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May 18, 2017

I'm sure you're already thinking, "how could you be willing to lose?!"  In most things: competition, work, school, etc. we don't ever think about or plan not to win.  Parents, teachers, mentors (spiritual and professional), and coaches teach us how to succeed in life.  But what if I was to tell you the greatest leader of all didn't lead with ways to win but lead with the question: "Are you willing to lose it all?"  


This past Monday we posted a #mondaymotivation on the Luke 9:62


Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  


We wanted to motivate people to be serious about their walk with the Lord.  A life fully committed to Christ is not a life of gain, but a life of losing.


Let us explain... Christ did not promise us personal gain in light of following him (Luke 9:58).  To be exact, he tells us that we need lose everything before we can be His disciple (Mark 10:17-21).

Are you starting to see the problem?  Why are so many people walking away from a life fully committed to Christ?  


For so many years we're taught to win.  Taught to succeed.  Taught to strive for the glass ceiling.  Then we hear about this life with Christ.  A life of love, grace, and understanding.  But no one is leading with: A life with Christ means losing it all to receive his love, grace, and understanding.  But doesn't Christ give His love, grace, and understanding freely?  Yes, but for us to receive His love, grace, and understanding freely we have to give up all that we hold so dearly aka losing it all for Christ so that we can experience this. 


We've been preaching in according to the old bait and switch routine?  You tell a kid they can have this shiny new toy free of charge and when they come to get the new shiny toy, they find that they have to give up all their toys to get said toy.  What kid would do this?  Do you blame the kid for walking away from the one shiny toy, weeks laters, to get back all their old toys?


It's time for us to get serious, stop sugar coating what it means to follow Christ, and start leading with real facts:


First, Let's lead with a critical truth.  Christ is calling us to abandon our secular life - a life of personal gain (Mark 10:21).


*Note: Christ wants us to give up all that we hold so dear so that we won't look back (Luke 9:62).  He wants us focused on Him and Him alone.  He's a jealous God and rightfully so because he cares deeply about His relationship with you and what he's offering us (eternal life in Him) we shouldn't want anything but what he provides for us even if that means no place for us to lay our heads (Luke 9:58).  If we cling to our secular things then how can we look to Him?  How can we depend on Him?  How can we follow Him if we put our personal gain in front of His will for our lives? 


Second, Christ is calling us to bring Him the glory and further His kingdom in all that we do i.e. His will is now our will.  Use what God has given us to speak into the lives of those around us (Psalm 143:10-12).


Third, in order us to bring Him the glory and further His kingdom, we must remember His commandment Matthew 22:36-40: 


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 


*Note the first and greatest part of this Commandment - Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.  What he wants us to do in this first part of the commandment backs up the first critical truth of God wants us to give up everything for us to follow Him.  He wants ALL of us, not one foot in and the other out the door. 


*Note the second part: Love your neighbor as yourself.  For us, to Love, we must first Listen and Learn.  Take the time to hear who they are, what they do, why they do what they do, and what they believe/how they got to those beliefs.  If we want to share about a life with Christ we must first understand who they are.  Understand them so we can then direct them towards Him.  You can't love aka give guidance, reassurance, or understanding properly unless we first Listen and Learn.  We call this the 3 L's - Listen, Learn, and Love.


Take these three facts and use them in this order people will respect you and appreciate your honesty versus the old bait and switch way.  We're not guaranteeing conviction and conversion.  Only God can do that.  We are here as Christ's ambassadors pointing people towards the open door of a life fully committed to Christ.


Inventory your life.  Is there anything holding you back from living a life fully committed to Christ?  Have you given everything to the Lord so that He can use you for His will and not your own?  We all struggle with this and will continue to, but we have to be in community and hold each other accountable (Hebrews 10:24-25; Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:14).


Thanks and God Bless!


David Wildman




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