Reprinted from ReadyAimLife
One day a scribe came to Jesus and asked, “Jesus how does one live large in their faith?” Jesus responded, “it is simple my friend- you must love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself, do this and you will live large!” Well, that may not have been exactly how the interchange went but I think the dialogue surrounding the giving of the great commandment speaks directly to the idea of how do we live an abundant life in the area of our faith.
One of the most difficult things for me as a laymen has been sorting through the question of what should my focus be. For some of you who know me, I have been actively involved in ministry for a long time. When I became a Christian in the early 80’s I was surrounded by a group of hyperactive, great commission Christians. From day one I experienced the positive peer pressure of ‘ministry being a natural part of the believers life’. I loved it! My exposure to Christianity up to that point had been less than impressive and to be honest I wasn’t sure what Christians did. As a young believer I came to understand that we were to love God with everything that was in us and we were to love others as we love ourselves! (Ala great commandments- Matt 22). Which included making disciples (i.e. fulfilling the great commission- Matt 28) in some form or fashion. The facts are simple:
Fact 1) Jesus summarizes all the commandments down to two: love God, love people!
Fact 2) His last words to His disciples about their mission focus is not only what He modeled, but is what the rest of the New Testament reveals! We need to be about the business of making disciples.
THESE ARE REALLY BIG IN THE WORLD OF FOCUS!
After graduating from the University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!) I spent the first 16 years of my professional life as a vocational minister. Determining my ministry focus was easy in those days. My job was also my ministry. I had 2 focuses- ministry and personal life. Now maybe there is more loving or spiritual way to say that but the reality for me was that as a paid minister my life was pretty simple from a focus standpoint: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples! I used to get in trouble for not sharing the gospel enough! I really don’t mean that as oversimplification or a criticism of the paid vocational minister. In fact I feel just the opposite. As a layman one of the things I have longed for is a simplification of focus. I remember talking to one of lay-buddies after I had been working in the business world for a little over a year and he was asking me if I was going to take a volunteer position at our church and I remember telling him “I don’t think I have time, this new job is screwing up my schedule!” Maybe I don’t have a big enough capacity for doing a lot of things. Maybe I am just your typical male- one thing at time! Maybe I am a wimp! But if I get too many big focuses going on at the same time I get frustrated!
For years when I was a vocational guy, people would ask me about my calling. I always thought that was a funny question because I felt like my calling was like every other believers. As I read the Bible it seemed real simple to me: Great Commandment and Great Commission! Now living that out is extremely challenging but embracing those as a guide is really easy! And I think very Biblical. I always felt like God’s call on my life came out of the Bible not some emotional experience on some mountain somewhere (though I am sure that God has spoken to men specifically on mountains before!) Just because I changed jobs doesn’t mean God’s call on my life has changed. My application of God’s call is different but the content is the same. As I live my life I am convinced that I must be involved in loving God, loving people and making disciples!
My siblings always accused me of changing the rules to games we played when we were kids. And, I guess to a degree they were right. I have always felt like I could play any game as long as I knew the rules. The rules of the laymen’s world are not recorded anywhere. So, sometimes when we want to play the game we are not sure how to. I think the reason I started blogging was that the only guys who are laying down rules in this world aren’t laymen. I want to hear what experienced laymen have to say about what the rules are! GUYS IT IS TIME TO SPEAK UP…. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE… WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING? I am tired of griping and complaining and hearing guys griping and complaining about not being fulfilled or being unsure about how to live the Christian Laymen’s Life! WE NEED TO HELP EACH OTHER!
The Key to living the life God intended in our faith is to simplify our focus- Our focus should be to Love God, Love People and Make Disciples wherever you are! Live large my brother!
Photo by Coolm36