Thursday, March 11, 2010

Don't Waste Your Life: Because You Probably Are....

Matthew 9:37-38
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

John Piper speaks a convicting sermon called Don't Waste Your Life.  He talks about a couple who decides that they will retire to the collect shells together until the day they die.

Sounds romantic, some would say.  To that, John Piper would say- what a complete waste of life.  Take your "sea shell collection" to God when He asks you what you've done with the precious time you've been given.  Show Him all the different colors and shapes and sizes while He grieves over the souls that have yet to hear about His love for them.  In other words, don't waste your life.

The funny thing is, this couple may be the center of our scoffing as we listen to his sermon, but truth be told- many of us aren't walking too far from their footsteps.  It's easy to get wrapped up in life, all the while missing it's true purpose: reaping the harvest.  It's true that the harvest is's ripe....but the workers are few.

That explains why on a given Saturday morning, in one of the most broken neighborhoods in our town, only 5 volunteers show up to visit and love on hurting people.  That explains why churches are so desperate for volunteers, and that 90% of the ministries are run by the same 10% of the people.  That explains why it's so much easier for some to write a check and stick it in a bucket than to actually go and do....(if we can even get them to write the check, that is....).

A pastor by the name of Frank Damazio from Portland came to our church this week to discuss reaching our city, reaching the harvest that's ripe for picking.  I can't say I know much about this guys or his background, but I do know one thing-he's definitely not wasting his life...

He told stories of the things his church is doing for the poor and the broken and the needy.  But best of all, he told stories of average men and women who were making HUGE strides in the Kingdom of God. 

He talked about a lady who baked cookies and sat downtown for days, until the skater kids started paying attention to her....befriended her....accepted her love, and came to know the Lord. 

He talked about the young 20 something year old girl who decided to go downtown and make a difference in kids lives, now reaching more than 300 with the love of Jesus. 

Average people....who decided to make a difference.  Average people, who felt led to follow the call to reach the harvest.  Average people, who committed to using their life rather than wasting it.

What about you?  90% of the people reading this post are not living what they preach.  90% of the people reading this post do not even have one individual that they are deliberately loving on right now.  90% of the people reading this post have not had one significant spiritual interaction with anyone this week.  90% of the people reading this post don't remember the last time they shared the gospel, brought someone to church, or led someone to Jesus.  90% of the people reading this post have big plans this weekend...nothing to do with the harvest.  Sounds more like picking up seashells to me.

Don't get me wrong...I write this post for myself as much as I do for everyone reading this.  It's a challenge.  It's a call.  We need to look at our lives differently.  We need to reassess our goals and priorities.  We need to see our lives for what they really are, not what we wish them to be. 

In the end, we need to make the decision that with every passing day we will NOT succumb to the self-serving culture that we live in....that in the end, we will not waste our lives.


  1. Wow. First post I've read and I'm definitely a fan now. Thanks for this insight and an eye opener.

    God Bless!

  2. Vanessa, thanks so much for your comment! Trust me, after writing that I am just as challenged to really take the time do be deliberate about making a difference...

    I appreciate you taking the time to read the did you stumble upon my blog?

  3. well said Deb. Very convicting and a good reminder to actually DO something. We come in contact with people so much throughout the day...sometimes we just need to get out of our comfort zones and speak up! That's what I've been learning lately. I don't necessarily need to "go out" and find people to minister to..God has placed so many right in front of my face in my everyday life! I can't take those opportunities for granted.

    thanks for sharing this.


  4. Just read this now and was challenged again by the message to "love God with all our hearts and love people"... which hopefully causes us to move, go, and do! Our Life Group actually heard that same talk by Piper (we were going through his book at the time)... it's definitely challenging to say that least! Thanks for the sharing with boldness. I'm asking myself the same questions, am I talking the walk, or actually walking it? I hope that my life is spent well in making a difference for the least of these.

  5. Libby, thanks for taking the time to read this...yeah it's been such a challenge to me lately. It's easy to think we're something that we're actually not....rather than see ourselves and our work for God as it really is.

    I think you're right, the hardest people to reach out to our sometimes the people nearest to us....especially after we get comfortable with NOT being spiritual in front of certain people, it's hard to get deeper, that's one of my biggest challenges.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom!

  6. Lucy,

    Seriously, living a live for the least of these...I want to be known by that in my life. It's too easy to get caught up in life as we know it, and stop seeing with spiritual eyes. Thanks for being such a consistent example of living a life that not only talks the talk....but lives it out in the day to day. Thanks for reading my thoughts and sharing yours. Love you!

  7. What an inspiring and challenging post! God is not interested in our lip service only but a life poured out to Him.

  8. I love how you challenge us, the reader while admitting your own struggles. You come along side us. Glad to discover your blog.

  9. Wanda, thanks so much for your thoughts, and for reading. I'm glad you were challenged, trust me, I am still challenged by this concept...we really need to be deliberate about living our lives differently.

  10. Jean,

    Thanks for the kind words and for being a faithful reader of my blog. I always enjoy your comments and your thoughts. It's so much easier to give lip service, isnt it? May God give us the strength to really live out what we see ourselves as we really are.

  11. Debbie,

    I met you when we each lived in PA. Your brother & my son, Tanner, were great friends. You also babysat for my neighbors in Creekside.

    I want to encourage you to continue to challenge us with your blog. I have passed it on many times or posted it on my fb page.

    I am living in Lynchburg now, a lot has happened since we first met. I am truly learning to place all of my trust and hope in the Lord. He has been so patient and faithful with me during a difficult season of life.

    You have quite a gift in writing and as I said earlier, I want to encourage you to continue to keep up the good work. Your blogs are quite a blessing to me!

    Marla T.

  12. Marla,

    I remember you very clearly! You know, reading messages like yours are one of the main things that gives me inspiration to write. It's so awesome to watch God at work in your life and to hear what He is doing with you.

    I am honored that my blog gives you some encouragement and challenges you, and I must admit, each post is definitely written more as a challenge to me than to anyone else.

    Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind words and may God continue to bless you in this season of your life and in Lynchburg (Liberty is my alma matter:).

    In Christ,


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