Better – Part 1

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Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
(11)  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We believe in and serve a God who is a loving Father and always wants better for His children.

The greatest obstacle to better is normal.

Three things about normal we need to know:

  • Normal is the enemy of better.

What is normal?

  • Normal is being just good enough – doing the minimum to get by.
  • Normal might be buying something and creating debt when you don’t have the money to pay for it.
  • Normal might be burying yourself in your phone.
  • Normal is the silent treatment – creating tension – manipulating to get your way
  • Normal is always flying off the handle – losing your temper.
  • Normal is not being willing to take responsibility – passing blame.
  • Normal is easy.
  • Normal isn’t working.

 The crazy thing is that most of the time we don’t see our normal.

You are not going to solve a problem you are not willing to admit that you have.

Until we arrive at the conclusion that normal isn’t working, we are destined to keep repeating the same results over and over.

In order for us to experience better, we are going to have to part ways with normal and leave it behind.

Jesus isn’t normal – He’s better.

Here are some things Jesus said that are not normal:

  • Jesus said to love and pray for your enemies – the people you can’t stand.
  • Jesus said the last shall be first.
  • Jesus said if you want to be great, you must become a servant to all.
  • Jesus said if you want to gain your life, you have to lose your life.
  • Jesus said He was going to die on the cross and that was so not normal, Peter pulled Him aside and said that he wasn’t going to allow that to happen.

Mark 10:17-21 NIV
(17)  As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
(18)  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.
(19)  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”
(20)  “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
(21)  Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Sometimes to us, better looks worser.

Sometimes the way forward is to go backwards.

Think about this – Jesus had to experience worser in order to get all humanity to better.

God wants a relationship of total trust in Him.

Mark 10:22 NIV
(22)  At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

What is so sad about this story is that the young man went back to his normal.

Jesus can ask us to leave normal and reach for better because that is exactly what He did for us.

2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV
(9)  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich (better), yet for your sake he became poor (worser), so that you through his poverty might become rich (better).

Jesus isn’t normal – He’s better.

Two asks and a big dare:

  • What is your normal?
  • What can you do today?
  • Invite Jesus to step into your path to disrupt your normal to get you to better.