From the Pulpit: Sometimes you might have to give to get

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Having lived in Alabama for almost three years now, I have learned one major thing:

This state fiercely loves college football.

The second major thing I&8217;ve learned:

folks who cheer for the Crimson Tide don&8217;t like folks who cheer for Auburn.

And folks who cheer for Auburn don&8217;t like folks who cheer for Alabama.

And I&8217;ve learned, to my great dismay, that both Alabama and Auburn fans don&8217;t care for Georgia Bulldog fans!

But in all seriousness, let&8217;s talk today about one very unique man &045; he is a graduate of both Auburn and Alabama.

He did his undergraduate work at Auburn and then went to Law School in Tuscaloosa.

He and a college friend began a marketing firm while they were still in school.

This guy became a millionaire.

Everything was terrific for him &045; money coming at him from all direction, he met a beautiful woman and they married. Oh, life was GOOD!

But things soured eventually.

His health suffered, his integrity took a hit, and even his marriage began to hit some rocky spots.

So what did Millard Fuller do? You know what he did &045; he and Linda gave away all their possessions and founded Habitat for Humanity.

And who hasn&8217;t heard of Habitat?

Millard Fuller and the apostle Paul never met. They obviously lived in different centuries. But they did the same thing in their lives &045; they gave away the things they had worked to accumulate in order to live for Jesus Christ.

To use the language of the American writer, Tom Wolfe, Paul was &8220;a man in full.&8221;

But one day, Paul gave it all away.

He took all of his academic credentials, and all his social achievements, and everything else that mattered to him, and put it away in order to take hold of Jesus Christ!

&8220;&8230;Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord&8221; (Phil. 3: 7).

In other words, Paul realized that all of his achievements were incomparable to &8220;knowing Christ Jesus.&8221;

For Paul, giving up what he had achieved to this point in his life in order to accept what Jesus Christ offered to his life was also a no-brainer!

In fact, Paul would go on to describe the trade he made in pretty graphic terms.

&8220;For (Jesus&8217;) &8230; sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse&8230;&8221; (verse 8).

Are you at a place in your life where the things that may once have been YOUR TOTAL FOCUS are now subject to review by Jesus Christ?

the Lord.&8221;

Ron Grizzle is pastor of the Riverchase Baptist Church