Say what you want about Lebron James, but he still has an NBA championship and you don’t. There was a HUGE difference between last year’s Heat and this years. Teams do change. Players even change (maybe even Lebron).
I first knew life changed quickly, when I was 17 and decided to play organized baseball for the first time since I was 9. The first home varsity game I was put in to pinch run and ended up on third base, when the pitcher through a wild pitch. The third base coach told me to run and, before I knew it, I was STEALING HOME! As I approached home plate for the tying run, I looked up and saw the catcher throwing the ball to the incoming pitcher. A dangerous thought quickly entered my mind, “why slide, if I keep running the ball will hit my shoulder and I’ll automatically be safe.”
As I crossed home plate, I was hit. The catcher was only a few yards away, so I knew the impact would hurt, but instead of hurting I found myself on the ground. I would later realize I had been hit in the FACE, not the shoulder! One tooth popped out of my mouth and a river of bleeding began. Everyone was so stunned, the runner on third walked in behind me, picked up my tooth, scored the go-ahead run, and passed my tooth around the dugout!
One tooth was out, five others were knocked directly back, and a huge gash in my lip would need stitches and would swell to the size of a baseball. To top it off, it was the weekend before Prom. To a 17 year-old that spent 20 minutes a day on his hair, I knew my life was over!
4 hours of oral surgery later, I was confronted with the reality that life can change very quickly. One moment we’re healthy, the next we’re not. One moment we’re happy, the next we’re not. It even works in reverse. One moment a person has given up on life and the next they’re given hope through the encouragement of a friend. One moment a family is without food, the next a loving person feeds them. One moment a man is dying spiritually and the next he’s awakened to the love of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately the older we get the tendency is to no longer believe in real life change. We think we can’t really make a difference or be different. The world is what it is and we are what we are. But, that’s not reality! You can lead a life of impact. In fact God’s message is that Christ in you is the hope of the world. Your life matters…you are the hope of the world.
A couple of years ago I read a book that profoundly impacted my life. It’s called, “Movements that Change the World,” by Steve Addison (a pastor and missiologist in Australia). Steve studied historical movements of Jesus (early Church, underground church in China, Moravians, and other revival moments in history) and what similarities there were between them. (Very similar to Alan Hirsch’s earlier book, “The Forgotten Ways“). Steve found five commonalities of these movements:
- White-hot Faith
- Commitment to a Cause
- Contagious Relationships
- Rapid Mobilization
- Adaptive Methods
This Sunday we’re going to begin testing these 5 points with Scripture in the book of Acts. If you’re not familiar with Acts, it’s the fifth book in the New Testament of the Bible. It describes how the early Christian Church begins after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It tells the incredible stories of young, uneducated men changing the course of human history!
Don’t belittle your life or calling. Your life matters immensely. It’s more important than winning a basketball game or sliding into home. Christ in you is the hope of the world. You’re meant to be a pioneer of change.