October 12, 2019

Before ascending into Heaven, Jesus gathered his disciples in Jerusalem to send them out on a great mission. I like to imagine what it would have been like to receive this message and I seriously doubt he would have told them, “Here is your great calling, be careful out there!” No, I think it’s more likely that he said something more like this:

“I love you! This is your purpose, go for it! Take chances, reach out in love and take risks. You’re not going to have a home or a place to lay your head. Sometimes you’re going to be persecuted because you follow me, and people are going to say all things about you because you follow me. You will be put in prison. You’ll be run out of town. You’re going to have trials, and you’re going to be tested, and there are going to be struggles. Go for it, because life will be great!”

So, how are you and I going to approach each day we are given? Are we going to be careful or go for it? Let’s look at three ideas.

First of all, I have come to believe that there isn’t anything a person can’t accomplish if they really are committed to their dream and are willing to pay a price. I really mean that. I believe there isn’t anything a person can’t do if they’re committed to their dream and are willing to pay a price. Most of us don’t ever reach our dreams because we set the limitations upon ourselves. I can’t do this; I can’t do that — and we have all the reasons — but they are false. If you’re committed to a dream and willing to pay the price, I believe you can accomplish incredible things.

Secondly, when you believe God is on your side, look out! It’s hard to deny the great potential of human beings, especially when you look at the history of the church. Jesus called together a small group of uneducated, poor, fisherman. He sent them out into a hostile world to share an important message and they went out believing there wasn’t anything they couldn’t do. “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.” They believed that God was with them and what they achieved was unbelievable. I pray for that power on God’s church today, for us individually and collectively!

Third, I don’t believe that our problem is a lack of potential, but a lack of perseverance. That was the message James had for early Christians. He said, “We have a great dram and Jesus Christ is with us, but you are going to experience trials and tribulations, you’re going to face failure.” In  the  Phillips  Translation, it says, “Look at these trials and tribulations as your friends and endure. For if you endure, God will make you perfect, that is, you will grow to the person  He  wants you to be and then you will know the crown of life.” Only those who endure through the trials and the tribulations will ever grow.