The other day, I received a note from a person who is refreshing and rare. They are committed to Jesus and walk with God. This person has chosen God’s priorities over their own agenda, and their life proves it. People like this quietly change the world as they faithfully live for Jesus. They are refreshing and rare. I want to be this kind of person.
Being alive is a privilege! God designed you to be dependent on Christ – synced with Him at your core. Joy and peace result from being connected with Jesus, even in times of sorrows. Plus, you gain purpose and wisdom.
Refreshing and Rare Comes With Responsibilities
I want to take a short side trail here. As you know salvation is completely free for anyone who trusts Jesus for forgiveness of sins and eternal life. He is “Savior.” However, Jesus is also “Lord.” People sometimes forget this part. In early Christendom, the two terms were indivisible – as if they were one and the same title. Now people have become accustomed to separating them. Some say they are “saved.” But their lives don’t resemble a child of God. This is a breakdown of understanding. Trusting Jesus means valuing His priorities, serving Him, and representing God. This is called “discipleship.”
So salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything you have to “work out your salvation.” (Phil. 2:12) It’s an all-or-nothing kind of idea. Paul uses the term “living sacrifice.” All of this! – is being a Christian. You can’t separate salvation and discipleship just as you can’t separate Savior and Lord. They are one and the same. Accepting this makes you refreshing and rare.
Refreshing and Rare Can Be YOU
Apparently, Timothy – the young man in the New Testament – was this kind of person. Paul speaks highly of him, mentioning his faithfulness and friendship. This man had learned how to take care of Jesus’ interests above his own, even though he was young. Inexperience wasn’t a barrier. He decided to go all out and give his youth – and his entire self – to God.
Most people grow up to be the best person they can. They study and apply themselves to stretch into better things. They have their sights fixed on developing the best “me” within their reach. And they grow with experience and age. At every life season, you can be refreshing and rare by being “a surrendered you.” This is God’s plan.
Refreshing and Rare Has Something to Give
An “R and R” person (refreshing and rare) has something to give. They are fully committed to God and spend time with Him daily. This unusual kind of commitment transforms them from the inside out. After all, having facetime with Jesus changes your heart and nurtures courage. Such a person leaves a mark in simple yet significant ways. They just live as faithful as they know how. Tenacious faithfulness and love for God endears them to God – and to others.
Two Critical Qualities of an “R and R” Person
Let’s explore two critical qualities of a refreshing and rare person.
- Fully committed to God and His agenda. It’s evident Jesus is their first love. Even when times get tough, they remain committed to His purposes, looking for His supernatural involvement in their natural difficulties. Suffering for the right reasons becomes familiar to them, and they sacrifice for others – because they are following Christ’s earthly example. Discipleship is an entire lifestyle they intentionally adopt. One thing is most important to them: having more of Jesus Christ and passing His grace to others.
- Working to be the best person possible. Accepting their uniqueness, skill sets, and one-of-a-kind personality, this person is open, approachable, and flexible as they engage full training in “becoming.” That’s another way of describing discipleship. Fresh and alive are words that describe them. When they struggle, there is still an aura of hope and joy around them. Their suffering is high-yielding and their strokes are purposeful. It seems they “don’t have anything to prove” except that Jesus is for real. They eagerly participate in God’s process and trust His love.
Close to God = R & R
The above qualities get you closer to God and to being the person He created you to be. It always starts with putting God’s agenda first. Serving the Lord’s interests. Being a living sacrifice is “your true and proper worship.” (Rom. 12:1) This is God’s original design, and it is refreshing and rare.
I want to mention a guy in Scripture who lived this kind of committed life. His name is Epaphroditus. He almost died putting Jesus’ agenda first. Talk about a credible example of God’s love! He cared deeply about God’s love for His people and proved it by what he did each day. Self-sacrifice. God-focused. Other-serving. Thoughtfulness. Kindness. Consistently being who God made him to be with no apology or personal agenda.
Questions and Action Steps to Be More R & R Each Day
- Do you believe God loves you for who you are, just as you are? If not, why not?
- What specific action steps can you put into your schedule to pursue God more each day? As you consider how to establish these action steps, be specific. Be simple. Be sincere.
- God wants your life to make a difference in this world. What practical things will you adopt to become the best “you” for God’s purposes? Choose things you can work on, grow in, perhaps gain extra training in. How can you be more involved and effective in your outreach?
- Are you willing to suffer or be misunderstood for Christ?
- What do you need to let go of to be refreshing and rare? Why not ask God for renewed hope and joy?
- How much does your life look like Epaphroditus’ life? In what way(s)?
May you find courage to be like Jesus in a world that needs Him so badly. This time in history – when the internet, social media, and immediate information is considered normal and desired – is filled with people that have needs and broken hearts. They need a Savior and Lord. They need someone who is willing to be refreshing and rare. Why not be that person? Help others be “R and R.” You can be more “R and R” each day.
Article developed from Phil. 2:19-30.
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