“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”- 1 Corinthians 2:2
Challenge Accepted! In my estimation, folks are up for facing a good challenge. The desire of overcoming and accomplishment began somewhere in grade school when a “Double Dog Dare You” was thrown out by a fellow classmate. And with present day social media, we have libraries worth of Ice Bucket, Spicy Food, Trick Basketball Shot, and Kick the Cap off Water Bottle Challenges to name a few.
This year I felt compelled to accept two challenges to help me grow in Jesus and be the best version of myself. The RIGHT CHALLENGES can bring better order, balance, and results to our lives. One of the challenges was to get back to reading every night before bed. In just three months I can already see the benefit of putting down the phone and turning off the TV, to learn and receive through the books I am reading. By creating this time and space, it is cultivating me into a better follower of Jesus, pastor, husband, father, friend, and neighbor. In Psalm 37:5-6 David declares, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
One of my favorite people in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. I love how much he loved Jesus, the Word, the Church, and God’s people! Paul was all about accepting the challenge. He went preaching in places that did not know the Gospel; He engaged different people groups in a way they could understand and accept salvation; He communicated the important truth of Christ crucified and risen; and he prioritized relief, resources, and relevant instruction to the churches he planted. In Romans 15:20 we get a sense of this man’s striving, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.”
Are you feeling challenged? I pray so, because as you act on the Holy Spirit’s leading and receive His strength, you will grow, be fruitful, and discover greater levels of blessing. Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Here are some 2023 challenges that might be calling your name…
- Stop negativity from being in your vocabulary.
- Read at least one chapter of the Bible each day.
- Do one kind deed a day and send one encouraging text each week.
- Save money each month to have enough for a family vacation this summer.
- Invite at least three people to our Easter Saturday service.
When we accept the challenge to DO our part, we will BE more like Christ!