Maturity in Jesus is best described as a joyful friendship with Him.
I am mature in Jesus. It’s my job to make others want to become mature in Jesus. It is my job to remain mature in Jesus.
I must never stop continually maturing in Jesus.
It’s my job to keep the attitude that I am not the owner of anything, and simply a faithful steward of all things owned by God.
It’s my job to look after the church family and be the standard for obeying Jesus’s teachings and commands. I pray others will see my example and be inspired to replicate it.
It’s my job to keep my act together.
It’s my job to keep my faith like a child’s.
It’s my job to keep finding new ways of looking at the world, getting in the world, and helping others of the world want to experience the remarkable forgiveness of Jesus.
Even if all my friends believe they’ve arrived and it’s time for someone else to sacrifice. Even if all my friends have quit and left me. I will keep my job, my focus, my determination.
I must never settle. I will never retire from the work of changing the populations of heaven and hell.
There are so many who will be separated from Jesus for eternity if I choose to ignore the above standard.
This is my Job. It is my choice.
I am a Follower of Jesus.
Over the last 5 years the Renner Fam has had some head spinning life transitions take place from Arizona to Florida and back to AZ again. These 5 years have given me the ability to encounter many different types of leaders, staff, church members, and leadership teams. It is astonishing to me how different each one of these experiences have been.
My most recent is my accepting the lead pastor role with CCFH = Christ’s Church of Fountain Hills. Earlier today, I sat in my 4th meeting with the CCFH Elders, and I am simply blown away at their love, camaraderie, and Kingdom mentality. As I post these thoughts, 7 hours after the meeting, I am still reeling with a heart that is full, and am so encouraged. This kind of team is what I’ve been looking for since the Parkway days.
I’m experienced enough to know it will not always be easy…but the foundation that the Founding Pastor, Don Lawrence has built over the last 32 years has created a church, a staff, and an Elder Board that is humble, hungry for Kingdom growth, and has strong spiritual, social, and emotional health. I ask for your prayers as this journey continues. If you don’t live in Fountain Hills…make the time someday to come out on a Sunday, visit CCFH, and say hello to me! If you live in FH, then it’s a no brainer, come to Church! 🙂 I’d love to see you and introduce you to an unbelievable Church called CCFH. I am grateful and will hit the hay tonight with a full heart.
There is this list. This list hasn’t earned the superlative ranks we call Oscar’s, Santa’s, Schindler’s, Craig’s, America’s Most Wanted, or My Bucket…but the day will be upon us sooner or later where this list will be parallel to none.
In the Bible, specifically Luke 10:20, Jesus said to a group of His Disciples, “Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.” Specifically in the Book of Revelation chapter 3 verse 5, the list is mentioned again, “They who overcome will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase their name from the book of life, and I will confess their name before My Father and before His angels.”
Every human being has been given a gift…our names have been written in THE Book of Life. Every person that Jesus died for has their name written in this Book of Life. What a gift! You didn’t earn having your name penciled in. You are not so outstanding that your name got written in, and other’s, who didn’t put in the work ethic like you, did not.
This is no human standard’s list. No, this list has written on it every name that the Blood of Jesus was shed for. This list contains every name that was ever knit together in a mother’s womb, plus Adam and Eve. Every human, from the beginning of time, has their name written in this book. Jesus’s death, His obedience to the Father, secured your name being written on The List. You weren’t asked, and you did not earn it. You aren’t capable of earning such an entry in The Book of Life.
Be warned. Every name is written in pencil. Please note, in the Revelation passage above, the critical words, “overcome”, and “not erase”.
To keep the free gift of having your name written in The Book of Life, the only thing required of you is to LOVE JESUS. Jesus said, and it’s recorded in John 14:15, “If you love Me, obey Me.”
It’s a fair standard. This standard is the exact same standard the Father requested of Jesus, as He was sent to become one of us, and live in obedience to the Father’s commands on earth. Such a request to Jesus from the Father, killed Him. He laid down His life. He laid down His own desires. (Don’t forget Jesus asked the Father, in the Garden of Gethsemane, to find another way to pay for our sins.) God didn’t change his way, so… Jesus obeyed and laid down His own desires, to honor the Father’s desires. Jesus, did all that was necessary to Love/Obey the Father, specifically this, “NOT MY WILL BE DONE, BUT YOUR’S”.
Jesus referred a lot to laying down your own life, picking up your cross, suffering for Him, etc. He earned the right to command such of us. Your life is not yours. Your desires are not your God, Jesus is.
Keep your name written in the Book of Life. Our life choices influence the great eraser mentioned in Revelation 3:5.
Speaking of lists…is the list below full of items that are worth doing so as to cause “The Great Eraser” to erase our name from The List?
My goodness…that list could go on for eternity. Did you read that list and think to yourself, “Impossible…My name is going to be erased…there is no way I can live my life free of those…”
First, let me challenge you with this. Re-read that list again and ask yourself which ones on the list you HAVE to commit? Which of the listed, or unlisted items, are you FORCED to do today or tomorrow, or the next? Never forget the Bible verse that says, through Jesus, we can do all things. Never forget that those who confess Jesus as Lord of their lives, are titled OVERCOMERS, and CONQUERORS, and VICTORIOUS!
When Jesus said, “If you love me, obey me.” Repenting and confessing your sins are things we do to obey Jesus.
My challenge is this…have your repented of your sins? To repent doesn’t mean to simply say “sorry” like an apathetic child, who called his sister a bad name, and then was told by a parent to apologize. No, to repent means to stop and go the opposite direction.
The Bible says in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Receiving the Holy Spirit is what gives you the strength to witness your name NOT being ERASED from The Book of Life. The Holy Spirit is what gives you the strength to be what I wrote above…overcomers, conquerors, and victorious ones.
Ultimately…you have a choice of what you want to be a slave to…Be a slave to the obedience/love of Jesus, not a slave to the sins of this world. What sin is so fulfilling that if it ultimately means having your name erased from The Book of Life…you will say to yourself, “That was worth it!!”?
This post, should strike a little fear in our hearts and lives. The Bible, written in Proverbs 9:10 says, “Fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.” What do you need to repent and confess of? If you have been keeping secrets and living in sin…Get on your knees before God and stop the sin you are commiting, confess it all to Him, and work diligently the rest of your life to live a forgiven and free life!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
It will be a very cool day, when you stand in line to meet The Creator of the Sun, Moon, and the Stars, receive a handshake and hug, watch The Book of Life be opened to where your name is written, and be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
There are two great eraser opportunities while our hearts still beat.
The first is to live our lives selfishly by ignoring the commands of Jesus, and thus erasing our names from the Book of Life.
The second and best opportunity is to dedicate our lives to the Teachings and Commands of Jesus, thus erasing the sins in our lives, through His blood sacrifice, so that we can be forgiven and remain in the Book of Life for all eternity.
If I can personally help you give your life to Jesus, please just ask in the comments section or email me and I’ll do all that I can to walk with you through such a life changing decision.
I am in search of a Church that will allow me to lead them in honoring God’s will.
I have a Wish List…If the Church isn’t committed to the point of writing this wish list as its upmost importance, then I must decline leadership in it. I do not want to just LEAD in it…I want to incarnate it and vice versa.
I want my family to be a part of a Church Body that...
1. …is fully committed to the acknowledgment that there is no difference in our spiritual and secular lives 7 days a week.
2. …doesn’t rely on a church building, me, or the people up front to be the primary source of growth.
3. …will disagree well, because our common enemy is the devil, not each other.
4. …is devoted to the restoration of people who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, or have shattered lives.
5. …will agree that the Lord is worthy of excellence and only the excellent will be used in public worship gatherings.
6. …has an aggressive pursuit of Health, Growth, and Love, founded in the Teachings and Commandments of Jesus Christ.
Will no longer have the Lord’s Supper be a short pause with a little cracker and cup of juice during a worship service, but will meet once a week in homes and have a full supper together. The Supper is a focused appreciation of common fellowship, Bible Application, prayer, and focus on the Lord’s body and blood.
Every member will be committed to baptizing at least one person a year with whom they have built a trusting and loving relationship with.
Every member will meet regularly with 2 other friends for accountability and prayer.
There is a Church that exists with this focus out there, and they are looking for a leader like me to join them…I just know it. If not…I’m going to start a brand new one.