By Matt Dawson
“carpe diem, quam minimum credula poster” = Seize today, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)
Most of us have heard this “war cry” before. Usually shouted before someone jumps out of a plane or off a cliff or before attempting some other reckless act of impulse and possibly foolishness.
However, James, the brother of Jesus, gives us a stern warning to be careful NOT to put our hope or plans in “tomorrow.”
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-15
What is my life? Just a MIST that appears for a while….thanks James! You were really quite the encourager!
The truth is, many of us put off till tomorrow what we are called to do today.
We allow the tyranny of the urgent and the assumption of tomorrow to distract us and derail us from taking action on some of our “What if” questions God has given us.
This Sunday, we’re asking the most challenging “What if?” question of the series. What if we started today?
BONUS – several folks have mentioned this clip to me from Steve Harvey, so I wanted to share it with you. He comes at this conversation from a bit of a different angle, but the core message is the same and Steve even finds a way to insert God into the conversation. Everyone has to JUMP!
“The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (1st Inaugural Address)
FDR’s famous words have been repeated throughout the years as an anthem cry to those who desire to push past the fear that they face in life and overcome their circumstances.
Contextually, FDR was addressing our nation about the Great Depression that we were facing in our country, he needed people to trust in their leadership if they wanted to see our nation move forward in the midst of uncertainty. This is his full quote:
“…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
I really love his quote – but I LOVE the follow-up statement even more.
The way he describes fear is a “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Last week, we discussed the power of asking “What if?” and the power of those words to help us believe that anything is possible.
The #1 enemy of our “What if?” questions that are filled with dreams and possibilities is FEAR! A nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes our efforts and keeps us from moving forward!
– it keeps us from making necessary changes
– it keeps us from living out our heart’s passion
– it keeps us from risking and trying something new
– it keeps us from fully trusting God alone for everything.
This week, we will be asking a very important question.
“What if there is nothing to fear?”
In your marriage, at your job, in your relationships, with your kids, in your finances… what if there is nothing to fear? How different would our lives look today? What kind of different decisions would you make today? In what areas would you experience freedom today?
Join us Sunday, as we consider this next “What If?” question. If you need to catch up on our celebration and introduction to our “What if? Series” last weekend, click here.
By Matt Dawson
By Matt Dawson
What if…we had never changed?
In June of 2011, (many of you were not here, some of you were) as a church we were 4 months behind on our mortgage for this building… we really were not sure what the future of this physical space held for us (we had only been in it for 2 years). We were already a few months into carrying over credit card balances because we couldn’t pay it off every month and had put a SPENDING FREEZE on our ministry budgets.
People were leaving the church because the planting pastor had just left and was transitioning to Ethiopia on mission. We didn’t have a lead pastor, just an INTERIM pastor who had ZERO YEARS experience leading a church as a senior pastor and whose formal education was in Mortuary Science (AKA-the study and care of dead people). We had also just freed up our worship pastor and youth pastor to leave and go attempt a non-profit partnership together.
We didn’t know what God was up to, and we didn’t have a CLEAR or PRECISE MAP telling us what or how to change!
So what did we do?
We asked… What If?
What if God had something really, really BIG in store for us?
What if we believed He wanted to use US to make it happen at Journey?
So, what happened? I’ll share more with you this weekend about some of the amazing things God has done in 2015, how He’s answered specific prayers, and how we are starting to see Him do more than we could even ask or imagine. It’s going to be an amazing Sunday celebrating together!
The big “C” Church had a “What If?” moment in Acts 15. We will spend some time this weekend considering how powerful (both positive and negative) this simple question can be when it comes to our future possibilities.
What if the Church had never changed?
Join us Sunday as we celebrate what God has done at Journey and in the Church at large in the last 2000 years and what this means for the FUTURE Church!