Summary: The alternative to inexhaustible purpose is to stay in the RUT of the familiar and common-place...“The only difference between a rut and a grave is one of dimension.” (anon)
LIFE GOALS VIDEO CLIP...
Jesus gives us an invitation to go diving! He invites us to plunge into the deep waters of his inexhaustible purpose! I warn you. Diving has its risks. It is not without dangerous possibilities. That’s why many people choose to play it safe. SAFE is familiar and controllable (or so we think). But there is a downside – a BIG downside. The alternative to inexhaustible purpose is to stay in the RUT of the familiar and common-place. I couldn’t say it better than the following quote, the version of which has many forms, but none better than this. “The only difference between a rut and a grave is one of dimension.”
The context of living in the RUT is about being where you don’t need to be; living where God doesn’t want you to live nor ever intended for you. It is a question of being content living the mediocre, average, ordinary, middle-of-the-road, and run-of-the-mill, second rate, pedestrian, common place life, instead of the outstanding, brilliant, exceptional, first-rate, admirable, superb and tremendous life that God designed for you!
Christian music artist, Natalie Grant, released a new song on her new CD. She got wind of what God had in mind for her. She went diving!
Changing Every Where I Am,
I’ve Been Stuck in The Rut
I’ve Been Caught Up, It Happens Fast
I’m Moving, to where I wanna begin,
I wanna find new life and see new eyes and breathe again
I’m ready to let go
looking forward to don’t know
As Jesus invites us to go diving, there are several things that must happen before we can reach the exhilaration of the dive. We must stop
1. WADING IN THE WATER
Some of the richest times of my childhood are memories of my parents’ interaction with us. Dad could kick a soccer ball in the air straight as an arrow and my youthful mind remembered it becoming so small that it disappeared from view; or the time he rode a bicycle and seem much too large for it! Then the trips to the Provincial Park to picnic and swim. Mom would pack the most amazing meals on those trips. In one of our swims, dad wanted me to go to the deep water. I was terrified and refused for several minutes until finally I agreed only because dad said he would carry me on his back. What he didn’t tell me was what he would do once he got me away from shore – he tossed me playfully off his back into deep water! I dog-paddled furiously and suddenly realized I COULD swim! I have been diving and dog-paddling ever since!
Here is Jesus’ invitation to go diving! Matthew 16:24-27…
Are you a water wader? Have you been splashing around a little with the idea of following Jesus but have never really taken it too seriously or is your heart on fire to follow? Let’s start splashing around and see where we end up!
The language of self-denial is often misunderstood and treated too lightly. We use it mildly as in giving something up for a few weeks and investing what we gave up in a good cause or project. Jesus uses the concept as a warrior. One source says, that denying ourselves “means in every moment of life to say no to self and yes to God.” It is, he continues, “a life lived in the constant hourly awareness of the demands of God and the need of others.”
Dr. Warren Wiersbe, pastor, author and theologian: “To deny self does not mean to deny things. It means to give yourself wholly to Christ…it does not mean to carry burdens or have problems…[it] means to identify with Christ in his rejection, shame, suffering and death.” Or in other words, to follow Jesus is to realise that I can expect the same from life that he received. Society will reject me, shame me, and there is some degree of persecution as I fail to fit in with the world.
(Speaker’s Bible): “Are you loyal to the Leader in front?...It may be that we have followed Christ so far as it served our purposes or suited our convenience. Our service has rarely been consecrated to the pitch of sacrifice…we have followed Christ at far too great a distance.”
(Verse 24 again…)
Jesus used the language of the cross because it was a common image the local folk could understand. Crucifixion was a common-place form of capital punishment for non-Romans. Jesus used the most graphic image he could use to begin to explain how life-altering and critical their following him would be. It drove home to them the commitment Jesus was expecting that if they wanted to follow him they must be willing to even die if necessary. There could be no turning back.