Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Having a Servant's Heart

What's the craziest thing God has ever asked you to do?
Think about it; was it about sharing your faith, was it about $$$, was it about starting a ministry? Has He ever asked you to do something that completely boggled your mind? Maybe because you were like, 'God, so you know me right? Why in the world would you ask me to do this? You know I'm not qualified, you know that this isn't possible...right?'
When you're married, you get to have conversations. Wife: Hey Dear, can you mow the yard? Husband: Well Dear, it is football about after the game?
This begins an eloquent exchange of pleasantries that show the absolute love that they have for one another. HA. But it's true, as a married man I've done my fair share of bargaining, or what I like to call 'enlightening' with my wife about the proper time for chores to be done or if they need to be done at all. What am I really doing? Being lazy. And plus I have a wife who defines awesome so she deals with me. And so if we have this 'relationship' with God doesn't that mean it's a 2 way street too? Can't we have a conversation about what the other one is saying? He gets to question me, and I get to question Him, right?
Well, we need to understand something very important. God wants the best for us. Well isn't my best different from your best? How do I really know that His best is what I want??
Recently in my life I've begun to step back and look at the whole picture of life. We really aren't going to be here long. We are going to be somewhere else for a really long time. But in the meantime, while we are in this life God says there is work to be done, He will protect us, He wants us to live life to 'the fullest'. I believe this means that when I'm old and crotcthedy (I think that's a word), I'm going to look at all the 'yes's' I said to God and smile. Why? Because there will be a lot to smile about. Seeing people come to Christ, revival in your own household, blessing upon blessing upon blessing. But it all starts with a choice. And it all starts with our knowledge of what is possible and impossible.
Remember Mary? Yeah, that Mary. Jesus' mom Mary. She was a junior high girl who gave birth to her savior. The angel Gabriel comes to here, spells everything out and Mary responds, without blinking, 'I am the Lord's servant.'
What made Mary agree to this mission that could endanger her whole life?? You only have to go one verse prior. 'For with God nothing shall be impossible.' Luke 1:37 (KJV). Being a virgin and having a baby, and oh yeah-this baby will save the world? Possible or impossible? At this moment Mary only needed to say yes. And she did. As we go back and forth with God about what He's asking us to do, debating the possible and impossible, maybe we just need to say yes and let God be God.
I'm only 30 years old but I've already seen God be who He is in my life when I just say yes. This challenges and propels me to say yes even more in the next 30 years so I can be that old man who gets to recline and just smile at how amazing God is.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

8 Minute Abs

The year is 1999. I'm a sophmore in high school. I have the metabolism of a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi. Simply meaning I could burn a 12-pack of Pepsi, eat a whole box of Hot Pockets and still hang around the 175 lb. arena. I miss those days immensely.
I had completed junior high football and was ready for the challenge of high school. I showed up at the weight room at 6:00AM the first day of school for something dreadful called the 'Zero Hour Team'. Simply a group of jocks who were obsessed with lifting weights but had no time after school since they were on 3 different sports teams. I can't tell you how many weights I lifted while completely asleep.
Past all the squat racks and bench presses was a room with a wrestling mat and a tv. This was called the 'Ab Room'. Aww yes. I can still smell it. Looking back I'm not to sure if our PE teachers were certified because they simply popped in a VHS tape called 8 Minute Abs and said, 'Get to work!' If we weren't tired enough at the end they would say, 'Rewind it. And get to work!'
Now the concept of 8 Minute Abs was great-I get to see circles on my stomach if I just do this short video and that's it!! The problem is-it's not just about 8 minutes. That metabolism I mentioned. Yeah it was in order for an oil change and quickly turned from that Charger into a Pinto. Why? Because it was about much more than just 8 minutes.

I fear sometimes we view our faith the same way. And by we-I mean you and me. I mean Christians in America. We get so excited at the beginning of our walk with the Lord because we love the challenge-we love the work. But then we find ways to just get what we 'need'. As we get older we trick our minds into thinking we are spiritually mature and stop trying near as hard. We retire. I'm reminded of a passage in Luke 18:17, 'Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.'
Does this mean we become childish? No. It means we are consumed with who God is! When I played football, I couldn't wait for practice to get over so I could go home, watch football on tv, I would read my playbook before bed-I ate it up! What if we had that same drive for our knowledge of God?! Download a Bible app on your phone so that whenever you had a spare moment you could whip out your phone and read a chapter of the Bible. You start a small group with your neighbors and get truly excited about opening the Bible with them. Every time you see a co-worker you started praying for them by name! At lunch you take time to text someone an uplifting message because you know they need it! You map out Bible verses for your children to start memorizing at home!!
Am I going into spiritual overload for you yet?? Why?...
And I know all of you are expecting me to mention church. Well-honestly-and this is coming from a pastor-church for many people has turned into 8 Minute Abs. Just pop it in-destroy your body for a few minutes, and when you're done-you're done!
Now hear me-corporate worship is important!! It is of utmost importance for a person of faith. We need to be in church!!!! But how many of your neighbors were there this past None? We need to start living Christian lives all day, every day. Only then will we become spiritually fit. Only then will we see complete cities coming to Christ on their knees.

So when will it begin?