I am a pastor and I love what I do. Being one of the pastors of a large church gives me the freedom to focus my work more than many pastors and my focus is Kansas City! I spend much of my time networking with other Jesus followers in the city. Together we hope to defeat some of what I call “the giants of oppression” in the city. I think the Bible calls them “gates of hell”. These are things like homelessness, fatherlessness, illiteracy, slavery, racism, abuse, etc.
Can you imagine with me what it will be like to see things things disappear from our city? But I will talk more about those giant gates and why I think of these as “gates” in another post.
Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me your evildoers!’” (Matthew 7)
Jesus’ followers are supposed to be gate crashers and I get very excited about the great work being accomplished by followers of Jesus all over Kansas City and the world! But these verses challenge me.
I am driven by a desire to make a difference, at times this desire is like a drug. Stories of gates falling down are like a high and I go from one high to another, always looking for the next great effort that will knock down a few gates, or defeat the next giant.
Jesus calls us to follow Him, and that means that our first priority is to be with Him, to know Him. Any work that we do must come out of the relationship we have with Him.
Lord Jesus, help me to love you more than anything, more than success or significance.