Encouragement ExchangeHow could you give encouragement to someone today?
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“Live With Abandon” - Newsboys
Written by Andrea Lucado
Think about your most significant accomplishment in life to date. The one thing you are most proud of that you’ve done, written, said, worked for. It was a long time coming or it came out of nowhere, regardless, you are so proud of this thing.
Now imagine that a stranger comes along and tells you he has the most wonderful gift for you, bigger than anything you can ever dream of or imagine. It will change your life completely and for the better. It will change the lives of those around you, bring you more joy than you’ve ever felt. The catch: to receive this gift, you have to get rid of that accomplishment completely. Erase it from others’ memories, forget you did it, destroy the evidence. You will no longer be known as the man that accomplished so much but you will have this gift; you just have to trust it will be enough for you.
There's gotta be so much more to life than this
A higher calling that I missed
I want my life to count, every breath
In Luke 5 we hear about this offer being made by Jesus to his future disciples. You’ve heard the story before: These fishermen caught a lot of fish. More fish than they’d ever caught in their lives combined, more fish than anyone on shore had ever seen anyone catch. Their boats were sinking because of the weight of all of these fish. For a fisherman, it was the highest achievement. They could have bragging rights for the rest of their lives. They would be legends in their town and even the surrounding towns. They would also make a lot of money from that one catch. But, as Jesus tends to evoke people to do, they forget about all of it. As soon as they hit land, they leave all of their fish in the boat and walk away from it. Something about Jesus was so magnetic that it drew them away from fame, money and success immediately.
I'm not looking back
I'm done with that
Wanna give You all I have
Humans have an innate desire to matter. We make tombstones and plan funerals and think about what will be left of us after we die because we so badly want to have mattered on this earth. The stuff we go after is an attempt to cement ourselves in our little space on the Earth’s timeline. The fish that Simon, Simon Peter, James and John caught that day could have been their etch on the timeline. But they knew this: Jesus allowed them to catch those fish. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” he had instructed (Luke 5:4). So the catch was never theirs to begin with; it was a miracle performed by Jesus.
Our success is never ours to begin with either. So what do we lose if we walk away from it for bigger things? Nothing. We lose nothing and gain everything. It’s the paradox that so often keeps us from pursuing Christ. It goes against what we think we should be doing and what the voices around us tell us we should be doing. We feel we are leaving everything behind that we don’t want to lose when in reality we’re leaving nothing behind. It was never really there to begin with. Life in Christ is ahead, and it is rich and all we have to do is step toward it.
I'll drop everything to follow You
It's only Your hands I hold onto
What hand are you holding onto? Jesus tells us to not be afraid of holding his (Luke 5:10). He knows that even though we’re aware God is the creator of the universe, the holder of time, that he has gone before and goes after, we still shake at the thought of letting go of the things we know and leaping towards him instead. So he assures us as he assured the disciples. And he waits for us to come to shore.