Intentional Living

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by Brian Sharpe

I have been in ministry, working with students, for 10 years. Over the years there have been themes that God has brought out through teaching or experience.

Over the past couple of years I have been hearing the same theme. On the Evangelical Free Church Student Ministries Council I serve on, in staff meetings, in training seminars, and just as God teaches me through His Word, He has been calling me to intentional living.

The problem is, it is easy getting caught up in what needs immediately to be done — the tyranny of the urgent. You think, if I don’t do it then it no one else will.

I am a doer. I like being a doer. I will help in most situations. If a storage room needs cleaned out, I will help. Martin often says I need to focus. This is a part of intentional living, having in mind the things that are important so you will focus on them. Doing everything in your power to stay on track and accomplish the “big rocks” in your ministry and life. (Big rocks are the most important things that need to be done in ministry and life.)

As a believer in Jesus, in life and ministry I have two main foci. These need to rule everything I do. They are: the Great Commandment, and the Great Commission.

Jesus gets asked the question, “What is the greatest commandment?” And He answers this question. His response summarizes the most important thing that you and I can do with our lives. There is no bigger rock in life or ministry.

Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-40: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

These verses for believers should form the basis for our everyday intentionality. They should be what we live for, what makes us tick. When we are building our lives around them, our hearts and lives will change. We will be different.

What defines you? What are your “big rocks?” If we desire to live intentionally, we will ask these kinds of questions. Then we will be compelled actions. That’s where we need to be. We need to be moved from hearers of the word, to effectual does of the word. This goes along with the beatitudes. When we live as God calls us to live in the beatitudes, and then action will be the result. James says you will see my faith by what I do. We are saved by faith, but that fail compels us to action.

I know I have a long way to go to live intentionally. But I need to start the process. I need to ask the questions and allow the answers to shape the way I live.

A couple of years ago I was listening to a sermon. A statement that the pastor made will stick with me for the rest of my life. He said, the way we live shows us who is on the throne of our life. How you answer these questions defines you. Knowing what your big rocks are will help you see who or what is on the throne of your life. Take time this next week and asks these questions. Evaluate how you are living and be compelled to action.

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