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sold out

February 20, 2013

One again this morning I read Mark 8:34-37 from The Message, then read the same story from the other books that mention it. I wanted to see an even bigger picture of what our Daddy has to say bout this.  Jesus is the one speaking in each verse.  “Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?”

Matthew 10:38-39, ” ‘If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me.  If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself.  But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.’ ” (The Message)

Luke 14:25-27, ” ‘Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters–yes, even one’s own self!–can’t be my disciple.  Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.’ ” (The Message)

John 12:24-25: ” ‘Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat.   But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.  In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life.  But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.’ ” (The Message)

Every time I’ve heard of someone who is making a difference in the lives of others, it’s because they’re sold out to a cause.  There is a clear contrast with those who merely go through the motions of life, seeming to exist without a purpose.  In this last verse Jesus is saying for those purposeless people, they’re just a grain of wheat.    But for the grain of wheat that’s buried in the ground and dies it’s like those who are sold out; they reproduce themselves many times over.

When I go into a store to look for an item and I am told they are sold out, it means there’s no more left of what I’m looking for.  For those inspiring people we’ve all heard about, they’re sold out to a cause; there’s no selfish part left in them.  They are no longer consumed with what they want.  They are now sold out for a cause.  There’s no more left of the selfishness.  These people can truly be described as selfless.

When a dear friend walked me through the 12 Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous I became completely sold out to God.  It was then, and only then, that an indescribable joy began to flood my life.  I was sold out to Jesus.  My life was no longer about me, but about Him and what He wanted me to do.  There are no English words to describe how fulfilling it is to live for Him.

For instance, one purpose He has for me is to speak on domestic violence, a very dark topic.  Yet when I do research to prepare to speak, the adrenaline pumps through my body.  The more time I spend in research, the more pumped I get.  It’s because it’s my purpose.

To write this blog is so fulfilling as well.  I have no idea who reads this, or if anyone does on any kind of a regular basis.  Yet I know it’s what He wants me to do.

I so clearly see in stark contrast how my life was like a dark, empty tunnel that I stumbled through before I sold out to my Father.  I thought my steps took me in a forward motion, but since there was no light to walk toward, I really didn’t know where I was going.

Food for thought:  Which of the above describes your life:  fulfilled with an adrenaline rush or a dark, empty tunnel that you stumble through?  There truly is a purpose for your life or your heart wouldn’t continue to pump precious blood through your body.  Please join me on this exciting journey.  I so wish you could see the smile on my face.  I want you to know the indescribable joy it is to make a difference in the lives of others.  Please ask Him what He wants you to do.  Then step out and do it.  Literally take one baby step at a time, get up if you fall, but keep moving forward obediently.  Soon you’ll be able to experience the amazing fulfillment I’m talking about.  You’ll gradually realize your selfishness is like a hard shell cracking off a hatching bird.  There’s new life to be lived if you’ll get rid of the small, crusty world you’ve known.  Before long you’ll be able to fly!  What’s important is to move forward with each step He shows you to do.

Feel free to write and let me know your story as you begin this exciting journey!  I would love to hear from other sold out travelers on this road with me.

Moving forward :),

Joanna

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