Happy Leap Day, a day four years in the making.
You only get this day every four years, enabling you to have an extra day this year. What are you going to do with it?
You could take your extra day and binge watch something on Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming service. (I have internet now that enables me to actually binge watch Netflix.)
You could spend it planning something exciting coming up, like a vacation or a wedding. (I have both in my future.)
You could spend the day getting alone with the Lord in a way that you haven’t. That actually sounds wonderful.
You could get alone and plan your life. We spend a lot of time planning any number of things (like vacations and weddings) without spending any time planning our lives.
We spend our time drifting through life until we finally wake up and realize that most of our life is complete. Our lives haven’t turned out the way we thought they would and sometimes we look back with some regrets. Why?
Because we haven’t been intentional about it.
So, today, redeem the day. Maybe it won’t be this exact day, but you have an extra one this year. Redeem it. Take some time and get away from everything else. Spend some time alone with the Lord. Spend some time planning the rest of your life. No, not every detail. Figure out where you are and where you want to be. Then make a plan to get there.
After than? Plan to do this regularly. Review your plan. Tweak it. Update it. Redeem it.
What are you doing with your extra day this year?
When certain things show up in your life, you have to take notice, right?
Last week I mentioned that the word clarity is showing up in my life. It’s everywhere. It’s in a book I’m reading. The word is in at least a podcast or two (or more) every week. With my worldview I would be stupid to not think the Lord is trying to get me to focus on clarity, right?
Another word that keeps showing up is intentionality (is that a word?). It’s easy to drift through life with no intention and then wake up one day near 50, 60 or even older wondering what happened. Living an intentional life is necessary for those of us who follow Christ.
Finally, calling has been everywhere for the past few days. It’s at church. It’s in podcasts. It’s in blogposts. We are called, you and I, before knowing Christ, coming to Christ and all the days of our life.
So, forgive me if I focus on these subjects for a while. I’m learning about them. I intend to bring what I learn to you and together we can move along in our journeys.
We all gets things a little mixed up occasionally. Sometimes we do this to ourselves. Other times, we are led to confusion. Take, for example, what Jesus’ last instructions for us were.
This is commonly called the Great Commission. I have heard it preached so many times in my life that it is a call for us, the Church, to go. I wonder how many people entered the mission field thinking that they had to go to a foreign country to satisfy these last words Jesus left us with.
Unfortunately, I have been susceptible to this in my life. I thought that I had to listen to Jesus’ call on my life that I had to go. I’ve come to realize that I had it all wrong. That wasn’t Jesus’ word at all. It was something else.
Jesus called us to make disciples. Within that commission, He tells us how to do it.
Yes, we are to go. If we only looked at those two or three verses we might think we had to go somewhere else, but that isn’t the case. We might be called to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the remotest parts of the earth. Some of should go locally, some regionally, some nationally and others, truly, to foreign missions. The key is going. We need to be active in taking our faith to others in order for them to be made into disciples.
Next, we are to baptize. Now, I’ve had the privilege to baptize my children. It isn’t limited to a pastor having to do it. After all, Phillip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. But you don’t have to physically do the baptizing. After going you just want to see those who are receiving Christ to be baptized. You want to see them identify with Christ in one of the few things that all of us share in Christ.
Finally, we are to teach. Now, you might say that you are not a teacher. You don’t have the spiritual gift of teaching. That’s ok. You don’t have to be a “teacher” to teach. If you are further along in your faith than someone else, you can teach. You can share what you have learned with that person.
Want to make disciples? Go. Baptize. Teach. It’s really that simple.
Are you making disciples in the world?
I’ve not lived up to my goal of being more regular with this blog. What’s going on? Well, a couple of things.
First, I’m training for a half marathon in a few weeks. That’s taking up some my extra time.
Second, we’re having a Fitbit competition at work. The goal is based on average steps for our team. I’ve been averaging 25,000 steps to help our team average. That’s taking some extra time and energy.
So, that’s what’s going on.
I’ll start today with that simple question. What is your greatest treasure?
It could be anything. It could be your family. Your spouse. Your children or all family as a whole.
It could be your job. You do great in your career and, above everything else, you pursue it with all of your heart.
Maybe it’s your sports team. You live, breathe and die a particular team. Perhaps it’s whatever sport is in season.
It could be some possession. Anything you own. Your house. Your car.
The thing about it is that all of these are wrong. At least they are if you and I share the same faith.
The Bible is clear that Jesus should be our greatest treasure. He is our pearl of great price. He is the treasure we find in a field and sell everything so we can buy the field.
The problem is that few of us get this right. We fall short of truly making Jesus our treasure.
How do we make this happen? How do we make Jesus our greatest treasure?
We have to spend time with Him. We have to spend to become so intimate with Him that we are enthralled with Him. It’s much like when we first met our spouse. We wanted nothing more than to spend time with them. We thought about them all the time. We might have written love letters to them. We couldn’t wait to talk to them on the phone. We might even give up a meal so we could spend time with them.
Let’s do what we can to pursue Christ in such a way in our lives that He truly is our greatest treasure.
I said sometime back that I was not going to have One Word for 2016. I stand by that, but, to some degree, I have a word for the year. The funny thing is that I didn’t pick this word. It seems to have picked me.
I’m reading a book right now and this word is found throughout it.
I have seen this word showing up in social media.
Other things I have been reading have highlighted this word.
This particular word has been following me around for a few weeks now. It’s kind of like when you decide that you want to buy a certain car and begin seeing that vehicle everywhere.
So, while I won’t declare myself to have a word for the year, I am focusing on trying to make this word alive in my life.
The word is clarity.
I am trying to bring clarity to everything I do in my job. However, I ‘m not stopping there.
My relationships need clarity.
My church life needs clarity.
My finances need clarity. And it goes on. Each area of my life needs clarity.
I am trying to focus on clarity for the remainder of the year so that it becomes a natural part of my life. Without it, it is easy to just drift in whatever direction the wind blows.
Add Deadpool to the list of successful comic book movies. It galloped past the competition, setting a February record for box office receipts, beating out last year’s 50 Shades of Gray.
As anyone who knows me, well, knows, I love superhero movies. They are my sweet spot. These are the movies I look forward to each year. This one is unlike any other that has hit the scene.
Wade Wilson is a mercenary who develops cancer. He agrees to undergo experimental treatments that will cure him of his cancer and give him extraordinary abilities. It works, but leaves him changed and unable to live a normal life. He pursues those who made him this way and save his girlfriend. That’s the G rated version of what happens.
First of all, don’t take a child to see this movie. Language, violence and sex are just a few of the reasons it’s rated R. Generally speaking, if you can think of a reason for a movie to be R rated, it’s in here.
There are redeeming qualities to the movie. Wade Wilson will stick up for the little guy. He does this by helping out a young girl with a stalker problem. He also is extremely loyal to those he cares about. Other than that? Well, let’s just say that few of us would really want to hang out with this character.
If you want standard superhero fare, just wait over a month to see Batman take on Superman. After that, Captain America will be just around the corner. This movie is nothing like those.