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Until you get fed up with mediocrity, you will never step up into
excellence or even reach for it. It takes energy, determination and
perseverance to go after a brilliant life. It is the life God has called you
to. It is the life God has provided for you though the shed blood of Christ- He
paid for it. But you must walk in it. You must take it and apply it to your
There are moments in the New Testament when I get the feeling that Jesus was
fed up with the mediocre life that God’s children were living. When he moved
from private to public life, he proclaimed the “God’s kingdom is at hand” (Mark
1:15) he was in essence saying – reach out and take it! Repent- turn around from
the life you have been living and start moving toward the life God has made to
you to live.
Here is a one such moment from Matt 8:21-25:
Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days,
please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.”
Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not
death. Follow me. Pursue life.”
Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him.
The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were
crashing into the boat-and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading,
“Master, save us! We’re going down!” (Matthew 8:21-25 MSG)
Get busy living or get busy dying.
Are you waiting to live? Waiting to pursue God’s call on
life? Are you putting it off because you have too many things to
do right now? Jesus is not encouraging us to abandon our responsibility to our
family but he is challenging our excuses. When the follower asked Jesus if he
could be ” excused” from following Jesus, he was actually asking to go live in
his father’s house and take care of him until he died for an indefinite period
of time, definitely more than “a couple of days”. Jesus called him out on it.
He knew that a couple of days really meant “I will follow you when I’m
done following me and done with what I think I should be doing”.
Jesus refused- he will not agree with mediocrity, he will not tell
you, “Yes, go ahead and waste your time, energy, and creativity waiting.” No.
He says, “There is more for you. Stop focusing on death and start chasing after
life, my life, my power, my grace! Follow Me.”
One of my dearest friends, Deb Killian, is an amazing woman who loves God
passionately. I have known here for over 15 years and in that time I have
walked with her through triumphs and tragedies. One of the hardest times in her
life was when her first husband passed away from cancer. I will never forget the
morning I got the call that her husband had died. My heart broke for my friend
and I rushed right over so could wrap my arms around her. Those were dark days
for my friend. She loved her husband do much and I watched my friend push
through those days of grief walking hand-in- hand with God. After Deb’s husband
died, there were times she felt like she had died too. Who was she now? What
were God’s plans for her now? But she was not dead, she was alive and God had a
plan for her- a call that stayed clear for over twenty years and did not
diminish when her whole life dramatically changed. As long as I had known
Deb, she has had a call to go to Africa and bring God’s love to it. She dreamed
about it, prayed about it and for years the possibility of it looked well,
impossible. In those first few years after her husband’s death, God began
to stir within her the truth that now was the time to go after the business of
life – the purpose He had for her. What a glorious purpose it is!
developed her heart and vision for Africa, He also brought new love into her
life through her second husband Roy. Together, they head up “Eden’s Song
Ministry” (link: http://edenssong.org ). Their ministry supports
missionaries by providing resources for them such as refurbished
iPods, medical supplies, goats and uniforms so the children can go to school,
along with many other things. They also go to Africa once or twice a year to
lead a team and minister to the people there. Deb describes her journey
from grief to Africa in her book “Eden’s Song – One Women’s Cry”
I highly recommend it for anyone who has recently lost someone or is feeling
lost themselves as to what God wants them to do. I love this picture of her in
the middle of the African children. It reminds that He who begins a good work
is faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6).
It is time to get busy living!
Jesus said: First things first. Priorities are key to walking in
victory. If you aim at nothing- you will hit it every time. How easy it
is to let the small things distract us from the important things. Keep first
things first and you will be able to do more than you ever thought you could.
It is important to know what your priorities are. Knowing that helps you
make wise decisions in every other area of your life.
What is the 1 priority according to Jesus? Follow God- pursue
life. In other words, stop following others, the world or even yourself.
Follow God-His word, His way, His guidance, His plan. When you do that, a
brilliant life follows.
Your business is life, not death- we are in a world that is dying,
and plagued with sin’s rotting stench. We see it in our relationships, feel it
in our bodies and have it thrown in our face every day. But our business- that
which we are to live ” like it’s our job” is to pursue life. Go after it! Chase
it- pursue it like it was that boy you had a crush on in Jr. High but are not
hindered by shyness and self- consciousness. Think about it, dream about it,
follow it around, find out what it is doing and plan to be where it is – LIFE!
I want you to realize that right after Jesus said “Pursue life!”, he got
in a boat and faced death. It isn’t going to be easy, in fact, you go after
God’s LIFE and purpose you have upped the anti and it will seem get harder. The
storm will ramp up to the point where you think, “I can’t do this- I’m going
down.” The Bible says it was a severe storm. Not a small one but the type of
storm that does damage and threatens lives. Yet, Jesus slept. Why? I think
because he already knew this storm wasn’t going to kill them. It was just a
part of his journey.
The disciples followed Jesus right into that boat -they followed
Jesus right into the storm. Can I tell you, that is the right place to be. You
are going to encounter storms in your life. There was a storm on the shore that
night too. I would rather be in the boat with Jesus than on the shore without
him. I would rather get in the boat and follow Him than let doubt and fear keep
me on the shore of mediocrity.
No one is telling you that it will be easy, least of all God. But
He does tell you that it is vital and possible. You were made to live a
brilliant life hand- in -hand with God.
What is stopping you?
• What is your #1 excuse?
• Make a list of your priorities.
• Ask God to give you His list. Rewrite your list.
• Don’t worry about the storm you are in – it is not going to kill
you and it is just a part of your journey. Read the rest of story in Matthew 8
(Jesus spoke to the storm and it ceased!)
• Get fed up with mediocrity and go after the call of God on your
life like it was your job!
I love to hear from you and hear what God is doing in your life. Please don’t
be shy, I appreciated every comment.