Right now, as we are all gearing back up to head into the new school year and all that the fall season entails, let me ask you a question:
Are you planning to survive, or are you planning to THRIVE?
In John 10:10, we learn that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…but Jesus says that He came that we might have LIFE, and have it to the full. In essence, Jesus is saying that He wants us to thrive. He wants us to be hitting on all cylinders, to experience life in all its beauty and joy, to (as Thoreau put it) be “sucking the nectar out of life.” Yet how many of us, if we are honest, are actually experiencing this abundance that our savior says he came to give?
As a pastor to several hundred people in Charlotte, NC I have the privilege of getting to know all kinds of people and get to hear all sorts of stories. Unfortunately, most of the stories are filled with tragedy, hurt, and a hefty dose of heartache. And usually, those human hearts that have ached long enough inevitably decide to build up walls of self-protection to try to prevent future hurts from happening. Therefore, the longer we live, the more we tend to live insulated, isolated, and fragmented lives…”safe” behind our walls. Sadly, the thief has been having his way.
Yet Jesus still beckons us to come out and play.
He patiently promises that if we will risk all and follow him…if we are willing to surrender control and find ourselves on a faith adventure that doesn’t necessarily promise rose petals…then and only then may we find ourselves on the verge of awe, tasting goodness, experiencing beauty.
I don’t know about you…but I want more.
I want more of God this fall than ever before. I’m tired of the level that I have been living on. The sermon that we heard at Redemption the other week from Dharius Daniels opened with this quote “God will allow you to live on whatever level you settle for.” My question to both you and me is this…what level is that going to be?
Will we settle for the level of surviving…or will we reach up with arms outstretched in faith for a new level of thriving…a level which we perhaps have never touched before?
I have decided that I am reaching up…I hope you will join me.
P.S. I will be posting a series of videos in the coming days entitled “Planning to THRIVE this Fall.” They come from a challenge that I presented to the courageous people of Redemption Charlotte. I recorded it and plan to make it available because I really feel like God revealed some things to me and has been answering a lot of my questions lately…and I’d love the opportunity to share what I’ve been learning with you. Some of my questions include:
- Is there a recipe for thriving?
- What are the components to the life of a fully engaged disciple?
- How do we grow in abundance as we mature?
I hope to address these questions and more in the coming days, and I hope you will engage in the quest with me. Cheers! ~BB