Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Do You Experience a Life Worth Living, or Just Read About It?

I want to have a life worth living, do you? To have a life worth living, I must choose to take risks, be exposed to potentially dangerous elements and put my heart on the line for those God calls me to engage. A life worth living has deprived me of my life, my pride and my priorities. A life worth living has given me real life, real exaltation and real priorities - all of these things are defined by Jesus Himself and are found easily if you read the Gospels. Jesus invites you and me to have a life worth living. Jesus promises to walk with you and empower you to live this life. Because He invites you, I also encourage you to follow His invitation. Most of us like to read or watch adventure stories. The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Braveheart and the Lord of the Rings are popular examples of our God inspired thirst for adventure, battle and winning. But if we are to experience the real depth of adventure and a life worth living, we must each choose to step out into the adventure that God places before us. For many people, they would rather watch or read about a life worth living instead of living that life. To live our a life of risk, exposure and pain is necessary if real life is to be experienced. We each have to choose how we will live out our lives. Will we watch others live a life worth living and wonder if we could ever do that, or, will we choose to step out and walk the life worth living knowing that pain and sacrifice lies ahead - but also the words, "well done my good and faithful servant, enter into my rest." In choosing to live out the life Jesus invites us to requires a stream of decisions that will make up who you are. A life worth living begins in our hearts and flows out into our decisions. Matthew 12:33-37 & Matthew 15:10-20 lay this out clearly. I suggest we all spend some time pondering these passages. A life worth living will have fruit that will be recognizable as being good, "you will know them by their fruits." Who you are is more important than what you do. If you are a living a robust life for Jesus, then what you do will move towards matching the way Jesus lived; on the edge, expending Himself for others, spending time with the Father and caring deeply that people have a strong relationship with Jesus. The character of a life worth living is built upon facing pain, conflict, loneliness and fear - moving through those experiences towards truly being godly. There are no short cuts to true and godly character. It is a life consistently purified by trials, struggles and a strong uncompromising focus on Jesus Christ. So I guess the question for you and I is, will we live a life worth living, or simply watch others live it out? I pray you'll choose to trust Jesus and live it out. It really does take strong disciples to make a strong church.