Great first talk at ALC Network Day. I’m blogging live on this stuff so it’s not as tidy as I usually like…but EVERY leader needs to get hold of this!
The BIG life
We can be surrounded by smallness in the UK.
2 Cor 6: 1-10 (Msg) Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us,
I heard your call in the nick of time;
The day you needed me, I was there to help.
Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
11-13Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
We have to live more openly and expansively. It’s about INTERNAL size. How expansive are you living? Inside your own life is the perimeters. We see small people acheive big things when the bigness is inside them.
Jonathan – had the opportunity to serve under Saul & David.
one was small in stature but huge on the inside. The other was the other way round. He ended up dying on the battlefield of the guy who was small on the inside.
Working on your internal bigness.
Are you making a mark or is life marring you?
We live hard lives – as Paul did, but he still challenges you to not shrink on the inside. However big you are inside will determine the bigness of what God does through you.
What we decide to be will decide what our churches will be.
Cain had a great opportunity – to mark a moment and do something significant. But he became marred, trapped by comparison. The enemy will speak to your smallness and feed you thoughts to close you down.
He brought his offering, but Abel brought the fat offerings.
His smallness grew on the inside. the smallest things can do that to us.
The Lord said you can change this – just do what’s right!
God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.”
His punishment? Isolation. He was MARKED – marred, for life. You can end up a restless wanderer, losing your way, half asleep – in the land of Nod.
If they’d just forgiven, got over it… they wouldn’t have ended up there.
His kids ended up living there too – because what you are is what you’ll lead.
what’s inside you will restrict what you do.
God has called us to MAKE A MARK – to reshape the geography of our nation! If you don’t make a mark you’ll be unremarkable. Something has to happen!
3 Marks to make
God wires us all with a trademark, FIND IT. What do you bring that is unique, significant through you? (Some people have a trademark of negativity that shrinks them all the time!). Thomas trademark? Doubt! Jesus was in the business of helping them find their trademark. Peter – you’re going to be a rock. Solomon – wisdom. David – servant leader. cf X Factor – There are lots of talented performers, but what makes them stand out? There are lots of great preachers, but what makes you stand out?
What’s that worship team’s trademark? Nelson Mandela, trademark – forgiveness. Mother Teresa, trademark – love. Paul’s trademark WAS persecution. But in Gal 1:13 he describes being marked from birth and how he got his trademark…. he worked on the inside for a long time – and changed the trademark…
A lot of people don’t set benchmarks because they don’t want stretch-marks. We have to see some things and say, ‘that’s not all right.’ Set a level. That’s what leaders do. You say, ‘NO MORE’ to the best they can do… that’s no good. We can’t be frightened to confront mediocrity. Job said to his ‘comforters’ – ‘I’ve had enough of listening to you?’ Its not about money, it’s about a spirit.
That’s what shows purity, the King’s stamp of approval. A hallmarked vessel indicates God’s choice. 2 Tim 2 – In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
The smallness you feel is internal. The only person who can fix that is you.
We don’t need any more marred leaders marring people.