Scripture(s) of the Week
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
“I WILL!!!” I exclaimed out loud as I reached for the fuel pump to fill my truck Monday morning. The couple next to me looked over. I then explained that in the fuel pump handle was a Gospel track that said “Someday you will stand before God!” They smiled, we exchanged some comments, and then went about our day.
Monday morning was slow. I slept in to 7:30, spent time with Jesus, drank coffee, had a call from my parents, and sent a few messages to encourage a dear friend who consistently pushes me into Jesus. I had planned to make it to work by 8:30. But when I was eating cereal and the two year old in the family I live with dropped his poop filled diaper in front of me, I knew my plans for the morning were down the toilet! But who cares about plans anyway?
Fast forward and I was driving to work at 10:30am. I was praying about the events of the day, for the people I love, and how God is using and working in them. I love driving so much for that reason. Just talking to my heavenly father. That is when God reminded me.
I am called to maximize every moment for God and what He has for me. The poopy diaper, time with God, and Gospel track reminded me. That God’s plans are way better than our plans and I never want to be so busy I don’t have room for God.
As a spiritual leader I will give an account to God for myself and for the way I have led others (Hebrews 13:17 & 9:27). For those reasons I want to be multiplying every moment and spend it on what matters most. Which is what I did Monday!
The sermon for this week is on not wasting your life and parable of the talents in Matthew 25. It has been rattling around in my brain for a few days as I know that God has given me talents. I am not sure whether I am a five, a two, or a one talent guy. But I will give account for whatever God gave me.
J.D. Greear in his sermon on Solomon noted that “Every Single day I have the thought that I am going to give an account to God. And at that moment in my life all that matters is what God thinks about what I’ve done, and how I’ve lived” (22m50s). That is a sobering thought. In this area of using every moment I have also been learning that God created me to be me. I can get so caught up in competing and comparing. I compare myself to the five talent guys in their prime and only see my shortfalls. As Joby says in His sermon below, “the five talent guy first recognizes that all he has belongs to God.” And whether I am a five, two, or one talent guy I need to remember that it all belongs to God and I will only be accountable for what God gave me. Not the weight I put upon myself to be someone else.
Recently I heard someone say that… “God created you to be you for a purpose!” If God had wanted another Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear, Andy Stanley, or Rick Warren He would have done it. He created you, and placed you for a purpose. For a reason. And you will give an account to Him for YOUR talents (gifts, time, and abilities). You are not expected, nor tasked to have the same gifts as your heroes in the faith (whoever they may be). Of course learn from them, and let great leaders and pastors inspire your walk with God. But don’t compare. Because “When we compare; we can only lose” (Joby, 12m50s). And “I Will” give an account for what God gave me, not what God gave them.
Recently I have been learning that at the very core God is searching for people marked by faith and the struggle to trust Him and walk in everyday faithfulness. Not perfection, but a pattern. And He knows we can only do that with His help. That is what is so beautiful about maximizing every moment. He has given us a task that we can only complete if we walk with Him. We must allow Him to do the work, to alter our plans, and work in us (Philippians 2:12; Colossians 1:29).
So, yes! “I WILL!” give an account like that Gospel track said (Romans 14:12). Not for my sin which has been paid for and exchanged for Christ’s righteousness. But for how I used every moment, every talent, and every breath God gave me to glorify and enjoy Him forever.
At the end of the day I am a servant of a God who is everything I am not. I am so thankful that my salvation rests in eternity with Christ and a God who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” I am neither good nor faithful. But the God who is at work within me is. He is my hope. And He sees me as Blameless, Holy, and above reproach because of his Son (Colossians 1:22).
Yes I will give an account for every moment. And I also will get to spend the rest of eternity with a God who loves me, and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). And that is what excites and motivates me to keep living for eternity. To make the most of every moment! Because one day, I will be home for eternity!
I would encourage you to meditate on the passage(s) above as God leads and be sure to listen to the sermon for this week if you can!
Quote of the Week
“You will disciple your kids. But will you disciple them to be Christ followers?” – Patrick Stalnaker
I had the opportunity to teach a breakout on missional culture last Saturday that included this quote. Students are going to follow something/someone. And what you will skip church for says way more to your kids than what comes out of your mouth. So will we disciple the next generation to follow Christ? Or follow the sports, celebrities, sloth, or work that we worship and put before Christ in our lives?
Sermon of the Week: (40min)
This sermon was so encouraging. I know this passage is preached a lot. But I enjoyed the way pastor Joby preached God’s truth. “I’m just a nobody, willing to tell anybody about the somebody who wants to save everybody! ” – 1m40s
If C.S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, and Jeff Foxworthy had a kid, Joby would be it. So enjoy this sermon as he opens God’s word and I pray you will be encouraged to take whatever God has given you, and use it for His mission.
“Use all the treasure that God has given to you to treasure Christ before all things and that is where you will find your joy!” – 36m10s
Joby Martin – July 24, 2017
Don’t Waste Your Life – Matthew 25:14-30
A little random. But as a West Virginia farm boy I loved the following quote.
“Going to church no more makes you a christian; than putting your head in an oven makes you a biscuit.” – 6m50s