What Matters

30 years today. August 24, 1982.

I have broken into the third decade.

It’s not my birthday. I’m actually 35. I’ve been in my 30’s for a while now. However, I “said the prayer” 30 years ago.

If I only would have known what that meant at the ripe young age of 5.

But that doesn’t matter.

I realize now what that time was about. A friend of mine recently referred to it as “fire insurance.” That’s what salvation was to me at the time. And I got mine.

I then worked in the church as a youngster leading youngsters. Because discipleship included leadership. And leadership was being in charge of something.

But that doesn’t matter.

Graduating from high school and beginning this journey of life on my own was amazing. Freedom to research. Freedom to discover. And information was brought in and enjoyed fully.

I “joined” a church. I made sure I was a very active member of a young adult group. I would hang out and I would fellowship with young folks and we got to be good Christian friends.

But that doesn’t matter.

My work took over my faith journey. I worked on Sundays so I had to find another way to make my Christian journey continue.

I discovered a church that had a Friday night service. Sweet! I can work on the weekend and do Christianity. I got “plugged in” to a ministry there and began to grow and develop… into another leadership position.

But that doesn’t matter.

March 27, 2010, I married my lovely, my wife. We were stoked about what was in store for us as we worked as employees of a church.

And then I got fired. I was sent packing…actually, my office was packed for me. And I was sent out, except not in the way I read about in scripture with sent workers

My wife and I were alone … we thought.

But that doesn’t matter.

You see, this moment in time was a moment of death for me, for us. We got to be removed from our “fire insurance.” Our policy no longer existed. We weren’t sure of the process of insurance, but we were sure of the Life the Lord had given us.

So we rested. We rested in Christ. We looked to Him for healing and for restoration and for Life.

This does matter.

Life.

As I contemplate my decision to say a prayer as a five year old 30 years ago, I also contemplate the journey of a true discovery of Life. My heart wells up with thanks to have been given the eyes to see what I have seen.

The experience of Christ and His Life is worth losing all that we think matters.

30 years of salvation has sped up recently. I feel like a bigger snowball. Here are some things I have taken away recently that I would like to share if you would care to listen. And my hope is, you are encouraged in your Life in Christ:

1. “The prayer” did not seal my place in heaven and save me from hell.
2. Discipleship is not leading people to lead. Leadership in the Body of Christ is not an accountability issue.
3. Having a small group is not community.
4. Missional living is not something I can do to check something off my Christian ‘to do’ list.
5. Worship planning is exactly that.

Here are the Converse All-Stars:

1. Being in heaven is a present reality that is the most awe-inspiring, holy opportunity and gift from the Creator. He has made His Temple out of Living Stones, Christ is the Cornerstone of this Temple where the presence of God dwells. That place is outside of time and space and has an expression in time and space. This heaven is most glorious. Hell is real. Hell is the lack of the expression of this Temple. Hell is not worth whatever one feels has value if one has seen a true revelation of Jesus Christ.

2. Leadership is seen through the Life of Christ. His leadership was service, love, others. When He is followed, others are served in love. Through this service and mutual love, those involved see Christ. When one sees a true expression of Christ, he or she is forever changed. That is discipleship.

3. Community is much more than I anticipated. More encouraging. More edifying. More loving. More timely. More full. More whole. More sacrificial. More difficult. More breaking. More denying of self. More reality. More authenticity. More.

4. The Gospel that is the mystery of the ages that Paul talks about is so Life giving. Paul calls it God’s “eternal purpose.” This was set out before creation of time and man. It was established and is fulfilling as we journey through time. And the destination is a marriage. A marriage between a bride (us) and a Groom (Christ). We are being prepared in time for our out of time expression and Life. The living that is given for THIS purpose is much more than missional. It is eternally purposeful.

5. The expression of Christ is a reality and the reality. He is not planned. He is. Christ is the Head of His Body and expresses through His Body. We express what He desires when we look to Him as our Head and we look to us as the members of His Body. His Body is fuller as we unify under HIS leadership.

30 years after today my hope is that this member of His Body is used fully, efficiently and effectively for His purposes.

May we shine His Light. May we contextualize Christ today. May we provide expression for His Body. And may we mutually edify each other in Christ as we love.

This, brothers and sisters, matters.

7 comments

  1. Gunnar · August 24, 2012

    Another awesome share. Have enjoyed reading your posts…

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Thanks brother. Looking forward to being with you soon. The Lord is good. Your portion is priceless! See you in a couple of weeks!

  2. jimpuntney · August 24, 2012

    Very well stated bro! To see the unseen, and to have eyes to treasure the gift of Life we have in Christ is indeed “what matters”!

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Amen Jim! The eyes to see His treasure. Praise the Lord. Thanks for reading brother.

  3. unknownwellknown · August 24, 2012

    I am happy to see a little more reality here then the average plain jane main stream christian. Have you been reading the writings of any particular Christian authors in addition to the Bible. The reason I ask is the way you are expressing your thoughts, the language, is different from that of average Christians (which are really below average), and more like what I am familiar with. Grace to you.

    • marklchampion · August 28, 2012

      Unknownwellknown, thanks for reading and for commenting. I believe the Lord is building His House. I meet with brothers and sisters who are excited and proactive in allowing Christ, our Head, to express Himself through the different members of the Body of Christ. I don’t believe we are in any way average, below average or above average. I am just thankful the Lord has given me and my wife eyes to see His glory in the way we do. I’m looking forward to His riches for eternity!

      A friend of mine likened it to “being apprehended by the Vision.”

      Looking forward to your fellowship through the internet, and perhaps in person one day. That would be great! All of His blessings are yours.

  4. Pingback: Wedding Vows « marklchampion

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