Monday, June 26, 2006

A Useful Life

In preparing to go through a Life Plan Facilitation with Kelly Thorne of Blooming Ministries I’ve discovered something. I’m lazy.

God has given me circumstances and people to confirm his useful plan for my life. Yet I keep coming back to “Why would God want me to do that? Maybe I should just enjoy life as it is.”

Two weeks ago at a writers conference, Jim Watkins said “If I'm going to be a faithful Christian, I must write.” It was one of those times when I felt like there was a megaphone aimed right at me.

Yesterday Greg McNichols at Newstart Community Church made this comment: “If you are not doing what you are created to do, then you are useless.” Greg was speaking on Matthew 5:13-16.

Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.

If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand.

Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 (The Message)

Greg pointed out the Greek for “shine” in verse 17 indicates active participation. We are not a shiny piece of silver for God to display. One of my favorite verses, 2 Peter 1:3-4, also reminds us that we are given everything we need to participate in God’s divine nature. This is not about staying busy. It’s about doing what we are created to do.

A hidden light is of no use at all. Salt that is contaminated is thrown out as useless.

I can sit back and blend in, or share my thoughts in circles that create more havoc than peace. Or, I can do what God created me to do and be useful in this world. I don’t want people to look at me as a wall flower. I want to be useful in making others thirsty for truth and light the path to Christ. That requires active participation with God.

How about you? Are you allowing the “just enjoy life” culture to render your life useless. Being busy isn’t always useful and being useful is not generally the easiest path.

Here’s the choice as I see it. Do you want to just exist (busy or not) until you die? Or do you want to experience life as it is intended to be?

I’m choosing Life.


Paul said...

Hi Lisa,

Like you, I choose life!

I know that the Lord wants us to experience life as it is intended to be.

One of the greatest things the Lord has done in my life over the last three years, is in giving me a "Ministry of Hanging out" :)

I could choose to stay at home and write, etc or I can come to Starbucks, Cocoa Bean and other places to write and at the same time, let the light of Christ shine forth.

Never a day that goes by, that the Lord does not open the door to be able to exhort, encourage or listen to someone.

Thanks for an encouraging post!

Writing for the King,


Vicki said...

Hi Lisa,

Enjoyed the post! Right on target, too. God bless you, my friend.

Selma said...

This was wonderful, right on target.I needed to read this today!Keep up the great writing! Thank you for the encouragement through this blog


the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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