A few months ago, Nicky and headed to Amish country. It’s a getaway for us. I made the comment to Nicky on the way there that the Amish live such a humble life. They live without many of the things that we use and likely take for granted every day…things like cars, tablets, cell phones.
Seriously, though, they live a humble lifestyle. It’s that word humble that I am just stuck on. I mean I know the definition. I realize I must humble myself before God and before others – that I ought to think of before myself. And I trust and rely on God to help me rid pride from all areas of my life.
But along with a healthy humble spirit, I think it is equally important that we have an honest evaluation of how remarkable we are. I know I know…it seems like being humble and being remarkable seem counter to each other. Like oil and water, they just don’t mix.
Jesus, however, accomplished this feat. Looking at his life and ministry we can all agree that Jesus lived a humble existence. He never had a home. He likely did not travel with a suitcase full of spare robes and sandals. And food? He relied solely on his Father to provide for him through the lives of those he ministered to. And he was fully, an obedient servant.
Sounds humble to me.
Again, when we examine the ministry of Jesus, we would also agree that he was remarkable. Yes he is the Son of God. We cannot forget, however that on earth he was also very much human. 100 percent God. 100 percent man. All at the same time. He felt temptation just like you and I. He was tempted with pride and didn’t budge.
But that’s not what I find the most remarkable. What I find most remarkable about Jesus that we have the potential for, is his attention to relationships. Jesus was into other people more than he was into himself. Jesus invested, no, he poured himself into others. His attention to relationships is what I see as remarkable. If that not the case, then why come as a baby, grow into a man, and suffer the way he did?
Relationship – with you and I.
That word remarkable means to mark out, to notice something noteworthy. The word itself and its definition contain a keyword. Mark.
I think is safe to say that Jesus left his mark on the world. You and I lived changed lives. Mark. We see other people different. Mark. We respond out of love. Mark. We are to mark others with the love that Jesus showed us. And while the things I am about to mention seem commonplace, they are most assuredly not. They are…well…remarkable!
When we invite the Holy Spirit into our daily lives, we become co-workers with God. When we serve in our churches, we are co-workers. When we teach, clean, plan, sing, pray for, visit with, and love on, we are co-workers. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s masterpieces so that we can do good things he planned for us. Think about it…we are God’s masterpieces with purpose. These may seem ordinary to you. But they are extraordinary! They are the very thing that leaves a mark on people, the same things Jesus did while on earth.
But we have to make the most of our time. We don’t want to squander our time. Jesus was busy. But he had mad time management skills. He knew how to make the most of his time. Paul writes later in Ephesians…
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15–16 NASB
The word choice Paul uses is particularly peculiar. The phrase “making the most” in Greek is exagorazō and it means to purchase out of the hands of another person. So what is being purchased? Well, the next phrase is “your time”. No, not in the sense of minutes or hours as we cannot make time. Time in this verse is a finite period and is marked out as being appropriate for the task at hand. In other words, it is an opportunity.
It’s the opportunity to leave a mark on another person! And Paul covers what is needed to provide those opportunities.
“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise”.
And this is where the power happens! When we are obedient to God, when we make the wise choice, when we heed what the Bible says, he gives us opportunity to leave a mark and empowers us to respond to these opportunities. But we have to humble ourselves to obedience to God in every area of our lives.
Sound like a tall order? Maybe. But maybe not. Follow my thinking here…I would much rather have God running things in my life because his knowledge is infinitely better than mine. Left to myself, I’ll screw it up every time. But left to God, well, he hasn’t screwed anything up yet! He knows best! The results are left up to him. I simply need to be obedient and respond when opportunities arise to leave a mark on the relationships in my life. And guess what?
I get to leave a mark! Yay! Insert happy dance here!
This is my desire. This is your desire. Humble yourself. Make the changes needed in your life to be obedient so that you are ready to respond when opportunities arise to leave a mark. You and I get the privilege to touch another. So give him permission to use you! Take a risk, a step out of the boat, and get out on the water and take a step closer to Jesus, the remarkable one that empowers us to…
Leave a mark.