One thing I appreciate is a sensible preacher.
I value their down-to-earth approach that presents biblical truths in a relate-able and true-to-life way.
Dr. Fel did that this past Sunday as he launched his new series: Be the One.
Be the One offers the invitation to make a difference—make an impact—make a change in someone’s life by loving them, forgiving them, and encouraging them. When everyone else is taking the other road – Be the One. What I respect about the Doc’s approach is that he acknowledged something true that we all have felt before:
Sometimes, I don’t want to be The One.
Now, the truth is, we are all made with an innate desire to make a difference. But sometimes, certain things happen that squelch our motivation to love, forgive, and encourage. How difficult it can be to love someone who never loves you in return. You give and give and it seems that very little–if anything, is reciprocated. Or what about the boss that treats you disrespectfully every day, after you work so hard to make sure he or she’sin the clear? Or the neighbor, friend, or even family member who talks about you to everyone else—but you, and all the while you’re sincerely seeking to walk with them in forgiveness?
These are real things that happen to all of us, and sometimes, we just don’t want to take the high road.
Dr. Fel drew up an illustration from the Bible in Mark chapter 4. The story talks about a farmer who was unlike any farmer; he went out to sow seed–but he just started throwing seed everywhere.
- Seed landed beside the road where birds came and ate it.
- Seed fell by rocks and it died once the sun came out.
- Seed fell by thorns and the thorns choked it.
This farmer was just throwing seed everywhere, haphazardly, with very little positive results.
Of course some seed did fall on good soil, and produced a crop “thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold” (verse 8, 20), yet there were so many other instances where no life appeared at all from the scattering of seed.
At the outset, this seems incredibly pointless, and even wasteful. How could anyone do that? And in terms of real, relational life with others, who can live like that? Who could give and give so extravagantly without worrying if it’s returned to them or not?
Do you feel like you’ve experienced this tension with someone? Are there times where you’ve felt so defeated because you’ve given so much, and have received nearly nothing in return? I’ve felt this way. It’s draining and it’s defeating. And it can make you so frustrated, even to the point of saying “What’s the point? Why try and give to what will never give to me in return? Why try and do good when no good is coming back to me? …I have nothing left.”
The only feasible way, in my mind, for this sort of extravagant self-giving, self-sacrificing life, is to realize how much God thinks about us. Look at Psalm 139 verse 17, 18:
How precious…are your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
“How vast is the sum of God’s thoughts about you.” Wow. This passage declares that he thinks about you so much, that his thoughts about you outnumber the sand. It’s as if God is casting his thoughts out–like that seed, paying no mind to how much.
The idea that the all-powerful, all-knowing God thinks about me to this degree, does something to my heart. Honestly, it seems so wasteful for Almighty God to think of little ol’ me like that.
The fact that there’s not a moment that he’s not thinking about me with good intentions in his heart, brings strength to my heart like nothing else. Knowing that God knows me fully, sees my situation, and wants to keep company with me and help out – diminishes that sense of defeat and void that can so easily creep in when others don’t return my good intentions toward them.
To believe that God never stops thinking about me is too great for words, and it certainly helps me in those times that I have no words.
It’s only with this revelation in mind that I can confront what life brings me. Only the uncontaminated goodness of God allows me to serve the ugliness or inconsistency of others.
And reader, this is the only way that I’ve found a life of scattering seeds of love, forgiveness, and encouragement to be possible. It is as I’m supplied by God and his Spirit’s presence in my life that I can then live to be The One to make a difference, the only difference that really matters.
What about you?
Have you come to realize that God is the best giver there could be? Have you taken time to allow him to supply his love, forgiveness, and encouragement to you? This is the only way He expects you to be able to do the same with others.
Let this be your prayer today:
God, I choose to believe that you’re the source of true purpose. I believe that you’re the source of true impact. I see that I need your help. Supply me with your love, forgiveness and encouragement. I receive from you today. In Jesus’ name, amen
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing… (2 Corinthians 9:10)