I love the stories of the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of people and events that richly illustrate the goodness and faithfulness of God. They also highlight how God uses ordinary people to do great things for His glory. Some of my favorite characters include Ruth, Barnabas and David.
RUTH WAS DEVOTED
I am inspired by Ruth’s fierce devotion to her mother in law Naomi. Her devotion and steadiness not only kept Naomi and herself from starving but it also led to her kinsman redeemer marriage and the birth of Obed the grandfather of David. Generations later, born to the same lineage was Jesus Christ himself! Not bad for someone who simply chose to be devoted to those God had placed in her care.
BARNABAS DIDN'T GIVE UP ON OTHERS
Barnabas is kind of an unsung hero in the shadow of Paul. Although they traveled together for some time, there came a time when Paul and Barnabas decided to go their separate ways. Paul took with him Silas, and Barnabas took with him John Mark. Paul didn’t want to travel with John Mark because at some point he had deserted them. Barnabas still believed in John Mark and chose not to give up on him despite his mistakes. As a result we have the book of Mark, one of the gospels that is believed to be written by the very same John Mark Paul dismissed. All because Barnabas did not give up on an early deserter.
DAVID KEPT HIS EYES ON GOD
Then there’s David the giant slayer. David was a simple shepherd boy not even fit for battle and yet he fought a giant named Goliath who had threatened God’s people the Israelites. As he heard the threats of Goliath and the Philistines, he decided to take action. Although King Saul offered David his royal armor, David settled instead for a sling and 5 stones he found from a stream. Goliath scoffed at his size and his choice of weapon. David responded by placing a stone in a sling, swinging it round above his head and releasing it on a trajectory that ended in the death of a giant. While the Israelites had their eyes on the giant in front of them, David has his mind and heart set on the God of the ages.
We’ve been talking the past few weeks about Making It Personal. We’ve been challenged to go from a renters perspective to an owners mentality. All three of these people of faith owned the role God had given them.
Ruth had every reason to return to her homeland. Her husband had died. Her husband’s brother had died. Her father in law had died. The only person left was Naomi. Even her mother in law urged her to go home. But Ruth stayed.
Barnabas stood up for a deserter when no one else would. I don’t know how or what led to John Mark deserting Paul and Barnabas but the incident was big enough that Paul was adamantly against traveling with him. However, Barnabas didn’t give up on him.
From all outward appearances, David was terribly unqualified to fight Goliath and yet he, not the Israelite army, was used to defeat the Philistines. David had his eyes on God and not his circumstances.
None of these stories would have the amazing content that they do had Ruth, Barnabas or David possessed a renter’s mentality with their faith. These people of God were ALL IN and God blessed their efforts as a result.
WHAT IF THE BODY OF LEGACY DECIDED TO MOVE FROM RENTING TO OWNING? WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AND FOR ME TO MAKE IT PERSONAL?
# 1 OWNERS ARE DEVOTED
Earlier this year we focused on 1 Corinthians 13. We wrestled through the term agape and the staying power of the love of Christ. Renters often don’t know how long they’ll be in a place. They consider their options and have multiple plans of what they’ll do once their lease is up. But when you’re a home-owner, you’re thinking about how you can invest in your home. You’re picking paint colors and comparing floor samples. When we make our faith personal, when we say this is my church and the people inside are my people, something shifts. We are no longer considering our options if “things get rocky”. When we make Legacy Church Home and not just a hangout or temporary dwelling we start thinking like Ruth… “Where Legacy goes, I’ll go. Where Legacy stays, I’ll stay, How Legacy serves, I’ll serve.”
# 2 OWNERS DON’T GIVE UP ON OTHERS
Because of the transient nature of renting, renters often don’t know their neighbors, sinking roots down deep means going from friendly smiling faces to a place of friendship. Are you ready to move past a polite handshake and smile during our time of greeting to actually walking across the aisle to know someone’s name and their story? Owners go from thinking about going to LifeGroup to being in one. Owners start noticing when others are missing and they make the call or send the text. Owners know their gifts and yearn to find their place to serve.
#3 OWNERS TAKE….OWNERSHIP (AND THEY DO IT BY KEEPING THEIR EYES ON GOD)
Renters aren’t concerned about the condition of their house. If something goes wrong, they put in a call to maintenance and then go about their day. Owners pull up their sleeves and take care of business whether that’s calling a plumber or hammering a nail.
Are you ready to pull up your sleeves and take ownership of the finances, needs, ministries and opportunities within the church?
What if we locked arms to lighten the load? Perhaps those who find their hand in every ministry “because if I don’t do it, who will?” could let go and focus on those ministries that God has crafted them to do, then those who have always thought they were not needed would begin to see the valuable ownership role they play.
What if we all took our place in making Legacy a thriving place where everyone really does find their identity in Christ and their very own place in His mission to start impacting the world around them?
And what if we started right here in Plano and the surrounding areas.
What if we released the scarcity mentality and embraced the abundance of Christ? Oh the life to the full that would exist!
WHAT IF WE WERE DEVOTED LIKE RUTH, DIDN’T GIVE UP ON OTHERS LIKE BARNABAS, AND KEPT OUR EYES ON GOD LIKE DAVID?
Friends, let’s make it personal.