Recently our leadership team gave considerable thought towards our 3E statements and decided to make some important changes. They are now as follows:
We go to the extreme for others to EXPERIENCE the love of Jesus
We do whatever it takes to EMPOWER everyone to become Jesus followers
We sacrifice anything to EXPAND God’s kingdom
When I read the last line, a couple of thoughts come to mind. Sacrifice anything? Is this for real? Isn't that a bit bold of you to ask of us? What exactly do you mean by “anything”?
In Matthew 19:16-20 we hear the story of a wealthy young man who asks Jesus for some advice:
And behold, a man came up to Him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why do you ask Me about what is good? There is only One who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Imagine being given the chance to meet Jesus face to face. You ask Him how you can be a better person, and He tells you to sell everything you have and follow Him as His disciple. Now keep in mind, as a disciple of Jesus, you would have the opportunity to speak life-giving words to others and build up future leaders who will share in the work of multiplying God’s Kingdom. Would you say yes or no to this opportunity?
The young man in this story said no because, at the time, his identity was in his wealth, and not in Jesus. I’m sure we can sympathize with him. This seems like a harsh thing to ask for. Why can’t we just be a disciple without having to sacrifice anything? Isn’t grace a free gift?
Friends, I want to emphasize that there is nothing we can do to purchase our salvation. That incredible price has already been paid on our behalf on the cross by our Lord Jesus. But the reality is that kingdom expansion work has always required great personal sacrifices. Many have lost everything, even their lives for the sake of spreading the Gospel. Yet many have done so joyfully because they deeply loved God, and they desperately wanted others to share in the life-giving Gospel.
Now we are all being given a new opportunity to make joyful sacrifices to expand God’s kingdom. It is called the “Live the Journey” generosity campaign. On May 5, many of us had the chance to celebrate what God has done here at CGLCS, and where we believe He is leading us to reach the unchurched and unbelievers through school expansion, multi-site worship, leadership development, and missional partnerships. Ten percent of our congregation, including our leadership, has already stepped forward and sacrificially pledged a total of over $2 million towards our $10 million goal. Over the next few months, we will be asking all of our families to follow their lead. If we all sacrifice together, we can certainly make this goal. Will you say yes or no?