Posts tagged ‘treasure’

October 27, 2011

Take Me To Your Leader

by pastortimfowler

Who do you know that you would follow anywhere? Maybe a quick answer would be your spouse, but remember that I said anywhere. Would it be a policeman? How about your child? Now I want to ask, who would follow you anywhere and Why.
I am getting ready to read Dave Ramsey’s new book about leadership. It came highly recommended at a conference that I recently attended and because I like his approach to money and admire what he has done with his company, I want to see what he teaches about leadership. This is a subject that try to read at least a book or two a year about and I don’t think I can ever learn enough about the subject.
I often use the question, what kind of person must Jesus have been to have thousands of people follow Him into the wilderness without any food? Remember that they did not have drive-throughs, then, and restaurants were hard to come by in the wilderness. These people must have been crazy to follow a man they barely knew out into a hostile environment unless he had some pretty amazing qualities. This is the same man who told 12 men to follow Him and they left their jobs and did it for 3 years even though He continually told them that He was going to a cross to die.
As Christians, we are supposed to lead people to Jesus, and sadly, that does not happen with most of us in any great numbers. Sure, it is not an easy task in this present age, but I believe that there is one thing that is consistent that makes it easier, Jesus. He has not changed and He gives us the guidelines that allow this to happen. Maybe we should focus on those rather than what we are currently trying to do.
Leading others is something that takes a willingness to be bold and take the first step. But it also takes an ever-present awareness of watching the steps that we take as others are watching us. If we lead others in the wrong paths, who needs a leader? We must be willing to keep heading in the right direction even if people aren’t immediately following us. Sometimes people want to see if we believe that we are heading in the right direction before they tag along.
Another key to leading others and this is important, at least to me, is that they see joy in you as you head to where you are wanting to lead others. One of the promises of Jesus said that He would give us His joy. He did not say that he would make us happy or let us find joy, but rather He would give us the joy that He already had. To often I see Christians walking around as if they had lost their puppy or something. Even in church where we gather to worship, I see long faces and people afraid to act as if they believe that God is real. And after church if you go to a restaurant you will hear the church folks talking about long-winded preachers, bad music, and that hideous dress that she was wearing. To top it off, many waitresses will tell you that Sundays are their worst days for tips. Oh yeah, baby, follow me to life eternal! Where is the joy?
Leadership is not limited to CEO’s and Government officials and pastors. If you are a Christian you should take the lead. An old friend of mine once said that you only have to be one step ahead to lead. The challenge is to act like we want others to follow. Most people like the spotlight of leadership when there is a title and a pay-check involved, but Jesus tells us that the treasures in this world will go away, but the treasure in heaven are never-ending.
If you had to lead someone to a place that was as miserable as the wilderness of Israel, and you had no food, you had better be a dynamic person. Jesus was. But He did not say lead people to the wilderness, He said to lead them to Heaven, via Him. If McD’s was giving away free Big Macs and fries to everyone that you brought to them, you would have no problem putting on the smile and enthusiastically having people follow you there, even if it were the one across town. Jesus offers the Bread of life and Living Water and a place to stay in His mansion for all eternity to everyone you bring to Him. And, you won’t have to lead them far. Just take them to the cross.

April 19, 2011

Treasure hunting

by pastortimfowler

Most of the day today I have been trying to get ready to go on a short vacation with a few friends. We are heading to Venice Beach, Fl. for a dive trip. It is called the shark tooth capital of the world and that is what we are going to look for. Not just regular teeth but rather prehistoric teeth from an extinct species of shark called the Megalodon. Some of the teeth we hope to find are as big as 7 inches long. They say this shark was a big as a Greyhound Bus.
Since I am leaving bright and early in the morning and it is a 10 hour drive, I am not sure if I will blog anymore the rest of the week. I am taking my laptop and hope to squeeze in one but not making any promises. It is supposed to be a vacation of sort but I will be spending some time preparing for Easter services. I rarely take time off before Easter because it is such an important time in the Christian faith, but my good friend an I have been wanting to make this dive for years and this is the first time that it worked out for both of us to go.
Vacation is a time to relax and appreciate God’s creation. I will be doing that. I find very little as relaxing as swimming under the ocean and treasure hunting. These teeth we hope to find are valuable. Some of the bigger ones in good shape can bring hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. To think that something died that long ago and it can still have that much of an effect on me now. Now that is real value.
You know, Jesus died a long time ago, and although I never expect to find His fossilized remains, He still brings value into my life. I find value in the fact that He created such a magnificent planet that I can have such fun and even find remains of creatures that He created that are no longer around. But better than that, I can find forgiveness for everything that I have ever messed up. I can find favor with a holy God that without this forgiveness I would never have. I find peace in troubled times and joy in living my life for Him. These are treasures that have no price tag. They can’t be bought. They are free to anyone who would ask for them.
Everyone has heard that Jesus died on a cross. It is not hard to believe, because everyone knows death is real. Jesus chose to die in my place and yours, because of our sin against God. But He didn’t leave it at that. Jesus did the unthinkable, the impossible, the unimaginable: He resurrected from death. He did this so that all who ask to be forgiven can find this treasure called eternal life. It is a gift. Not earned nor bought, but given upon asking.
There is only one catch. We must ask in belief that God does forgive and Jesus did die for our sin and that He does give life when we ask.
I have never been to Venice beach to look for these shark’s teeth. I have never personally seen someone who has any of these teeth. The reason I am going to look for them is because I believe they are there. The only reason you do anything that has a risk is because you believe the risk is worth it.
Years ago I went looking for forgiveness and found it in Jesus Christ. The risk was worth it. I found something as real as the teeth I hope to find. I found a God who loves me and forgives me and gave me a treasure worth hunting.
This Easter, why not try to find forgiveness, and why not try to find this loving God. He died for your sin too and better yet, He lives to give you a life that never ends.
It is time to go treasure hunting!