Making Much Of…

I’ve been reflecting on what I might change in 2014. I’m not much for resolutions, because it seems as soon as I resolve to do something I revert back into old ways of living. I do think it’s important, however, to have goals, aspirations, or what I call a “carrot” to meet. Goals can be personal, as a family, employment, education – really anything. The trick is to be disciplined on a consistent basis (Is that redundant?), to make slow progress.

How about a small example? Have you ever lost weight? Studies show the slower you lose weight, the greater the chance of keeping the weight off. However, if you lose a ton of weight over a short period, chances are the weight will eventually return.  It all comes down to the dirty word “discipline.”

When you’re gone, what will people say about what you were known for?  Don’t miss this!  I didn’t say “Will you be missed?”  There’s someone (particularly family) who will miss you.  But what will you be known for?  For Mother Teresa, it was serving the poor.  Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time.  Billy Graham will be known as a great evangelist.  You get the idea.

You’re not Mother Teresa.  Michael Jordan would “smoke” you in a game of basketball.  And Billy Graham might lead more to Christ than you will.  But what will you be known for?  Who can’t do what God has called you to do?

I think to be a follower of Jesus, one needs to be passionate.  In other words, we can claim to be a follower but if we’re not doing what He wants us to do, we’re lying (to ourselves and to those around us).  When I think of passion, the Apostle Paul comes to mind pretty quickly.  It was one of his personality traits.  Before he met Jesus, Paul was passionate about killing believers.  After meeting Jesus, Paul was passionate about loving unbelievers.  But wherever life led him, Paul was passionate.

Another important thing:  It wasn’t about Paul.  From 1 Corinthians and a dispute about what personality those in the Church would follow – Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?  I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name…For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.  vss. 13-15, 17 (ESV)

His words bleed passion.  There’s always someone looking to see what Paul said.  But I believe Paul would tell us, “But what did Christ say?”  In other words, Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.  1 Cor 11:1

You will be known for something.  That’s a fact!  So surely we can agree to have a goal that is eternal, something that’s literally the difference between life and death.  Being a great athlete only allows people to acknowledge you in the here and now.  Eventually you’ll be forgotten.  But if you stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves and if you lead people to Christ, those are eternal qualities that will never be forgotten.

Here’s a goal that’s worth attempting to attain:  Make much of Christ.  As a person, a husband, a father, a pastor, a church family, a nation, that’s my prayer.  Amen.

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