Rev Henry Y. White, Senior Pastor, Brown Memorial AME Church
Speaking at Metropolitan AME Church
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Men’s Day and Founder’s Day
Scripture: Genesis 12: 1-4: The Call of Abram (NIV Version): 1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
The scripture is drawn from Genesis 12:1-4, and I am focusing on verse 2, which says: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” I’d like to speak to you from the theme: “Dare to be Great.”
In the book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins wrote about a 5-year study of 28 companies that transformed their businesses from good, to great. These companies included Walgreen, Hewlett-Packer, Gillette, Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, Coca Cola, Bank of America, and others. Collins and his crew of researchers discovered that the key to why some companies move from good to great and why some don’t is in the fact that: Good is an enemy of Great.
Some people forsake a great life because they settle for a “good” life. Similarly, some companies don’t achieve greatness because they are doing good enough. By definition, “great” means to excel, to do extraordinarily. And “dare” means having the courage and boldness to meet a challenge and to go beyond limitations.
In the scripture text, verse 2, God calls Abraham to greatness. True greatness comes from God; it is not arrogance. When we have greatness on the inside, it is unstoppable. A challenge is not a problem because “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
We experience frustration when we start ignoring who we really are in God; that’s when we are trying to settle for being “average.” When you have more to contribute, God on the inside challenges you to go beyond your limitations.
In verse 1, Abraham’s father had died in his comfort zone. Here’s a warning to you: staying in your comfort zone too long may be hazardous to your health. To attain greatness, you must move out of the familiar to greater things. Because when God guides, He also provides.
In order to be great, you may have to travel where no one else has gone. You may have divorce all around you; your family may have experienced 3 generations of divorce. But you can decide: I’m going to fight for my marriage; I don’t care what other folks do. You can choose to go beyond average and ordinary to enter into greatness.
You can go from doing good things to doing great things, because to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. You can’t do the same old things and expect to reach greatness.
For instance, a good husband brings his wife flowers on Valentine’s Day. A great husband gives his wife flowers year round; and he tells her “I love you,” even when he doesn’t feel like it.
A good father and husband will faithfully bring his family to church and drop them off. A great father won’t drop his family off; he’ll come and worship with his family.
When God calls us to greatness, it’s not about US, it’s about GOD. God says: I am blessing YOU so you can be a blessing.
God made the founder of the AME Church, Bishop Richard Allen, great; but God gets the glory.
When a Black man from a broken home said “Yes We Can,” and became the 44th President of the United States, God gets the glory.
When a carpenter’s son from a little town called Nazareth was revealed to be the son of God, “He made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Phillippians 2:7:
As the hymn goes: “If you step out on trust, and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.” (Precious Lord, Take My Hand…)
Brothers and Sisters, my personal testimony as to what God has done for me is threefold: 1. He woke me up. 2. He woke me up. 3. He woke me up…and started me on my way.
Dare to be GREAT!
- Sermon Notes: Great Living Every Day
- Sermon Notes: God’s Window for a Broken World
- Sermon Notes: Microphone Check!
- Sermon Notes: Survival Techniques When Your Well Runs Dry
- Sermon Notes: The Gritty Joy of Being Blessed to Bless
Tags: Founder's Day, Men's Day