May the Fourth be with you all! For those of you around my age, one of the highlights of our childhood was Star Wars. Many of us had a collection of Star Wars figures, lightsabers, and in my case, a Star Wars pillow case and bed sheets. Between my brother and I we had quite the collection of Star Wars paraphernalia. The thing that put us over the top was our collection of Star Wars themed Pez dispensers. As I was thinking of Star Wars today and the message series that we are currently doing at the church, I was reminded of the most amazingly simple “Jesus plan” to make a difference in the world. Pour yourself into those that want to be trained like their master. In Star Wars it was to be a Jedi Knight. In the life of a Christian, it is to live like Jesus and love like Jesus!
In our culture, we have put a tremendous amount of energy, insight and literature into becoming a better leader. Just run down to Chapters and see how many volumes of books there are on the topic of leadership. The ironic thing is that throughout Jesus’ ministry, He never put a major emphasis on leadership. He put it on a concept called “followership”. In essence what He was saying was to become a better leader, be a better follower!
After I came home from church on Sunday I received a text from a friend in ministry who wrote the following: “Come as you are, but don’t leave as you came! When we choose to follow Jesus, He sees beyond our faults, our hang-ups, our flaws, our masks, attitudes and idiosyncrasies. Jesus always sees potential and promise in us. God grants us an uncommon life to the degree we surrender our common one. Surrender your life and follow Him!” As I thought about that text the simplicity of the Jesus life hit me. It is all about surrender! To follow someone else is to surrender your own plans and to place the plans of another above your own. That is what Jesus was saying. Surrender your life for Mine! Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 16:25:
(Message) – “Then Jesus went to work on His disciples. ‘Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?’”
Some of you may be admiring Jesus from a distance. Some of you have made the decision to inquire about Jesus. Some of you have responded to Jesus. But now it is time to go all in! Make the decision today to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus! I guarantee it, your life will never be the same again!