“What makes you so special?” Maybe you’ve had this question asked of you in your life, maybe you’ve been the one asking it of someone else. Maybe you’ve even questioned yourself about it. What makes us special? Are we special at all? What is our value?
When it comes to this topic, we are often conflicted creatures. On the one hand, we believe ourselves to be valuable, but at the same time, we allow feelings of inadequacy to depress us and make us feel worthless. We can believe that we are the same as everyone else, yet constantly compare ourselves to others with a sense of superiority. Surely we’ve got something wrong.
As the people of our society has lost identity in Christ, we’ve lost our view of human value and greatness. We’ve distorted and muddled it with small, temporary victories and insignificant abilities. So the question remains: what makes you special? Today, we’ll be discussing the value of a person and we may find it to be different than we have traditionally thought.
In Jim Collins book Great by Choice he reminds us that life offers no guarantees. It’s always conceivable that game-ending events and unyielding forces, like disease, accident, financial misfortune, war, or any myriad of other things can overthrow our best efforts. And yet we still must live out our commitments.
When the challenges come, when we’re worn out, fearful, or tempted, Collins asks; “What choice do we make? Do we abandon our values? Do we give in? Do we accept average performance because that’s what most everyone else accepts? Do we capitulate to the pressure of the moment? Do we give up on our dreams when we’ve been slammed by brutal facts?” He goes on to say that the people who made impact, “cared as much about values as victory, as much about purpose as profit, as much about being useful as being successful. Their drive and standards are ultimately internal, rising from somewhere deep inside.”
The conclusion he makes… “We are not imprisoned by our circumstances. We are not imprisoned by the luck we get or the inherent unfairness of life. We are not imprisoned by crushing setbacks, self-inflicted mistakes or our past success. We are not imprisoned by the times in which we live, by the number of hours in a day or even the number of hours we’re granted in our very short lives. In the end, we can control only a tiny sliver of what happens to us. But even so, we are free to choose, free to become great by choice.”
Today as we consider Long Haul Faithfulness, may we be encouraged to stay the course. Like Paul, may we fight the good fight… finish the race & keep the faith.
What a great time of fellowship we all had together last week! Rick and I would like to thank everyone who helped with our breakfast- cooks, servers, people who set up tables, etc. Few things bring a church body together like times of feasting and fellowship. Thanks to everyone who made it happen!
Today, Rick will be sharing an important story from scripture about the reinstatement of Peter. Immediately after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter found himself in a bad place. The apostle who claimed undying loyalty to his Lord had betrayed Christ three times! Even though Jesus was now risen, Peter still had to live with the reality of what he had done. He found himself in a situation that many of us have found ourselves in: the knowledge of being wholly inadequate.
It is in this context that Jesus appears to Peter and the others with a special purpose in mind. As He reinstates Peter, Jesus teaches us an important lesson about what it truly means to love Him. As Rick shares with us today, let’s reflect on our own lives and our own devotion to Christ. Do we love Him?