Below is a quick email that I sent to our staff and lay leaders at Sonrise Baptist Church to simply challenge them and encourage them. It is from Seth Godin and you can subscribe to his posts as well by using the link. I hope that you find it useful as well whether it be in ministry, your office, or in everyday life.
“It’s completely up to you”
… and that’s the problem.
I was picking out the mat for a framed photo and there were a thousand colors to choose from. The framer uttered the scary invocation, putting the choice back to me.
So many things are now completely up to us, more than ever before. Where and how and when we work and invest and interact and instruct and learn…
If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you’ve already made a serious error.
It seems to me that passing the buck on this merely because it’s easier than choosing is precisely the wrong strategy. It enables an abdication of power that will be very hard to reverse. It’s up to you, and that’s part of the power that you’ve got.
Back to the framer: I picked, because that’s my job.”
So. Yes we obviously depend on the leadership of the Holy Spirit but there is a tendency to use this as a spiritual “cop out” to run from responsibility or cover up for laziness. This is not to insenuate or point fingers. (Relax…) But, throughout Scripture God uses obedient people. Obedience says: I hear the call and it’s up to me!
So are you really making your church or office a better place to worship and make disciples for our community and for the nations?
1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain, 2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; 3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord ‘s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. 5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. 6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. Psalm 11: 1-7, ESV
Psalm 11 is a song written from a heart filled with confidence. One can hear the assurance of a person that knows a God of justice. The writer is confident that the Lord hears his cries, answers his prayers, rewards obedience and is also the avenger of the evildoer. He writes, “In the Lord I take refuge…” to begin his song of thanks.
What a word refuge is when you think about it. Think about this for a moment. When you are driving home from a long day at work would you say to someone else “I am going home for the day” or “I am going to my place of refuge.” Look at this question from a relational view. If you are afforded the opportunity of having an evening out with your spouse would you say to another person, “I am going out with my wife or husband tonight” or say “I am having an evening alone with the one that provides me refuge.” The simplicity alone of changing this one word stirs the heart.
Let’s take a brief look at a refuge. You see on one level a refuge is a place of safety, a shelter or dwelling place that is secure from harm. At the same time, it is something that offers a peaceful shelter from dangers and anxieties. As husbands, wives, parents, or as the one that others depend on for the needs of life the Lord has called us to provide and be a refuge for our families. What an incredible thought to feel like our spouse looks at us like a place of safety and doesn’t hide in fear. What a blessing to think that our families have no greater desire to come not just to a house but a “home” where it is a refuge. How thankful we should be when we are allowed to worship together with other Believers at a local church where we can take refuge!
What an encouraging reminder this morning that the Lord is our refuge. He is truly the Ultimate Refuge. When emotions tell us that there is nowhere to turn we are reminded that we can turn to Him.
Think about this today as you go about your schedule. Where is your refuge? In whom do you turn to as a provider of refuge? Turn to Him.
As I am preparing a post that centers around the polls from last week please allow me to begin a series of new questions for a new week. There are two questions on this link. Again, thanks to everyone for their insight. Please feel free to ask others to contribute as well.
“Too many couples go through life as business partners rather than friends. This is why when the kids move out the problems can begin. It is because the ‘business relationship’ is terminated.” -Kenny Norris
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”(Psalm 90:12 ESV)
If the numbers are accurate then as a man living in the United States I will possibly be given 70 years of life on earth. So with 365 a days year that comes to 25,550 days in 70 yrs. If this is a fact for me then I have 12,410 days left here.
In months to live: 12 months a year comes to 840 month over 70 years. For the sake of argument, I may have 408 months left here.
What does this say to us? What does this tell you?
For myself at age 39, approximately half of my life is behind me. I desire to live the next 50% of my life better than I lived the first 50%.
James says it like this:
“yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14, ESV)
Resolve to make the days that you have count. The Gospel calls us to life that is bigger than ourselves and empowers us to live that life.