Friday, October 24, 2008

Living & Leaving Boldly

I enjoy listening to the podcasted sermons from Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY. For some reason, the preaching of Jon Weece seems to communicate to me in a way that few other preachers can, and since I can't make a 6 hour commute to Lexington weekly for church, I subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. This morning I listened to the last sermon in a series called "One Month to Live" and the sermon was about "Leaving Boldly" from one of the other teaching pastors, Dan Hamel.

He shared this quote from Greg Lavoy, who calls this "The Common Cold of the Soul":
"We get so consumed and confused with all that is going on in life that we live in such a way where sinful patterns never get confronted and changed, abilities and gifts never get cultivated and deployed, until weeks become months, months turn into years, and one day you're looking back on a life of heartfelt conversations you never had, great prayers you never prayed, exhilarating risks you never took, sacrificial gifts you never offered, and lives you never touched. And you're sitting there in your recliner, with a shriveled soul and forgotten dreams, and you realize there is a world of desperate need and a great God calling you to be a part of something bigger than yourself."

He shared that we often lose sight of just how desperately Jesus desires to be a part of our daily life. That is so unfortunately evident in my life. I don't realize that Jesus wants to be a part of my day until it's too late. When I've done things my own way, and I've had to learn that my way is probably not the best, I then decide to come to Jesus with whatever situation I find myself in.

Life could be lived so much more fully. When we live life in mediocrity, not taking any risks, not dreaming big dreams, and not living with any purpose, or on purpose, for that matter, we're lessening how great God's glory could be in our lives. Irenaeus, an early church father from about 202 A.D. said this: "The glory of God is man fully alive." Dan reworded it in this way: "God's glory in your life shines the brightest when you live life to its fullest. When we settle for less, and we play it safe, and we're satisfied with a mediocre life and we always dream bland, colorless dreams, we're not only chipping away at the vibrancy and vitality of our own lives and future, but we're diminishing God's glory. When we settle for less, we make God out to be less."

I was convicted, confronted, and challenged hearing this today. I don't want to live a life that makes God out to be less than who He is. If I lived in such a way that gave Him the greatest glory possible, it still wouldn't be enough to truly capture His greatness. But I should strive for that.

Dan went on to say this in his sermon: "When we chase after the full life that God has created us for...the more we chase after truly great things, the greater we make our God out to be."

I want my life to make God great.
I want to dream great, vibrant, colorful dreams.
I want to live with compassion that cares for people who could never repay me.
I want to take risks and take steps out of my selfish comfort zone.
I want to give sacrificially, not out of obligation, but out of real desire to give.
I want to be used in ways I might never accomplish on my own.
I want to have conversations about Jesus and love and relationships more than I have conversations about the latest person John Mayer is dating or the next fruit some celebrities decide to name their child.
I want to use my time, talents, and energy for others rather than letting them go to waste.
I want to offer grace to those who might not find it elsewhere and might not deserve it. (After all, none of us do...)
I want to ask God before I make decisions about my life.
I want to love genuinely and sincerely until everything around me falls away and people see only love.

How would you live? How will you live?

No comments: