January 25, 2020
I arrived back home Wednesday morning from Florida where I was celebrating a late Christmas with my mom, stepdad, and Beth. It was a great time and it’s always heart-warming to see family! Every year I head down that way and it’s become a rhythm in my life where I have a chance to reflect on how I’m doing compared to previous years. It’s funny to look back and see how I’ve have had a different predicament each year. I’ve spent some years complaining about my work; others, my dating life; others, my self.... But looking back, the thing that jumps out to me the most is how far I’ve come from the insecure, anxious young man plagued with self-doubt. I think back on my early 20’s and who I was and sometimes can’t believe that I’m the same person!
And when I’m honest with myself, most of my personal growth came not from my discipline or determination (of which I have very little) but from...God. Being a Christian has done more for my life than any other decision I’ve ever made. It’s made me care about others more, given me boldness at vital moments, and helped me have a sense of purpose when I easily could have drifted in a million aimless directions.
But that’s not just my story. Even in the scriptures we see Jesus’ disciples go through a transformation. His ragtag group of friends spend three years with him, and the night he is taken to be executed, all but one run away! Even at the end of three years of learning from Christ, they just run. It seems the Christian movement is doomed to fail.
But decades later, those fearful men have left their small villages and small mindsets and traveled the world changing lives. And not only that, but those same men who ran away in fear from the possibility of joining Jesus on the cross...end up being crucified themselves. There’s an incredible change that happens in their lives, and this weekend we’re going to close out “Foundations of the Faith” by talking about how that growth happened and happens—how fearful followers became brave leaders—and how that can happen in our lives, too.
Can’t wait to explore this topic with you!
P.S. We’re looking for some folks to help us get our new Caring Ministries going. We have a meeting about it this Sunday at 12 p.m. in room 117! We’re especially looking for some men to be part of this group. Hope to see you there.