So being totally real, next year may be hard. Ugh. I hate to be that person, but you deserve to be warned. But I want to encourage you with a couple of thoughts. First, remember what you know and let this year strengthen you in that. But also remember to grow! Keep an open heart towards people, his Church, and what He’s doing.
I once heard that if you don’t quit, you can’t lose. So don’t quit. And can I share a personal story? Ok… here’s the real and the raw.
I was on my way from my parent’s house to the condo weeping like an absolute child. I was honestly acting like the whole “moving out of your parent’s house” thing was more like a bad breakup than a new stage in life. Ridiculous, I know… you can laugh at me. But this particular time I was frustrated because I knew how much the Lord was asking of me. I was TIRED of paying the price. (If you’re ever feeling like this, that’s when you know you just need to make your main goal everyday knowing Jesus again). I was just worn from choosing to believe God over and over again.
So I cried out to the Lord and told him how I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to pay the price, I don’t want to be faithful and I don’t want to keep fighting to believe him. And what I really meant was I can’t. Both I and the Lord watched me come up short too many times.
Then I felt in my heart God asking me something… but would you do it for them? Would you keep going for them?
The point is that someone has to pay the price. Pastor’s Eric and Erica paid the price for us. Pastor’s Jeff and Beth paid the price to build the ministry that most of us came to know the Lord through. And there are hurting hearts you are called to reach someday, that may not even know it yet, but are relying on you to pay the price. Maybe you’re not planning on being a pastor or something, but Proverbs 10:17 says, “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray”. As Christians, we are all called to show the way to life, so for all of us that involves heeding discipline. So my question to you is… will you? For them?
Whoever them is. Maybe the family or friends in your circle of influence now. Maybe your future kids, husband/wife, or even future ministry… Will you do it for those hearts?
So after honest consideration, I answered the Lord with a yes.
Then I burst out with the source of my frustration and told him that I don’t feel like a superhero. I’ve been spending too many Friday mornings at probation, and have come up short in many areas. I felt like at best I would finish EC “trying”.
I was then reminded that my only two obligations are to not quit and to rely on Jesus. He already paid the greatest price for us. Jesus was not only a great example in this, but proves himself as our strength to do the same. And please excuse my cheesiness, but He always feels like a superhero.
You see, the same Jesus who came and gave you rest when you were saved is the same Jesus that will give you rest wherever you are at. The same Jesus who came and picked you up from the ashes and gave you a hope will be your motivation to keep going to bring it to others. And the same Jesus you fell in love with will be the same voice you listen to when you want to quit.
Because you’re doing it for them. And you would be just like them if someone didn’t come, pay the price and heed to discipline on your behalf.
I once heard that, “Living an undisciplined life weakens the power of your testimony.” Whoa.
So, if your testimony involves Jesus showing himself as your way to life, then your disciplined life should show it for others. This next year, please do this for me - remember YOUR Jesus. Remember Him as your strength, reason, example, and reward to heed to discipline. It will be worth it!
So excited… see you all soon! (: