For those that don’t know me. I’m one of those people who cannot hide their true feelings. My facial expressions would tell you how I really feel in a heartbeat. I can only imagine how my face would look if my boss came up to me and said, “Robert, I know it’s late, but I need you to write up a 24-page report and I need it by tomorrow morning. If you have to work overtime to get it done, just remember, you don’t HAVE to do this, you GET to do this.”
Verbally, I’d be super motivated, and say “You GOT it, boss!”. But my face would be saying something totally different. It would probably be talking about his momma, and how his ties are too short and always stop mid-way down his sternum. But that’s because in that moment, I’m really only thinking about how I “get” to stay at work longer than I have to. Nobody wants that. Sitting behind a desk, crunching numbers till the wee-morning, you might not be able to see the bigger picture of what your boss is telling you, which roughly translates to "if you can get this task done, you can help the company get more business.” And more business, in turn, allows them to hire more people or even give bonus to their employees. But now imagine if you were a doctor or an EMT and your shift is just about over, but someone is rushed into the hospital with life threatening injuries, and your supervisor says to you, “Looks like you’ll be pulling overtime to save this person’s life. Just remember you don’t HAVE to do this… you GET to do this.” It’s easier to feel like your work actually matters when there is a life on the line, doesn’t it?
The big idea for this blog is: “We don’t HAVE to do this; we GET to do this… because Jesus is greater.”
If Jesus is greater, and we’re all on a rescue mission to bring the lost to Christ who is the only one who can save, and His message is better than any other message, how can I get past myself and my comfort zone to show that Christ really is for everyone?
Paul understood this concept of moving out of his comfort zone and being secure in a place of GETTING to do something because Jesus is greater. And it shows in his letter to the Colossians. Paul highlights six things in these verses that captures the essence of getting to do something. In 4:2-6 NLT, Paul writes:
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
Be in Prayer: If you want to do anything great, if you truly want to impact the culture, and impact other, be devoted in prayer.
Be Alert: Pay attention to those around you. Take your focus off yourself and place focus on others (that’s what prayer does, it allows you to see yourself and see others through God’s eyes).
Be Thankful: Too many times we get caught up in our own selfish situations that we forget to be thankful for what we have as opposed to what we don’t.
Be part of a team: Pray for others who are involved in the mission that you’re involved in. Work together, grow together. No one has ever accomplished something great by themselves. Even Jesus sent off the disciples in pairs to accomplish the mission at hand.
Live Wisely: Remember what’s at stake. Remember the impact you have. Remember we have limited time. Make the most of every opportunity you get!
Let your words be full of Grace: The KJV version adds “seasoned with salt”. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Is your heart full of grace? Do your words and deeds reflect this? In person? Online? At work? At home? Sometimes a Christian’s words are “too seasoned”, causing people to turn away from Christ. But if you have a close connection with Christ, are seeing people how Christ sees them, and you’ve stayed devoted to prayer, you’ll know the focus of Christ is their heart. You don’t want to bruise a relationship, for the purpose of just being right.
There was in fact a time when my supervisor came up to me and said, “We have an immediate request. I need you to be a part of this team, working 12 hour shifts until further notice.” In that moment of course I didn’t want to do it. My free time vanished. But yet something special came out of that. I got to work alongside a very close friend, who was on the fence about Christ. His sister passed away at a young age and even after he and mother prayed all they could pray, there was still a huge hurting gap left in his life. We all know that going through hardships makes a bond stronger. Through those late nights and long shifts, I was able to tell him about my past, about my hurt, about my losses. And how even though my situations didn’t always work out like I wanted them too, and it felt my prayers went unanswered, I was able to still put my hope in Christ. I didn’t bash him over the head with the bible. But just through casual conversation, he went from a place of anger and depression to a hopeful curiosity. He even began to read his bible again.
Now, I didn’t get the full conversion I was hoping for at that time. But I do believe I was one of the few good touches or one of the seeds planted that will eventually lead him fully to Christ. Right then I realized, even though working late sucked, it was for a purpose greater than myself. I didn’t have to stay and talk to him even after our shift was over. I didn’t have to sit there and listen to his problems. I didn’t have to invite him out to lunch so we can continue our conversation. But I GOT to do that! And I GOT the opportunity to share the love of Christ despite my hurts and losses. Not because I wanted to feel good about myself, but because I know that Jesus is greater—greater than all our problems and all our concerns. And if our aim as Christians is to point people to Jesus, help them take that next step with Him and make that step SPECTACULAR, then we must keep this big idea in mind -
“We don’t HAVE to do this, we GET to do this... because Jesus is GREATER!”
If you missed out on this week's sermon, check it out here.