An Tough Message from a Trending Story

When a 14 member family decided to celebrate a birthday, no one would have imagined there would only be five returning.  The family was cooling off in a popular area, when a flash flood swept 9 of those members to their death.

Shocking…

Unbelievable…

Tragic…

While the pain of this event is fresh, it is a good time to reflect.  

It’s times like these we begin asking questions like: “What happened?”  “Could this tragedy been prevented?” “How can one be better prepared for such things?  “Why wasn’t there a warning to the family?” “Should the government put in such a warning?” “Where was God?”  “Why didn’t God save them?”

“Or do you suppose that those eighteen…were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?”

It’s these last two questions, I am going to attempt to bring perspective.  Because I am involved in ministry, this is my natural bent to bring a Biblical perspective to life and help people discover and experience an “Xtraordinary” life in Christ.  

In Luke chapter thirteen and verses 4 and 5, we see the Lord addressing a very parallel event.

A tower collapsed and 18 people were killed. This tragedy was an accident; a natural disaster, if you will.  While it was not a flash flood, it was an accident.  No one was at fault.  They didn’t plan on it; there was no warning; they could not see it coming… yet it happened. So Jesus asks the question many were thinking when it comes to those who died suddenly:

“Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?”

Jesus debunks the myth of that day and a myth of our day:  These 18 people killed by the collapsing tower were not more guilty than the rest of the people of Jerusalem. But the point to take home from this tragedy is found in the following words of our Lord Jesus…”I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”  

Jesus is saying, that unless there has been a radical change in one’s life where they have asked God to forgive them, they also will be judged.  Why?  Because they have not repented.  The tragedy reminds one of his or her mortality.  It is this reminder  which should prompt us to ask: “if that were me in the tower with the 18…”  If that were me among the 9 in the flash flood…would I be ready?  Would I be prepared to meet my maker?  Someone once quipped, “The statistics on death are impressive: one out of one of us die.”  

In his loving and truthful way, Jesus is clearly asking us to evaluate our lives.  Has there been a revolutionary change in my life from darkness to light; from materialism to the true and living God; from sin to holiness; from Satan to God?  

In other words, have I repented and received God’s solution to move from this life to the next with Him?  How you ask?    The solution is found in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and His word:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” – Acts 16:31

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” – Romans 6:23

So, before you hear another tragic story, the time to consider is today.  What will your response be?  

“The statistics on death are impressive: one out of one of us die.”

Your choice is simple:  Repent and believe in Christ for life or reject and face judgment alone.  I pray you will choose Christ.  

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“Mobbism”

Recently, I read an artile on “Mobbing” (www.restoringkingdombuilders.org) and while my blog is going to be similar, I wanted to bring my perspective. After all, I can only write from my experience to be truly authentic.

If you are in leadership, you know this word. If you are not familiar with it, you have experienced it. I am referring to the work of an individual or a group for the sole purpose of doing harm to the reputation, the efforts, the family members, and/or that person him or herself.

The Dictionary defines “mobbism” as a disorderly or riotous crowd of people. The adjective form of this word means, characteristic of a lawless, irrational, disorderly, or riotous crowd.

Leaders know that when they face mobbism, they are facing the fight of their life. Most good leaders face these mobs not once, but several times in their lives.

The best source of dealing with mobbism or any subject I have found is the Bible. I know… I know… I’ve probably lost a certain number of readers already. But before you leave, just follow the blog for the next 3 minutes.

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus faces mobbism and he identifies 5.5 principles for us to champion over mobbism and coach us to fulfill our extraordinary lives:

1. Mobbism is nothing new. It occurred then, it occurs today. Whether you’ve been in leadership for decades or just breaking in, one thing is certain, leaders have “bulls-eyes” on their backs.

2. Mobbism is always dumbfounding. The act of mobbism is always surprising, even to Jesus. When it occurred, the gospel records it this way, “Jesus marveled at their unbelief (6:6). It’s always a shock to see how deep people will go to act in a way that is harmful, spiteful, and full of evil (that’s right, I said evil).

3. Mobbism usually comes from people we know (and they think they know us). Mobbism Jesus faced was not from strangers or even religious leaders. No, it was from his own home town… the people you’d think would be behind a home grown sensation. But not them. In your world, your home town may be those closest to you at your work, your executive board, the teachers at your school, etc. The problem becomes the longer people hang around you, the more they believe they have you figured. They put you in a box and there you stay. When you act outside of that box, they make attempts to force you into that box. When you do not submit to that, the mob goes into gear, which leads to our next principle…

4. Mobbism can rarely be disuaded. This can be a trap for some of us (those like me). We want to be a peacemaker and have everyone get along. The temptation is to “tap dance on the mob’s performance table.” Don’t go there. Don’t even entertain the thought. You’ll never convince the mob and your true friends already believe in you. So, move on, which is the 5th point…

5. Mobbism is one way to be redirected to new endeavors. While the sting of hurt may have overwhelmed you, consider this question: What possibilites exist now which didn’t before the mob had its way? Thinking on this question helps eliminate the self-pitty and often roots of bitterness in our lives, which tend to defile us and those around us.

5.5 (Insight for us to pursue our extraordinary lives) – The gospel of Mark records how Jesus could not do many miracles in his hometown of Nazareth due the unbelief of the people. Here’s our insight – while the ministry or the work may be crippled, the leader is not. God has plans for you and for me. While the mob and their mobbism may cripple efforts and ministry, they cannot cripple you.

You have been born to live an extraordinary life. GO PURSUE IT!