Out of the Ordinary

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In this 22-minute session from the 2013 RightNow Conference, Tim Chaddick highlights three factors that give insight into the extraordinary influence that God works through those who find their confidence in Him. Tim is Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Reality LA in Los Angeles, CA. He is also author of Better: How Jesus Satisfies the Search for Meaning.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your life and ministry.

Working from Matthew 4:18-22, Tim highlighted three things that give insight into the extraordinary influence that God works through those who find their confidence in Him.

1.  Jesus invites us
  • It begins with a call which He initiates
  • His call is not based on our merit or worthiness, but on His love and grace
  • Before there is a call to do anything for God, there is a call to be with God (Mark 3:14)
2.  Jesus connects us
  • His call creates a community
  • His community takes diverse peoples and draws them together based on a shared relationship with Him
  • Church is a community with a purpose above itself
3.  Jesus sends us out
  • He redefines and reorients our desires around Himself
  • In Him, vocation is viewed through the lens of the gospel
  • Following Him may not mean a change in occupation, but will mean a change in preoccupation

Tim stated that when the odds are against us, God changes the odds. Think about what God has called you to do. How have you seen Him work through impossible situations that you've faced in the past? What challenges are you currently facing? How does remembering how God has changed the odds in the past help you face new challenges with confidence?
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Tim noted that we live in a meritocracy—a society where everything we have is earned. This is completely opposite to the gospel, which says God chose us without regard to our worthiness, but according to His grace and love. How does your understanding of the gospel impact how you engage with a merit based society?
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Tim referenced Mark 3:14 which states that Jesus "appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach (ESV)." Before there is ever a call to do anything, there is a call to be with the Lord. How do you orient yourself so that your ministry flows out of time spent with the Lord? How do you avoid the temptation to "do" before you have "been" with the Lord?
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Tim said, "if you put community above Jesus, you kill it, but if you put Jesus above community you create it." How do you maintain a proper perspective on your relationships with other believers? How do you fight the temptation to see Christian community as a means of fulfilling your personal desires? What does it mean to functionally "put Jesus above community?"
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Tim explained that Jesus does not reject ambition, influence, or greatness, but He redefines them and reorients them around Himself.  Think about how culture defines ambition, influence, and greatness. Now consider ambition, influence, and greatness in light of Christ's example. 

Philippians 2:4-11 (ESV)

4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men.8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

How does a focus on the gospel help you to properly frame your definition of ambition, influence, and greatness?
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When the odds are stacked against us in life or in ministry, it is not self-wrought power or influence that overcomes these odds. Nor is it our charm, ability, class or skill. It is the power of God that changes the odds—power that is made perfect in our weakness.

"We are just people that God calls out of the ordinary into the extraordinary, because Jesus is extraordinary."

For information about the upcoming RightNow Conference, go to rightnowconferences.org.