Legendary

     Some of you that may know me well, know that I am a big fan of the band Skillet. Skillet is releasing a new album this year in August, although, they released a single called “Legendary” on Wednesday. You can check it out here if you like that type of music- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAXCNeAk7-0. I was listening to John Cooper, the lead singer for Skillet, talk about the song and he said something that struck a chord with me. He said they have been a band for 22 years, and this would be their 10th album. They had tons of people tell them they would not make it, they were too hard rock, too pop, too many girls in the band, not enough girls in the band, too Christian, not Christian enough and more and more. One part of the chorus of Legendary says, “Still the ones standin’ now, Destiny is callin’ me, go down in history, every day I’ll fight to be Legendary.” It struck a chord with me because often times, I strive and work to be a better pastor, a better communicator, a better leader, but how often do I step back and just focus on being the best Christian I can be?

     For most Christians, this isn’t a thought that is encouraged. We are told the meek shall inherit the Earth, whoever wants to be first must be last, and so many other true things from scripture. However, when we apply those to not trying our best to walk closely with God, we are short changing the promises God has given us. We are fighting against the world and evil on a portion of what God wants to give us. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” Whatever we do, we need to do our very best, because when we die, there will be no more work… no more planning or wisdom…. When we go to the grave our life here on Earth is done. We have one life to live. Then why do we as Christians claim we know Jesus, but then we spend very little time cultivating our own spiritual growth. I am a person who likes to do my best at everything I do, but I can honestly say before talking with a friend this week, after having some semi-typical Monday Blues (It’s a pastor thing, you can feel free to read 100s of articles out there about it) and I told him, I don’t think I have ever said I want to be the very best Christian I can be. Don’t get me wrong, I read my Bible, pray, talk about Jesus every day. It is a normal part of me and my life. However, there is a difference between doing something and giving it 100% of who I am and what I am. Most of us have gotten used to giving a small percentage of effort into getting by in life. But God isn’t calling us to survive, he is calling us to thrive.

     Maybe one verse isn’t enough to convince you that we should do our best for God. We should give everything we can give to be the best Jesus Followers we can be. How about from Paul in his letter to the church in Galatia, he says “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.(Galatians 6:9)” When we are doing good, and we pursue doing good, at just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing but only if we don’t give up. How many times do we give up, or feel that God is not blessing us because we have given up too soon or quit too early? Or how about towards the end of Paul’s life he wrote “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. (2 Timothy 4:7)” He is saying, I have given everything for Jesus. I have given my life, my breath, my body to pursue Jesus and lead others to Him.

     That’s just two more examples of doing our very best. That isn’t giving 10% like a tithe, its giving 100%. It’s giving so much, that there is nothing left to give anywhere else. To give 100% it often will take everything we have. But, giving 100% will often take us further than we ever thought was possible. Because, and Jesus said this in Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

     If you are looking at me and telling me, it is impossible for us to give our very best to God. Or are very best is but filthy rags to God, that may be true, but God still asks us for it. Maybe you think, It is impossible for you to be a better Christian. It is impossible for you to not get road rage, it is impossible for you to get over this addiction to drugs, pornography, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, or whatever is holding you back. You know what, you would be right. It IS impossible for you to be your best on your own. It is impossible for you to be your best and over come your struggles and shortcomings, to overcome your sin, without God. All things are possible with God. Or, nothing is impossible with God. Just like the song by Skillet says, we must fight every single day. The devil, our enemy, and the enemy of God is seeking to destroy us and tear us down. What if that one day that you are not on your “A Game” is the day that someone needed you? That was the day that someone was ready to decide to follow Jesus and change the direction of their life forever… but you weren’t ready to help them.

    The reason we need to strive to be Legendary, isn’t to exalt our own names, but to exalt God’s name. The larger platform, the more we can do, the better witness we provide, all will point people to God. Last week I preached out of Acts 2:42-47, and that early church did 5 things well. But one of them, one that I didn’t even touch on, has stayed with me. That early church performed signs, wonders and miracles and that witnessed to those around them that God was with them. When we are following God, there will be signs that he is with us.

     Maybe you have been in a place where you are struggling, maybe you have been in a rut for a long, long time. Maybe you have had so many bad days that you don’t remember what a good day feels like. Maybe you have given up on being the best Christian you can be, you have allowed the devil to determine your limitation instead of allowing God to do the impossible.

If that is you, I encourage you to pray to God and ask Him to reveal His power, His wonder working power, to you and those around you. Pray that God’s power is so strong in your church and mine that His signs, wonders and miracles show others that God is with us. That God is walking among us.

Ask God to come in and change your life. Ask Him to show you where you have not given Him everything.  Are you ready? He is calling you, speaking to you, are you listening?
 
Pastor Kevin B. Plain

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