I don’t know if you were blind-sided or not, a lot of people are. Following Jesus, His Way is not as easy as you might first imagine. People get all jacked up and excited at a Church service or baptism and then discover that life still wants to kick you to the curb most days. Ouch.
It happens all the time. People make a Jesus decision and somehow, like buying a new car, driving it home, then forgetting there are years of payments that go with it. I say this all the time but I’m not sure it registers until it becomes personal. You can never become world class at anything by dabbling. Following Jesus His Way and becoming a fully developed follower who will then go and make another disciple, is a piece of work. It is not an easy thing.
Most churches are not totally honest with people about the work involved to become the best version of ourselves; become the transformed and changed forever person God has in mind for us. Instead, we can make it sound far too easy to make the starting line-up and immediately begin winning championships. It doesn’t work that way. To be honest, it never has.
It’s a lot easier to sell new cars with no down payment than a fixer-upper that doesn’t run that good already. I was just reading this morning (Matthew 10:5-20) when Jesus sent out the original 12 disciples and followers, explaining, “Don’t bother taking a pillow for your head; you won’t get much sleep anyway where I’m sending you.”
Don’t misunderstand; Jesus’ mission had some perks. His disciples were at times helping people along a beach or at a seashore retreat. However much of Jesus style ministry back then, and now, is just plain hard work. A person has to have guts and grit to hang on through times of discouragement and difficulty. How are you doing so far, 2016?
This weekend we are launching a new series, Things Jesus Said, which might surprise you. Over the next four weekends we’ll consider ways Jesus suggests we might elevate our impact in the world this year. Each week we’ll have one big idea, HOPE, GENEROSITY, MERCY, and COMPASSION. I promise to be real; I’m not going to kid you how hard a Jesus directed life could be.
There is stuff in this series all of us can use. Block some time whatever the inconvenience and make this series from start to finish. It can be the best choice you make all week. Maybe you’re like me, still fighting a head cold from shoveling snow last week? Maybe you’re feeling drained, lost a bit of your energy and focus, confidence or whatever.
I’ve got a suggestion: Give Jesus words a fresh look: THINGS JESUS SAID…