Outlive Your Life: . . . Made to Make a Difference

Outlive Your Life (Thomas Nelson, 2010)

Max Lucado, who serves as Senior Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, wrote Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference in 2010.  As some point, Pastor Lucado contends, you come to realize that you’re neck deep in life.  And, even though you didn’t request a life, you have one.  Thus, you wonder how can my life matter?  In what way will God use me?  Hence, Max takes a look at the early Jerusalem church.  He observes that the early church possessed one key asset – a fire in the belly to change the world.  So, Max asks, what can we learn from their priorities and passions?  We learn that God invites us to outlive our lives – on earth as well as in heaven.  Also, Jesus continues to use ordinary people to change the world.

Next, show willingness to take a step when Jesus asks you to follow Him.  For the promise of Pentecost ensures that if you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit will speak through you.  Therefore, Pastor Lucado exhorts, carefully explore your identity as God’s child and your calling from God.  This presents a wonderful opportunity to discover  your language and proclaim Jesus as the Bread of Life.  But remember, the author states, that an unopened loaf does no one any good.  As a result, the Jerusalem church found a way to work together.  In the process, lives were changed.  The Jerusalem church, then, functioned as a microcosm of God’s plan.  While no one can do everything, everyone can do something.  Consequently, those who suffer belong to all of us.  Hope shines if all of us respond.

Furthermore, God wants His children to live as exceptions to our culture of isolation.  Hence, our  practice of hospitality opens the door to uncommon community.  In fact, the Greek word for hospitality means to love a stranger.  Plus, there’s something fundamentally good about taking the time to look at the face until we see the person.  To find strength for your own life so that you can outlive your life, meditate on Christ’s  life.  And as you focus on the inside, the outside will take care of itself.  Which presents this question: Would you still do good if no one knew of it?

In conclusion, Pastor Lucado encourages you to get out of your comfort zone for Christ’s sake.  As you do so, remember that your big God holds you.  Because you can’t outlive your life if your biases restrain you.  For when you label people, you relieve yourself of responsibility.  To categorize others creates distance and provides a convenient exit strategy.  Yet, powerful things happen when we, like Jesus, immerse our word and work in prayer.  As Max reminds us, in simple deeds we serve Jesus:

“None of us can help everyone.  But all of us can help someone.  And when we help them, we serve Jesus.  Who would want to miss a chance like that?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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