If you were at the last Jobels you’ll remember that I spoke on the defining moments that impact our lives.
When you look back over 2014 you might think of defining moments that were good, for example, you might have made a new friend or started a new job, some of you might have ended a habit or started coming to church more often. Some of you might have decided to follow Jesus and are working to being an effective disciple.
On the other hand, some of you might have had defining moments that were painful, you might have made a bad judgement call about something and the impact has been huge. You might have walked away from things that you, in hindsight, should have continued. You might have decided to end toxic friendships but failed and perhaps even the resolutions of January 2014 are now a long and distant memory!
So what now? We are at the end of January and roughly 8% of us will be still committed to our New Years resolutions. What lies ahead for us in the rest of 2015?
At Jobels, I mentioned the story of the feeding of the 5000 (you’ll find it in John’s Gospel Chapter 6) and drew particular attention to the boy who provided the fish and bread; let’s call him Billy.
Billy had no idea what events would unfold. He probably asked his mum to pack him some lunch, he must have thought he’d be away for a while, or there was a long trip to get to where Jesus was, as five loaves and two fish would have fed him for a while.
Jesus, it says in the scriptures already knew what He was going to do so can we deduce from that, Jesus knew that Billy would be involved before he did.
We don’t know really whether he was bullied into giving up his food or what, but like to think that he gave it willingly into God’s hands to bless and to use.
Do you ever wonder what was going through Billy’s mind when he gave up his bread and fish? He could have thought, ‘That’s great, but I hope there’s some left for me!’, could he have thought ‘Even if it just feeds Jesus and the disciples that’s enough for me’ but what if he thought ‘Something great is about to happen here and I got to be a part of it.’
Let me press that home
Something great – is about to happen – right here – right now – because I gave Jesus what He asked for.
Do we not find ourselves in a similar situation?
We as a leadership are not trying to bleed anyone dry or wear anyone out or make you fit a role you were not designed to fit.
We all, us included, have an opportunity to hear God and give what He is asking us to give. That includes our time, our finances and our gifts and talents. And I believe with every ounce of my being that something great will happen if I, Nathan Weaver, give exactly what I’m being asked to give into the hands of a miraculous God.
What does this involve?
Well many of you will remember that I also mentioned to you a film I like called ‘In time’ where Justin Timberlake is part of a social structure where ‘time’ was the currency. If you wanted to pay for something you paid in ‘time’, if you worked you earned ‘time’ instead of money and the brutality of it was that when you ran out of ‘time’ (the log was kept like a digital display on their forearm) you ran out of life.
Life is made up of moments or minutes, I’m amazed that if I put something in the microwave for 2 minutes, I will never get that 2 minutes back – ever! But before you get depressed about that just think for a moment about the power of your time and all the things you have done with it that have made a real difference.
I think about Finley and know that not one moment spent with him or my wife Jen will be wasted time. I think about the time I’ve spent with some of you perhaps before you followed Jesus. Not one minute of that was wasted.
I wonder if our time is perhaps the most precious thing we have? The scientists cannot create more and the rich cannot buy more. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that worrying about things will not add a moment to our lives either.
Right now as you are reading this let me ask you, are you spending your time wisely? Are you using your time to become the sort of person that you want to be?
Are you using it to better your marriage – your relationships with your children – your health – your spiritual life?
Are you using your time to become the sort of person you want to be?
Bill Hybels says this: “The thoughtful prayerful recrafting of my personal schedule can be one of the holiest endeavours I put my hands to.”
What ever you want to become – show it through the careful, prayerful creating of a schedule that demonstrates the things that are most important to you as a follower of Jesus.
If you are a Christ follower is your time should reflect your growth. Dallas Willard says “Being a disciple invites us to make effort.” Any habit, practice or relationship takes effort to move it in the right direction and I’d hazard a guess that if we are bored in our faith it is probably because we are expecting God to make all the effort and putting no time into developing the most rewarding of all relationships.
Why not have a look at Jeremiah 29:12-13, “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree. “I’ll turn things around for you…”
When you call, when you come and pray and when you go looking for God, He will answer you and will turn things around.
Maybe some of us can hold on that as our promise for this year.
If you want to see defining moments throughout 2015 please don’t be a spectator to all that God is doing here at New Springs. Bring what you have and what you are and place it prayerfully into the hands of Jesus and watch Him work the miracle.
I am so excited about this year and I cannot wait to see what God does through a group of simple, committed and faithful people.
I am praying that you will have a breakthrough year. I pray that this year you will see defining moments in your health, your finances, your relationships and your spiritual life – all you perhaps need to do is offer your ‘fish and bread’, what you have in your hand and let Jesus do the rest.