May 8, 2010

BOUGHT IN to the vision

“Bought in” is when a person decides to relinquish their old lifestyles and pursue another way. To give up an old way of doing things in exchange for the new.

Though God’s vision for an individual or the church may not be completely clear, it IS clear enough to desire a change in how they have been doing things. Are you BOUGHT IN to God's vision for your local church?

We see the example of being “bought in” in the story of Zacchaeus in the Book of Luke in the Bible. Jesus paid a visit to Zacchaeus' home after Zaaccaeus went to tremendous lengths just to get a glimpse of Jesus, to “see who Jesus was” as he was passing by.

Just by just being in the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus realized enough of God’s purpose for his life to make a bold change in the direction of his life.

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." (Luke19.8)
So, let's do a quick math lesson here. If Zacchaeus' possessions added up to, let's say, $1000, this would mean that he made an immediate contribution of $500 to the poor. That leaves him with $500. If we divide that amount by four, we come up with $125. That means that if Zacchaeus had cheated anybody out of more than $125, in our example, and he paid them back four times that amount, he would be flat broke, and unable to fulfill his commitment to Jesus.

So in order to pay back more than this amount, or any amount, Zacchaeus would have to continue to work to make money to repay his debt to others. A stark contrast to why he was working before meeting Jesus. Before, Zacchaeus' vision was working to build his own personal kingdom. After meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus was repaying others, in order to follow Jesus’ vision of expanding God’s Kingdom.

Yep. I would say that Zacchaeus was “Bought In” to Jesus' vision for his life, wouldn’t you?

May 5, 2010

Sold Out

I recently tweeted an idea I thought I would share here on the blog to help unpack it over the next few days. The statement was:
When your staff's SOLD OUT for Jesus, BOUGHT IN to the vision, PASSIONATELY serving others, & ON FIRE to see life-change, leading is easy!

SOLD OUT for Jesus
For me, the phrase “sold out” means that a person is giving all they have. They have no reserves left. For those of you who are poker players (or watch “Celebrity High Stakes Poker”) a similar term would be ALL IN.

In the Bible, there is a story where Jesus asked a man to “sell everything” and follow him...
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark10.21)
“Everything” for the man in this story was what the man depended on… For him it was his wealth. This is what Jesus asked him to give up, in order to be “sold out”… but the man just couldn’t do it.
At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"(Mark10.22-23)
For some people it’s not wealth they depend on, it’s power. For some, they depend on being accepted by others. Or maybe they depend on being at the center of everything. In fact, for some, they so badly want to be seen as having what others have that they're willing to depend on DEBT…

From this story I have learned that whatever it is you depend on other than Jesus, you need to get rid of it! You need to be SOLD OUT, COMPLETELY, then, and only then, are we able to truly understand what it means to enter into the Kingdom of God, the place where Jesus wants to lead us.

My chips are in the middle of the table. I'm ALL IN! It's your move...