New Book

I am days away from finishing my first book. It is little (about 10k words) but I am very excited. The book goes through Colossians chapter 3 and discusses the first priority we have in our attempts to become the husband, father, wife, mother, and employee we want to be as well as some direction from the Bible on how to be that person. The book may end up on Amazon but for now, I will have a page on my website where you can download it for free in either ePub or PDF. Because I am so excited I have an excerpt below. I hope you enjoy it and it is a blessing to you. It has been a huge blessing for me to write it and spend time with God creating it.

Excerpt From “First Things First”

I would like to give you seven easy steps to be a better husband, father, wife, mother, or employee. It would be nice to give you some simple steps that you can do and then claim that these steps would radically change your life. I would like to, but I cannot. I am sure there is a book at a store near you that can do this, and I am sure that in that book it will list things like take the time to notice things, slow down, learn to say no, be in the moment, don’t rush, remember to breathe, and so on. There will also be a few good stories in the book that illustrate what happens when you follow and or don’t follow these principles. I would even imagine that in this book there will be a section dedicated to having a deep and powerful connection with Jesus.

However, because that book has been written a hundred times I will not go there. Instead, we will look at one part of what those books talk about – Having a deep and powerful connection with Jesus. I am of the opinion, and I hope to persuade you to be as well, that the first and most important step in becoming a better husband, father, wife, mother, or employee is to have not only that deep and powerful relationship with Jesus but to be secure in that relationship. I would go so far as to claim that minus anything other than that being the most important part of the process of becoming a better person the rest of your efforts are in vain.

I don’t want it that bad


43704_1717_8807This is the truck I want. Oh, I want this truck. Every time I drive by it I look at it. I think about it and how cool I would look in it. I think about how people would be like “oh yeah that’s Mike’s truck.” Oh, I want this truck, but what I do not want is the payment so I don’t have the truck, and unless someone watching is loaded and wants to buy it for me I will not have this truck. I want this truck but I don’t want it bad enough to buy it. That is what I want to talk about today…how bad do you want it.

There are three men in Luke 9:57-62 that wanted to follow Jesus. At least they said they wanted to follow Jesus but apparently did not want to follow Him bad enough to actually follow through with it. Let’s take a quick look.

The first man said he would follow Jesus wherever He went. This guy said he was ready for anything. He was ready to go, so Jesus said: “I sleep on the ground and use rocks for pillows.” The basic idea Jesus was trying to get through to him was that if he wanted to follow Him then that as ok but he could not be in for anything other than the privilege of following Him. In return, the man who was down for anything said: “I’m out.” Apparently, he did not like camping and wanted the finer things.

The second one Jesus actually called. This man said, “first let me bury my father.” Jesus’ replied, “let the dead bury their dead.” Now this sounds harsh but this man’s father was not dead. We can figure that out because if his father was dead and needed burying then he would have been home burying his father. Instead, he was hanging out to see what Jesus was doing. He did not want to follow Jesus enough to actually follow Him. Instead, I think he just wanted to be close enough so that if things went well he could get in on it.

The third man said, “I’ll follow you, Jesus.” This man was ready to step up where the others failed, but before Jesus could respond this man said: “but first I need to go home.” He was saying “Jesus I’ll follow you, but I need to go home and get permission from my family.” He was more concerned with what his family thought about his choice than what it actually meant to follow Jesus.

These three men said they wanted to follow Jesus but in reality, they did not want to actually do it. They wanted to be known as followers because Jesus was a big deal and they wanted in on the fame. They wanted the glory but not the work. Jesus says that we can follow Him but we need to give up everything.

If we want to know what it means to follow Christ as Lord and not just have Him as Savior then we need to look at Abraham and the Disciples. Abraham left everything to follow God’s direction. God told Abraham to leave his home and his family and Abraham left for a land he did not know simply because God said go. We have to remember that at this time they worshiped a few different gods and these gods were regional so one god might be strong here but over there he was not. Yet Abraham believed this God was strong enough to break boundaries. This was a tremendous act of faith on his part.  

The Disciples when Jesus called them left all sorts of things. Some left ministries they were involved in, some left business ventures, and some left jobs all because Jesus said follow me. Think about that. What if while you were sitting in your cubicle Jesus said follow me and you knew He meant quit right now, would you? Would you just tell your boss “Jesus said I need to quit.” What if you ran a small business and the same thing happened. Would you just hand someone the keys and say “Jesus said I need to go.” What if you were serving in a successful ministry and Jesus said: “time to go.” I am not saying He will do that but He could…

We have to ask ourselves whether we are questioning the faith, new to the faith, or long time Christians “If Jesus says go will I go?” It is not a question that we should take lightly either because our relationship with Him hinges on how we answer. That is not to say if you’ve said no in the past that you’re out of luck but if He asks again will you say “yes Lord.” You and only you can answer the question of how bad do you want it.

Just a thought,