead of glorying in the Lord.

 

D)The great thing about glorying in the Lord is that we can always do it.  1) No one is so high that they cannot glory in the Lord.  No one is so low that they cannot glory in the Lord.  We can all glory in the Lord!