Tuesday, August 14, 2012

people who passionately pursue Jesus

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas
I enjoyed the Olympic games very much.  We watched them every night.  Even when I was in Oklahoma sitting with my grandmother we would have the games on and enjoy the sports.  Those athletes are incredible as they pursue their dreams. 

Gabby is the queen of gymnastics and a brand new, pretty face on the TV talking about her love for God.  Phelps went after every medal he could and surpassed the total number of Olympic medals anyone else has won as he passionately pursued his dreams while swimming.  Oscar Pistorius has no legs but out ran almost everyone as he pursued greatness on the track.  David Boudia shocked everyone with his gold medal pursuit diving in the Olympics for team USA.

We watched diving, swimming, soccer, judo, weightlifting, volleyball, basketball, equestrian jumping, gymnastics, handball and several more.  What did every athlete have in common?  They were passionately pursing their goal.  It was awesome.

Through the years I have met some people who are passionately pursuing Jesus.  Some of them are people you would expect to see loving and following Jesus, but some of the people who come to mind for me are not the normal ones.  I am often shocked by and blessed by the people who are pursuing Jesus that are cut out of a different mold.

Eleven years ago a lady showed up at our house.  She was there to serve us as we moved into a new home in a brand new area that we had only visited a couple times before.  She helped us more than she will ever know by helping us get to know the area.  But what shocked me was her story of being in prison for a hideous crime, but through that time God got control of her heart and life.  Through the next 7 years this lady taught me much about God and kept me on my toes as she passionately pursed Jesus.  She lost her battle with cancer a couple years ago as she went to heaven.  I’m grateful for her.

I attended a meeting about nine years ago and met a dude that is certifiably crazy (in a good way).  It was the dead of winter, and we were at the beach.  This guy has made me laugh and cry more than anyone else.  Through the years since he has helped us many times at my last church and the current church I serve.  His name is Barry McGee, and he is a Christian comedian that travels around the nation telling people about Jesus using humor.  He is passionately pursuing Jesus in a big way and partnering with us and others.

A lady and her future husband walked into my office one evening to talk about their wedding.  What a special couple.  Lots of tattoos, lots of stories and lots of learning came in the weeks that followed.  I heard this precious lady tell me that she was not a Christian and was skeptical of God.  It wasn’t many weeks later that she accepted Jesus, and then they got married.  Since that time I have watched her grow in her faith, have a baby and begin to passionately pursue Jesus.  She often asks me to pray for friends or family members who don’t know Jesus that she is talking to about God.  What an encouragement she is!

A couple months ago a big man showed up at our church and began to volunteer in various areas of ministry.  He has become a permanent fixture, or so it seems.  I have heard his story.  I have heard people talk about his past, but what has blessed me big time is knowing how he spent time in prison, is tired of living away from God and is now seeking Jesus every day.  Recently I heard him talking with some men we are helping.  His testimony was strong, convincing and awesome.  His knowledge of the Bible is deep, and it is evident that he loves Jesus.  On my desk is a stack of prayer requests that he gathered at our back2school event because he saw a need.  How awesome this is and how big his spiritual insight is as he passionately pursues God.

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

These people bless my socks off.  As a pastor they push me on and encourage me.  For the people around them these people push others to get even more passionate about Jesus.  Passion breeds passion.  What we get excited about gets other people excited.  May we be known as and really be people who passionately pursue Jesus.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

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happy birthday, Julie

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