I wanted to issue a special challenge to our members, new and old, active and lapsed. We’re still in the cusp of a new year and that special influence of trying to start the year off right is as important as ever. It’s still January! Don’t let the urgency of the new go away without seizing it.
I always try to choose a theme for the year based on where I was the previous year, where I am now, and then compare that with where God truly wants me to be.
My theme for this year is BETTER.
I simply want to do BETTER this year in everything.
You all know that I’m a very driven person, but I’m not doing enough of the right things or enough of the things I do in the right way. I’ve been so scared forever of making people mad or offending people by being me, but I’ve had enough of that.
I learned from one of Doug Dorman’s lesson a few weeks ago that I need to give that to God. God created me to be BETTER than that. I can’t keep letting people dictate how I follow God’s will for my life. I recall some words to the effect of ‘not my will but yours’ (they’re in Luke 22:42 if you want to read them).
I believe He created you to be BETTER than that too. I’m betting there are some of you (all of you really, but I’m trying to be kind) that need to let go of some things to serve God BETTER this year.
None of the people that started this church with me are still here, and most of them for pretty weak excuses. That made me wonder. I’m betting that…
…some of you are more concerned about __________ (insert your excuse here) than church. Examples include work/free time/family time/kid’s homework/Super Bowl/Walking Dead/yoga/pet/spouse/etc.
…for some of you, your only public witness for Christ is to repost silly Bible memes on Facebook.
…some of you claim to be Christian but only in front of other Christians.
…many of you only do God things an hour or two a week at church. God things? You know, pray, read your Bible, fellowship.
…some of you quit this church to attend another one, but you don’t go there either.
I could go on and on, but there’s no need. It’s your job to examine that ‘thing’ that keeps you out of church and away from God. That’s if you’re brave enough to open up to God like that.
Don’t keep praying by living your life like this…”Dear God, I know I don’t serve you in any active way, but thank you for the blessings, please keep them coming.”
Did you know one of our church members just died after being sick and in the hospital for 4 months? Did you know that in 4 months only three people visited him?
Did you know one of our members is having surgery #3 this week? How many of you have called to see if you could help in any way?
Half of our members are trying to lose weight. Is anyone helping motivate them?
One of our members has been in prison for a year. How many of you have written him a letter?
Almost all of our members have little kids. How many of you are doing anything to help those parents shepherd these kids?
Even with everything I do, running my own businesses, pastoring this church, and parenting four kids I find the time. I’ve been available when some of you called me in the middle of the night. I married several of our members last year. I visited Jerry over and over in the hospital and was the last person other than his wife to see him before he passed. I’ve sent Shane over 50 letters and packages.
As a good friend told me recently to challenge my own activities, he said, “You need to cut the crap.” Except he didn’t say crap. He said that other word for crap that got my attention even more.
Well, now’s your time to cut the crap. Here’s your chance. I’m putting it out there. Once you see it and read it, you’re responsible for it. God knows you read it. You can’t unsee it. I hope God says to you, “Remember when David challenged you to…”
We’re starting a new series this week called Outlive Your Life. It’s about leaving behind a legacy that actually means something to other people. It’s about leaving behind something better than what you’re doing now by seeing the eternal ramifications the life you lead.
Some of you aren’t leaving behind anything more than a long string of social media posts. I’m sure some of those posts get a lot of ‘Likes’, but even Facebook won’t last forever.
It’s time to cut the crap and do something BETTER this year.
If you’re not coming to church, start there. We meet Sundays at 6. If you’re not coming to ours, tell me where you’re going, so I don’t think you’re making excuses.
If you’re coming to church and not doing anything for God beyond that, join one of the activities some of our people are into. I’m just not convinced that your ‘being a good example for Jesus at yoga class’ is cutting it.
If these words made you mad, and you want to let me know, make an appointment. Buy me coffee and I’ll be willing to listen to you rant before I tell you again to cut the crap.