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Watch 2022 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - Damage Control

Leon Fontaine - Damage Control

Leon Fontaine - Damage Control

Years ago when I first became a senior pastor. There were many things that I had a chance to notice because I was raised in a pastor's home. And so all of my mom and dad's friends a lot of them were pastors. And I get a chance to, you know, after services with special speakers and conferences. I get a chance to question pastors and I would often debate with them. And I don't think they like me that much sometimes because they'd see this little teenage guy coming whom my parents had taught me so much Word and doctrine. And then I would just take them on and start debating. I love debate because you get a chance to really hear what that person believed. And then you get a chance to find out if there's anything backing up the belief.

Hello! How many also some people have beliefs, they've never backed up. And I noticed that many people Christians, pastors, business leaders, moms, dads, that all they did in life was damage control. They actually never really built that much. They're always in damage control. There was always a new storm coming. There's always this issue, that issue. And so I began to watch it and recognize. Well, faith and grace ought to be about building lives, building companies, building families, building kids, building a country, building a province, building a city, always comes down to leadership. And so as I watch this, I thought the church is a little bit crazy. Because we just glory in our tribulations as though that's what supposed to happen.

So I noticed in this as a young teenager and that I felt like faith and grace, and that we should be building great lives, great marriage. We ought to have the most romantic marriages. We ought to have marriages were I mean that warrior princess and that man of God. They're doing great things, living an adventure. But it was all pretty much damage control. So I'm going to talk about that today. And I hope somebody I can help, you know, just get the tires off of that out of the rut and say let's go build some great lives. And quit expecting nothing but storms because the Bible doesn't teach that. You know, the few times it talks about how to handle tribulations, how to deal with suffering, how to deal with hurt, all these things.

The church majors on those few scriptures, when most of the scriptures are literally teaching you that this is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith. That your life should be a constant triumphant procession from place to place of increasing and winning and rising up. But we're too busy at times. I'm going to offend somebody. I know, but it's okay. But we tend to just kind of glory in our tribulations. Rather than glory in the vision God's given us to get up and make a difference for the kingdom of God. Get up and raise up kids and families that for generations are going to be strong. The salt of the earth, the light.

You know, leaders in every area from education and government and business and just raise up incredible leaders build life! But we're just too busy suffering, bragging about it and just managing all this stuff. I've got news for you. I made a decision that I would not live this way. And so some of my dad's friends because we had, none of the us, you know, everyone doesn't agree on doctrine. And so I became a doctrine fanatic. I mean, I would, they would tell me what they thought. I say, "Show me in the Word". And that brought it to a whole another level, because they didn't think I knew the Word. But my dad paid me to memorize the Bible. I mean, I was memorizing chapters and books. So I did have, and then what was really interesting for me was that I kept finding these verses on victory and victory and overcoming and winning and it's a good life. It's a great life. It's a wonderful life. All that kind of stuff.

And so I thought, "Well, church is backwards then". We keep teaching everybody how to handle problems. Can you imagine if you just taught your kids day in and day out nothing but how to manage problems and you didn't teach him how to build a marriage. How do you build a business? How do you build your brain so that emotions are strong. How do you build the principles you live by? How do you build beliefs in your kids? And those beliefs rise up so strong that when you're gone as a parent, that those beliefs which is the Word of God. It's where it's supposed to be. They'll rise up and they won't just be strong. The presence of God is flowing through them. Oh, man. I tell you. I got so lit up and people sometimes they will say, "Well, you know, how long you been preaching now"?

Over 40 years, and it's not dimmed one bit. I'm so excited about God's Word and where it's going and what it's doing and the future and all the rest. That you just can't, you just can't push me down because God is so good. And the Bible is so filled with promises of He'll be there for you. Now a lot of people they just misquote the Bible. It'll be like, "Well, God causes all things to work together for good". That's not true. It's a verse. I know. But read before and read after. Of course, it's a truth. But here's how to make it work in your life. And I want to simply move you. I want to push you out of the rut, out of living a life of doing nothing but damage control. Leon, we have to do damage control. I know. But if you continually focused on damage control and you never actually build. Then you're simply in the urgent as business people who have learned and you're never doing the important. The urgent keeps you so busy. You don't build the important things in your life.

Now, the Bible is really interesting. In the book of Proverbs, it talks a lot about wisdom. And the fact that wisdom is the principal thing. And that do you make wise choices? Now you and I, we make at least two thousand decisions a day. A day. That many? Yeah. What socks to put on? What tie to put on? How to respond to that guy who phoned you? You know, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Now these decisions are determining how tomorrow goes. So you think so? Oh, scream at your husband and see tomorrow goes. You know, swear at your boss and see how tomorrow goes. Run the red light today. See how many weeks you'll be in a hospital with cracked ribs. Like, every decision you make today is crucial to how tomorrow is. It's, the decisions you make in handling people. The decisions you make in confronting people. The decisions you make about your marriage. The decisions you make about your money, your finances, your credit cards are decisions you're making today could take 6 years to pay off.

Decisions, one of the most crucial decisions of your life. I mean, of areas of your life is this decision making. Wisdom is amazing. The Bible teaches us through the book of Proverbs, that if wisdom becomes something you focus on, that every area of your life will begin to bloom. Every area, Leon? Every area. It's a promise in the Word of God, and wisdom is the principle thing. Let me read you a few verses that really changed my world and it's in Proverbs 1:20-28, "Wisdom calls aloud outside, raises her voice in the open squares, cries out in the chief concourses. At the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words".

Now, those terms all refer to business and government. Okay, the gate is where government would sit, make decisions. Business was there. So, and then it says, "Wisdom is crying out loud". Well, if you came to talk to me and you walked up on stage and you stood right there. And this is the way you talk to me. Hi, Leon! I kind of go, "Ho, ho, ho. Like back up. I'll come over here". Why do you shout? It's when someone's along ways off, or they're not listening to you. Why is wisdom shouting? Nobody's listening. If you just get today's message and put it to practice, you will be in an elite, unique group of people. Who refused to do something because it's the way you were taught. Who refused just to take the easy way out. Who refused just to make everybody like them. And you are going to pursue wisdom. I'll show you how. And as you pursue and listen to wisdom, wisdom it says will raise you up. It will honour you. Wisdom will rise up.

The Bible says that you'll be wiser than your enemies, wiser than your teachers, wiser than those older than you, to you teenagers that are here today and you don't have to. Have you ever listened to somebody who has succeeded and you want to get some information from him. Say, "Well, can I grab you for lunch and could you fill me in on how your succeed? Give me some real principles". In most cases, they're going to tell you about all their storms. We have struggled. Oh, we look wealthy right now. But I got new, we have paid the price. That's where people go. I know. I have listened to it a lot. I'm going, "Why do you discourage some young business person to, and all you're going to show them is how you handle all your problems".

Now, there's a side to that. I get it. But what you focus on is what you get more of. That's a principle in the Word. And so we want our focus to be on victory. We want our focus to be on, it is our inheritance to succeed and win according to the Word of God. It is our inheritance to rise up and look and say that we are going to walk out a triumphal procession every, every battle of our lives. We're going to get up and build things. You see, if you build something, that's more powerful than always just defending what little you've got. Did you know that Jesus even teaches that if you don't get this principle down path, and I think it's Mark 4:24-26, it says that even what you have will be taken away. If you don't deal with this issue today. Build with wisdom. Make wisdom decisions.

So why is wisdom shouting? Because people aren't listening. And as I was reading this this week, I just got this image of wisdom, a person walking down the streets calling out to people. They've all got their backs turned, running off here, going over there. And they don't realize that one decision could change your whole life for the good. Now let's see what it says here about wisdom. "Wisdom calls aloud outside, raises her voice in the open squares, cries out in the chief concourses. At the gates of the city she speaks her words. And she says, 'How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For...'" Okay, wait. Okay, wait. Who is she talking about here, Leon? Actually, fools according to the scripture here, are those who do not believe in God.

Now, sorry if you don't and that's not me. I'm just reading the verse. And we're glad you're here because lots of people are on a journey of trying to decide this. But here it's saying that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. So if you don't believe in a God, you don't have an awe for God. The guy who created the universe and put all the laws in place for the planets and this earth. Every world has laws that govern it and to learn them is crucial to make wise decisions. So it's talking about scorners. And it says, "Fools hate knowledge. They turn," It says, "Turn at my rebuke". This is wisdom speaking. "Surely I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I've stretched out my hand and no one regarded". No one. I'm going, "Woo, this is a small group of people". "No one regarded because you disdained my counsel. And would have none of my rebuke".

Verse 26 is depressing. "I will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your terror comes. When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind. When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer". What? "They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me". Alright, let's just discuss this for a minute because you're going, "Woah, woah, that's not my Jesus". It's not talking about Jesus. It's talking about wisdom. So, as you begin to go to the brilliance of the Word of God, it's saying that in life pursue wisdom, learn wisdom. And it talks about discernment and knowledge and understanding and wisdom and make these decisions. And that when you do, your life will prosper. You'll be blessed. But if you don't pursue wisdom, you're going, your life will degrade. And then when the storm hits and it's got you in it's horrible clutches or something really brutal is going on, you begin to look for wisdom.

Now there's no wisdom. But then Leon is that, there no hope? No. Now you need a miracle. So when, when wisdom is something you've ignored, and all of a sudden it hits the fan. Whatever hits the fan. And then you're now in a position where there's no wisdom to get you out. You need a miracle. God, He does miracles. Thank God you can cry out to Him and believe God, speaks to mountains, and He's there for miracles. I am so glad for miracles. I just found out it's a hard way to live, to move from mess to mess and keep believing God for miracles. You can't really grow. Why? Because you're now in damage control believing God for a miracle. And that miracle tries to help you and get you back to where you were. But wisdom will help you develop and grow. And I just want to say to you today. That, that you have to make this conscious decision. Am I actively building my life? Am I actively building my marriage? Am I actively building my career, my finance? Am I actively building my kids? Or are they being trained by a school you don't know what they're teaching. And an iPad when they get home, and you think a cute little Bible story at bedtime is completely preparing them for the future.

And so I want to challenge you today that that this wisdom that is in the Word is not there and it's not just a book of rules. But this wisdom is a person. You know, in John 1:1-5, it kind of goes like this, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". It's a beautiful statement but it's deep. And you kind of, your brain starts to clunk a little bit as you try to sort it out. And so I love The Voice Bible, which is the interpreters there, because English is changing all the time. And so how do you keep a translation of another language to work in another language? You better be very current.

And so The Voice is one of the newest translations. It's out there looking at modern vernacular and the way that we talk. And here's how they interpreted this. They put it this way. "Before time was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God. This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator. His speech," talking about Jesus, "Shaped the entire cosmos. Immersed in the practice of creating all things that exist were birthed in Him. His breath filled all things with living, breathing light. A light that thrives in the depths of darkness, blazes through murky bottoms. It cannot and will not be quenched". Some of you need to hang on to the Word. And, you know, "Well, Leon, look how bad things are. I don't know". Listen to me. The Word of God and the presence of God will not be quenched. It is a light that thrives in the deepest depths of darkness. And so we as believers need to thrive in God's Word. Get God's Word on the inside of us because God's Word, it's God's voice.

People say well, like you know, "Leon, how do you know how to make some decisions"? Well, most of the decisions I make come from principles that I've learned in the Word of God. And as I walk into a situation these principles rise up and it's fantastic. And then when there is no verse on what you have to do, His voice will come from inside of you and guide you in what to do. Well, which company? Company number one, company number two? They're both giving you car, corner office, same salary, same city. Which one you're going to do? Well, there's no verse on that. But thank God that there is, because John chapter 10 Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me, and another voice they will not follow. Because they don't know that voice but they know Me".

I have found in my life that to get into God's Word and to learn these brilliant concepts. That there is a casual reading that gives you some information. But then there is a deeper sense of it that can only be taught by Holy Spirit. And then Holy Spirit begins to rise up on the inside of you. And He begins to take and teach you the Word. He begins to guide you in what you're doing. And the life of God begins to flow off of you, your thinking. Your emotions stabilize and then they begin to move with faith. Faith is trusting. You know why the word, up one, why do you, is faith is a powerful word. Why is the word trusting in there? Because when you trust, you're emotionally at peace. You're emotionally at peace. And when you trust in someone that's legitimate, the Bible says Holy Spirit is your helper.

So many Christians think God's going to go do it for you. But it says He's your helper. He wants to do it through you. There's just so many amazing principles in the Bible that have helped me. And as I look at where we're going and what we're doing, I just love the Word. I just love to sit down and just read great, great teaching books or listen to messages of men and women that I respect. I encourage you when something touches you in a message you've heard, listen to it each day for one week, seven times. And you'll be stunned how the Spirit of God will take you and it will teach you deeper and deeper. It'll apply it to your life. It will help you apply it to your marriage, your kids. You literally be praying and listening to it. And all of a sudden, an idea on how to reach your teenagers, how to train your 3-year old, how to help your marriage go to a place. It's stunning how the Spirit of God begins to bring things to you and help you understand this.

Are you only doing damage control, or are you actively building each area of your life? It's just a question you really need to ask yourself. Because when you start building, actively building, it doesn't mean right away that you have less problems. But I will tell you this, according to the Word of God. The decisions that you make, the bad ones. They are responsible for a certain percentage of your problems. Leon, what percentage? Oh, I don't know, for you. I know my percentage and I'm working on it. Why? Because the decisions you make today can create problems or blessings tomorrow. The words you speak to the people that you love create a better tomorrow, or when storms blow, there's an ease of just, the Bible says you build your life on the rock.

This one builds life on the sand. The storms blow. You can't even be shaken. The other one's totally destroyed. So we know that there are problems all of us have that are not our fault. Hello. So I'm not saying that. But I'm just saying there's a percentage, and I would like to really minimize that percentage. You, too. I would like to really bring that thing down. So that my decisions with finances, my decisions with relationships, my decisions as a pastor, as leader. That I want to be able to hear God, know God, and make wise decisions. Because the Bible says that if you'll pursue wisdom, every area of your life will know the favour and the blessings of God. I like that.

I want to talk to you about you and your personal relationship with God. You see, Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Him. And when people begin to get religious, which is manmade rules to please God or please the people around you, the church people around you. Life becomes awful. I hate religion from that perspective. But I love Jesus and I love His Word. And I love what He has planned and I love His church. And by that I mean, the real church, because all religion is not His church. Every place that calls itself a church. You know, I don't think Jesus is even alive and well in there.

And so I'm not talking about religion. But you need a relationship with God. And the way to get that is through His son Jesus who paid and qualified you to have access to being in God's family. He died on the cross. He took your sin, my sin. And then He went to hell in our place. He took all punishment. If you feel like, "Oh, I need people to know I'm not worthy of it because you don't know what I've done". Well, I don't need to know. But Jesus took that sin and the punishment that should have gone with that because it was an awful thing you did. He went to hell in your place. And you are a brand new creation. When you accept Jesus, you become born again. And how do you do that? You just choose Him. And right now I want to encourage you. Just say:

Jesus come into my heart, out loud. Jesus come into my life. I give You my life. And I'm going to follow You. Guide me, so I get to know You better and I get to know Your Word better. In Jesus' name, You are my Lord and Saviour, amen.

That simple prayer has just made a, given Him permission to come into your life. And from now and on, when you pray or cry out to Him, or get into the Word, His spirit is helping you and guiding you and leading you. You are in the family of God. Keep watching the show. Get to a great powerful local church and enjoy Jesus.
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