Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Life-Change

Since I've returned fromt the men's retreat this weekend, several thoughts have been rolling around in my mind. I had a great time of fellowshipping with some top-shelf guys. They were an encouragement to me as I begin to walk this road toward church-planting. My heart and my spirit are rejoicing over the opporunity to minister in this city to these people. Isn't it truly amazing when you look back over the past several years of your life and see God's hand leading you and preparing you for the present moment and you didn't even see it coming? God's sovereignty and divine providence have been especially evident in my life the last week.

But back to the Men's Retreat - how did God impact my life this past weekend?

First, I have been reminded of the importance of focusing on who I am before I work on what I do. This really wasn't the theme of the weekend, but it was the area where God spoke to me in a powerful way. As I hear more and more people talk about incarnational leadership at this church (follow me as I follow Christ), I have come to recognize that I need to be the kind of man that I want the men in my church to be. In other words, even more important than the sermons I preach will be the life that I lead. Men will walk with Jesus as I walk with Him; they will love their wives as I love my wife; they will train up their children as I do my children. What a thought to think that I will reproduce my life in the men that I lead and train - I've got work to do on myself.

Second, as I processed the importance of being before doing, I have been challenged to meditate on where my time goes. I have listed the priorities of my life (walking with God, loving my wife, loving and training up my kids, staying physically fit, working faithfully at my calling, etc.), I have come to realize that I d0n't have a lot of empty time in my schedule for other things. This means that if I add a lot of TV or extra reading or computer surfing, etc., I will have to cut something else. Andy Stanley preached a message about this several years ago called choosing to cheat. Basically, his premise was that we will all choose to cheat something with our choices; the only question will be what we cheat. I want to cheat the stuff that doesn't matter. What separates the men from the boys? Discipline.

As we take the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ to the world, let's make sure that we are making choices with our time that assure that we are being changed by Jesus first.

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