Last Sunday I spoke from John 10:10 and talked about the need for clarity & vision for our lives. Our lives can be compared to flying an airplane through a perfect storm. The clouds of confusion and the smoke of the spiritual war all around us can seriously obscure our view.
It is my heart that each of us discovers our own identity as sons and daughters of God. I am passionate about trying to shape a culture that is a “together” culture, with people walking and growing in community, together.
As we walk and grow in the context of our church family, it is also critical for us to learn how we can connect, use our gifts and engage with others. We exist to experience and share the life to the fullest that Jesus offers to us. As His church, His body, His people sent to build His kingdom here on earth, becoming clearer on how our gifts work in concert with the gifts of others is critical.
Last Sunday I challenged our church family to begin asking the Lord which of the following ways that we experience “life to the fullest”, do we need to ask the Lord to grow in us. The list is not a to-do list, this is not about working harder. It is about asking God the right questions and turning our hearts toward Him in different areas.
5 Ways that we experience Life to the Fullest
1. Being Connected to Jesus
2. Growing & Developing
3. Spontaneously following the Spirit
4. Walking the Journey with Friends
5. Finding purpose in the Mission
Let me say just a thing or two about each of these five, so that you can ask the Lord which area you should be more sensitive to.
Being Connected to Jesus
This is about remaining connected to the source of life – to Jesus. John 15 talks about Jesus as the vine, and we are like branches. We must stay connected to the source of life. This is a lifestyle of worship, not just signing praise songs, and connection moment by moment with God. It is prayer without ceasing and listening for the whispers of the Holy Spirit.
Growing & Developing
We are called to be learners, disciples, of Jesus. As his followers, we are to imitate Him and represent Him and reflect God’s image to the world. This requires time in His word, and seeking others to teach, mentor and coach us into new places of spiritual growth. We are called to use our influence (leadership) to help others experience this life to the fullest. We want to constantly grow in our faith, and take intentional steps to keep growing.
Spontaneously following the spirit
It is so exciting to constantly be responding to what God is saying moment to moment. He is always speaking, leading, guiding, directing us, if we are willing to position our hearts in a place to receive and hear what He has to say. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church.” This life with Jesus is an adventure as we watch to see where He is working, then go and join Him in the work that He is already doing. This Spirit-led adventure is what we are growing toward.
Walking the Journey with Friends
We were created to live life in community. Our culture is independent and pushes us to isolate ourselves, but God has called us to be inter-dependent on one another. When we use our God given gifts, talents and abilities in connecting & serving with others, we experience significance and meaning in our lives. As the body of Christ (the Church) walks more and more in love and unity, powerful things happen.
5. Finding purpose in the Mission
Jesus gave us a mission to share the good news about Him throughout the whole earth. That mission to share His love and power with our neighbors, coworkers, friends, grocery store clerks, and people in other cultures and countries is still our main goal. When we share the life that we have experienced with others, our joy increases. As the people of God, we are constantly on mission. Every relationship we have with another human is an opportunity for us to reflect His image to a watching world. This brings deep meaning to every interaction we have with others, because we are called to share the gospel, and our lives as well.
So, as you meditate on these five aspects of how we life out “life to the fullest,” which one is the Lord whispering to you to take a risk in, to step out, or ask others to help you discover how to grow?