Universe

Something bigger

At some point in his life, a baby comes to a stunning realization: “I’m not the center of the universe!”

It’s OK for a baby not to realize there are other people, and other needs out there; it’s not OK for him to still think he’s the center of the universe when he’s 16, or 60, for that matter.

Do you believe something so strongly that you would die for it? Some people, it has been said, find life hard to live because they have nothing to die for. A person who lacks this strength of conviction is consigned to live a life of aimlessness.

Jesus said it this way: “If any one wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Notice that Jesus tells us to give up our own interests … in order to take on something bigger. For most people there is nothing in life more important than their preferences, their desires, their happiness. It’s astonishing how many people even enter Christianity with this purpose in mind. Serve Jesus? Please God? Take on responsibilities? No! I want fulfillment! I want a church that fills my needs! The Lord wants me to be happy, right?

Only a cause worth dying for is truly worth living for, and a generation of Western youth, deprived of causes worth their lives, have become restless and disillusioned.

There is nothing sadder than a person who is consumed with nothing bigger than his own selfish needs. There is nothing more invigorating than someone who has found that principle bigger than self, and begun to live for it. Jesus came to the earth with a grand purpose in mind – to seek and save the lost (Matthew 18:11).

You could do worse.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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