We started a new series this last Sunday morning called “GIVE UP.” The challenge is to consider giving up my gain, my interests, my vices, and my everything for the sake of following Jesus, knowing Him, making Him known, and living out His mission in my everyday. Three questions to really pray through and ponder as we walk through this challenging series together:
- will I live a self-life or a sent-life?
- am I willing to give up everything?
- what will I let Him change?
We say Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but are we willing to take seriously what He actually taught? Or are we going to continue to follow an American-Dream Jesus, as some teachers today have described it, with whom we are much more comfortable? Here are 4,500,026,002 reasons to listen to the actual Jesus and actually be willing to give up our gain for the sake of the gain of others:
- …because even the most loose figures estimate that 4.5 billion people on earth are lost – they simply have not found their way in this life, which is in Christ. Either they do not follow Jesus or have not even had the chance to hear about and know His love.
- …because over 26K children die every day of starvation, sickness, or brutality
- …because Jesus clearly told His followers to be willing to give all they have for the poor and broken, as well as to make disciples of all the nations (to learn of and live out His love)
- …because we won’t lose out on a thing – but those around us may gain abundant life.
In Luke 12:33, Jesus taught that His followers should sell their possessions and give their gain to the poor. Read that verse again on your own. And reread it. And reread it. Stare at it if need be.
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.
QUESTION – Did Jesus really mean that? Let’s say He did not. Then what does that mean if it does not mean what it says? Let’s say He did. Then, will I ask Him for wisdom to live it and surrender to Him to make the necessary changes in my life to live it?
I was honest with the Westpoint family Sunday morning, and I am being honest here – THIS SCARES ME TO NO END. It hits close to home (thus the reason for the logo the way it is), because it affects my life, my wife, my kids, everything. But oh how it might affect us to see “on earth as it is in heaven.” Oh how it might affect those around us to see and taste the love and generosity of the living God, and then they would see “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Are you in? Let’s commit to pray this week together, asking for wisdom and voicing our willingness to surrender even though we are not exactly sure what that exactly means.
- Huddle up with your family or your friends and discuss these two questions: “If we began to sell our possessions and give to the poor, what do you think would count as a “want” possession and a “need” possession? Would you be willing to go without those if you knew that because of it a homeless person would have clean clothes to wear or a local family who was jobless would have groceries to eat or a girl across the world would be freed from slavery or a little boy in Latin America would have rice to eat and could attend school?
- Continue that discussion over these next 4 weeks, and let’s grow together to GIVE UP our gain, our interests, our vices, and our everything.
Be looking for the 2nd devo of the week soon! Praying for you and all of us together as we listen and learn and live His ways. I love you guys!