A Hero Greater Than Yourself

On the last leg of my trip back from London this past Saturday night, God began to flood my mind with a few thoughts that I had to write down. I presented this info last night at Aletheia Church’s first ever Disciple Boot Camp, which is a leadership development class that we are offering to our entire church here in Tampa. The 60 who attended last night seemed to be encouraged from these thoughts, so I wanted to get them in a blog to hopefully encourage many more today. May this be a gracious reminder to you today.

1 John 4:9 “…the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”

Right at this very moment, amidst all of your failures and weaknesses and sin and crap, you cannot possibly be loved any more by God than you are. God doesn’t love a future, better, more sanctified version of yourself. He loves you right now; not because of who you are, but rather because of who you are in Christ!

He is pleased with you because of Christ. His love for you is determined by Christ. He can love you because of Christ. He will never love you any less because of Christ. He can’t love you any more than He already does because His limitless and abounding love has already been fully given through Christ.

Do you see a pattern here? – Because of Christ, you are loved apart from what you do!

The sooner you realize this, the sooner you will be able to live, love, & lead according to God’s purposes. You won’t live, love, & lead out of a need to prove something but rather out of an act of worship. Your living, loving, & leading are reflective of something astonishing that has already happened, not something that you are trying to make happen.

Nothing is NEEDED from you because Christ has already accomplished everything. You are now able to function out of the freedom that you have – the freedom of being an adopted son or daughter of Jesus (Rom 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”) and the freedom of living out of being conformed in the image of Christ daily – until glory (Rom 8:29 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”). This has already been determined and is a promise!

(My six year old Drew doesn’t need to do anything in regards to proving himself to me in order for me to love him or want to be in relationship with him. He gets to function from the position of being my son and he gets to freely operate within that at all times).

BUT, because of our sin, from birth, we distort the image that God created all men to function from.

As fallen man, apart from the grace of Christ, instead of being marked by our image bearing, we are marked by our image distortion.

Ask yourself these questions right now:

  • When are you at your most uncomfortable in life?
  • What gets you the most upset?
  • What makes you discontent?
  • Where does your heart wander most?

The answer to these questions determines or helps to point to what your identity is rooted in or at the very least what is vying for supremacy in your life. If you value money, relationships, career, family, or other people’s opinions too much, when there is a breakdown of some sort, your life will end up falling into a tail spin. That’s a guarantee.

Consider the rich young ruler who seemingly had it all together. Mark 10:17-22 says:

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

When Jesus confronted his deeply rooted idols of wealth, power, control, head on, and told him to forsake these things in order to truly follow Jesus, the man could not do it and  ran away unrepentant.

What in your life, is being confronted by the gospel head on, and you are possibly unwilling to let go of?

And what about suffering? Don’t we need to always talk about suffering? How does suffering fit into the picture? Do we suffer because Jesus suffered, so we just need to grin and bear it? No! We suffer because of image distortion. When Adam and Eve sinned, it brought forth death of all sorts (physical death, death of hopes and dreams, death of relationships etc).

The point is that you need a greater hero in your life than yourself. Everything that is good about us is because of Jesus (no one is good except God, right?). Everything that is bad about us is because of us (Mark 7:21 “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”). The hero is not me. It’s Jesus. And thankfully this hero loves you and me and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. What more do we need today? Seriously, what more do we need?

NOTHING!

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