Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RnRThis Summer: Relinquishing Your Summer to God

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself until it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. John 15:4

Refresh your relationship with Jesus; what does this look like for you?
Relax with people whom are important to you~
enjoy the friends and family God has blessed you with.
Relish the opportunities for new friendships as you participate in Missio Lux activities.
Rhythm: Jesus practiced a rhythm of life and as his disciples; so should we!
Relinquish the summer to God~
let him restore and revive you for the season to come.

Relinquish. It’s not something that we do very often. I think that we are far more intent on “acquiring.” We want to acquire funds to support ourselves, we want to acquire material possessions to make our life more fulfilling, we want to acquire friends on facebook; we are a people in the pursuit of acquisition!

Jesus, however, being the true revolutionary in teaching a different way to live, known in Missio Lux as the Jesus lifestyle, teaches his disciples to “relinquish!” His whole mindset was that the more that you give away, the more that God is able to replenish what is in our hand.

Luke 9 is a passage that is clearly directed to his followers. Jesus’ disciples were thrilled that they were going on a debrief retreat after Jesus sent them out to do ministry. They envisioned acquiring Jesus’ full attention and acquiring a greater relationship with him.

However, when they got there, so did the crowds who also wanted Jesus’ attention. After the disciples were patient for a time, they went to Jesus with a plan for getting the crowd to disburse. They said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.” Jesus, unbelievably, tells them to “relinquish.” He tells them, “You give them something to eat.”

They looked at one another in wonder. They only had five loaves of bread and two fish to feed over 5,000 people. What is Jesus thinking?

But, Jesus taught his disciples a huge lesson that day. He took the little that they had in their hands, thanked God for it, and began to break it up for distribution. After awhile, the disciples took the food and began to pass it out. After everyone was FULL, they picked up the leftovers and there were 12 full baskets: one for each disciple.

Jesus taught them the principle of Relinquishment that day. He showed them that when we are willing to share the little we have; that it will return to us in a much bigger way. It works in every area of our lives: our time, our energy, our money, our relationships, our dreams.

We think so small. This leads us to act small and to make small decisions. But, Jesus is saying “Even a little becomes a lot when it is relinquished back to him.”

Where is Jesus speaking to you about relinquishment?

I challenge you to test this principle that he teaches us in Luke 9 and see what happens. Jesus is serious about us committing ourselves to follow him. As a matter of fact, just a few verses later in Luke 9, Jesus makes a very important invitation.

He says, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

Three statements: all about relinquishment.

If you want to follow him, turn around and take up your cross, live the sacrificial life Jesus modeled to us.

If you try to hang on to your life and what you have: your money, your possessions, your time, your energy, you name it, you will lose it.

But, if we give up our lives, if we relinquish the little that we have, and trust Jesus to take our loaves and fishes, we will find ourselves with 12 full baskets. We will find life.

This summer has been about finding life. It is my hope that you took seriously the call to abide and in relinquishing your plans, you discovered that Jesus has something far better! If you haven’t yet taken the plunge for RnR, I challenge you to plunge in and experience the refreshing water!

As we look towards the fall we will be focusing on living the Jesus lifestyle. We spent much of last year pursuing missio and seeking to live in authentic community, but this year we will pursue the focus of what Jesus is calling us to do as his disciples. This is the third circle of knowing God and when we live all three circles in balance: knowing God, loving one another, and serving the world, we live into the sweet spot of life! God’s heart beats in us, and overflows out onto those around us.

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