During our Launch the Lifeboats day, I talked about how Jesus held three sets of relationships in balance throughout his life and ministry. In fact wherever you look in the gospels you find them. The passage I used last Sunday was Luke 6:12-19. Here we see that:
- Jesus connected UP to God (v 12)
- Jesus invited others IN to know him, to learn from him and to become like him (v 13-16)
- Jesus reached OUT (v 17-19)
The call on all our lives is to be like Jesus. When Jesus said, “Come follow me!” that was what he was calling them to (Mark 1:17). So how balanced are you? I won’t deny it is a really challenging question. In conversation with many, I have found that most of us focus the majority, almost all, of our Christian life around our UP and our IN. I have also noticed that those who concentrate mainly on their OUT are annoying and irritating to everybody else! Equally too, there are many who have lost the punch of the gospel and settle for working on their IN and their OUT but with no connection with God. This has often been labelled ‘social gospel.’
So, permit me to ask you a question that I’ve asked many. If you were to score each one (UP, IN & OUT) on a scale of 1-10 for the last week, what would your score be? In others words if 10 is brilliant and 1 is pretty non-existent, what score would you give yourself for your connection with God over the last 7 days? What score would you give for your relationships with other Christians, your IN? How intentional have you been in encouraging and supporting and provoking those God has given you to become more like Jesus? How much have you allowed yourself to be encouraged, supported or provoked by others as you seek to become like Jesus? Finally, how intentional and focussed have you been at reaching OUT to others for the kingdom?
- What was your score?
- What is God saying to you?
- What ONE thing could you do to boost your score in each area?
These are hard questions for sure, but so illuminating as we seek to become more like Jesus.
On October 2nd we had a special church conference entitled: Launch the Lifeboats. You can find more information at www.burlingtonbaptist.org.uk/launchthelifeboats. More of my blogs associated with this can also be found here