Saved individually. Love Jesus as a group.
My wife and I were watching a TV show where the major character was having a meltdown. During which, he went out into the pouring rain to build a wall…all by himself. He worked hours upon hours on that wall.
His classmates watched and wanted to help him, but were told by the headmaster not to lift a finger until the young man asked for help. All of a sudden, the young man stood before them in their warm and dry dining hall. Totally broken, he said, “I need help.”
His fellow classmates left their hot meals behind and ran out into the cold pouring rain to help him finish that wall. All he had to do was admit that he needed help.
How often do believers act like this young man? Yes, our initial decision to follow Jesus was made individually, but loving Him through each choice is done with others.
There is a reason why the Spirit put us into the body of Christ the moment we placed our faith in Jesus (1 Cor. 12:13). There is also a reason why He had the following words penned, “Confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
Transparency with at least one Jesus believer is a prerequisite to making the kind of choices needed to experience the life we came to Jesus for in the first place. We can hit the wall on our own or we can build the wall with others.
Always remember your focus determines your direction.
I recently was on a plane when a commercial came on the above head TV that caught my eye. It showed a rather heavy person exercising to a workout video playing on a screen above a giant muffin sitting on a plate.
You could see the person constantly eyeing the muffin. Was it an incentive or distraction? This person didn’t want to lose weight. They really wanted to eat the muffin and had to put out enough calories in order to do so.
If you want to stay the same, keep focusing on the muffin while doing Christian activities. If it’s your desire to become more like Jesus, however, you’ll have to change your focus. It’s like a mountain biker friend once told me, “Your bike goes where your eyes see.”
Scripture says to set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. By doing so, you’ll not only become more like Jesus, you’ll also be ready for His return.
You only know what you know, but is what you know true?
Someone very wise once said, “We are most blinded not by things we don’t know, but by things we do know.” Our brains have been collecting information for decades. The question that naturally arises is, “Is what’s been stored in the space above our shoulders even true?”
Without an outside source of truth, there simply is no way to know what’s been stored up there is true or not. Yet, even if you were exposed to the truth, would you believe it and the change what’s inside your head with it, which is the basis for all your decisions?
It’s as a philosopher once penned, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
You can go on believing what you want to believe. But is what you believe working for you? If not, you must decontaminate your brain from all the things that you hold to be true, but are not. Let me offer a source of truth – Jesus and His Word. Start by reading The Book, and then listening to and following what you hear Jesus say to you in it. This WILL change your life!
Choose Your Words Carefully.
Words are powerful both for destruction and for development. We all know this fact; but in reality, are we careful in the words we choose with others and just as importantly, with ourselves? I was in two situations today that drove this home.
First, a friend and I were having a conversation with a person living on the streets. I asked him, “How can we help you?” By help though, did I mean that he obviously needed our help because of where he was living? Wouldn’t it be a bit arrogant to think that my lifestyle – living in a stick-built home – is somehow better than his tent or car, if that choice fits his way of living in freedom? Depending on how he took the word help, I could have been helping or hurting the situation.
Second, I was talking with a mom who was overwhelmed in the caring for her growing physically, but mentally challenged adult all by herself. Her words, “I’m done,” expressed her exhaustion on so many levels. She was running on fumes; and yet, the words she used to describe herself were only sucking the remaining fumes out of her tank.
Words, choose them carefully in how you talk to others and to yourself. Filter your words through the life giving words found in Scripture, the Source of Truth. They will not only free you from destruction, but change your life for the better as well.
Church is not about your needs.
“Are you a hero or a hero maker?” Our society tells us that we have to be the hero in order to make a difference. And yet, heroes will be forgotten in time while a hero maker’s legacy will last for generations to come.
You see, the essence of what it means to be the church is for the Spirit of God to use each believer to produce Christlike character in…others. That is hero makers, whom Jesus, the hero, is looking for more hero makers.
Be the church by being a disciple who makes more (others coming to faith in Jesus) and healthy disciples (others growing in their faith). As you do, you’ll see Jesus smile on His return because you’re letting Him be the hero as you make more hero makers!