Thursday, May 22, 2008

To finish well we need to remember who we belong to . . .

This is post three of eight. A few weeks ago my pastor preached on finishing well. He made eight great points. I decided to take what he said and put my own spin on it. You can listen to Rocky’s sermon by clicking here. The sermon begins about 33 minutes into the video.

Point three is to remember who I belong to. When I remember this it gives me identity. About twelve years ago I hit a major snag in life – one that I created for myself by living apart from God and one that could have cost me my family. I stood at a crossroads. John Dee (founder of
Ebenezer Ministries in Knoxville) was an elder at my church at that time. He sat me down and took me through the Freedom in Christ stuff. It was the most liberating day of my life. I literally left that meeting with the world looking different. Colors looked more vivid. It had been like I was wearing glasses that subdued everything.

One of the things that John said during the meeting was this, “Right now God is standing over you, he is waving a banner, the banner has your name on it and he is shouting for the entire universe to hear – ‘Dean is mine. I love him. He is mine.’”

I was blown away. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. God is so big, so perfect and so holy – yet he knows my name – and declares loudly that I am his. The part that really got me (and still does) is this – God was doing this even when I was covered in my sin – even when I refused to turn from my ways – even when I was just as happy as a pig in mud with what I was doing. Don’t get me wrong – during those times I was convicted, but I liked the sin and pushed the voice of conviction away. Sometimes I wish I could have one of those great testimonies of the guy that lived like hell, got saved and then his life was great after God set him free. My story is that I’ve screwed up worse since I became a Christian than before. So, for me remembering who I belong to helps me to focus on my identity in Christ and that helps me to stay on track.

So how does this all boil down to leadership? When I remember who my team members belong to I treat them accordingly. I treat them like the God of all is standing over them waving a banner with their name on it and shouting they are his and he loves them. When I remember who they belong to I won’t take advantage of them or mistreat them. When I remember who they belong to I am willing to go to the ends of the earth to help them better themselves because they are his.

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