Sermon of the Week

Raising the Bar

When Benjamin Franklin was 27 years old, he decided he would take control of his life. He selected 12 virtues he wanted to acquire, and kept a daily chart of his progress in the development of each one. Whenever he missed the mark, he put a black dot beside that virtue. His goal was to ultimately have no dots on the chart. This method contributed to Franklin’s success as an inventor, publisher, and statesman.

10 Rules for Your Human Life – Michael D. Powell

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error – experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that actually “works.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here.”
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
  10. You will forget all this.
  • Seek The Things That Are Above

3:1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,
3:3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

3:4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

  • Put To Death, Whatever In You Is Earthly

3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
3:6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.
3:7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.

  • You Must Get Rid of All Such Things

3:8 But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.

  • Do Not Lie To One Another

3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices
3:10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.

  • Christ Is All and In All

3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!


A little boy by the name Billy visited his grandmother in California one summer and almost wore her out with his vigorous activity. She was accustomed to living a peaceful, orderly life. He was perpetual motion, into everything, and nearly turned the house upside down everyday. One night when they were both sound asleep, there was an earthquake. The grandmother was awakened by the house shaking and in her concern called out, “Billy, Billy!” Billy yelled back, “I didn’t do it, grandma!” Well, Billy was a little like an earthquake at times to a grandma who liked her quiet lifestyle.

We reveal who we are by our actions. It is by our interactions with others that we paint, stroke by stroke, the portrait of who we are.

Christ Is All and In All and He Raised the Bar of living life to a higher standard. His is a heavenly standard that exudes love, forgiveness, mercy and grace, for these things are from above.

So let us all strive to raise the bar of our lives and deeds by following Christ and taking to heart Pauls’ exhortation, Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

AMEN!!