Newly Published: A Daily Dose of Godly Encouragement: Book 2: Spring

February 5 – Riding a Dead Horse

Matthew 16:13-26

Bill Dettmer wrote: “The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in modern times, because of an unwillingness to let things go, we often try other strategies, such as:”

Buy a stronger whip. Change riders. Threaten the horse with termination. Appoint a committee to study the horse. Lower the standard so that dead horses can be included. Reclassifying the dead horse as living impaired. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed. Donate the dead horse to a recognized charity. Time management study to see if lighter rides would improve productivity. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

I laughed so hard typing this, tears were clouding my vision. But within the humor, there is a grain of truth. Over the years, I imagine we’ve all seen a few dead horses in our lives or our careers, our families, and even in our churches. 

Matthew 28:19-20 – Jesus says: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have taught you.”

Our mission? Reach out to others as potential disciples, offer solid teaching, and pass on the comfort and hope of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

So, if our main goal as a church is to reach out to others in the name of Christ, then we need to be more aware of how people communicate. Sunday services inside the comfort of church buildings have less impact on a world dominated by cell phones and social media. How can our church more effectively communicate Christ’s mission to make and teach disciples?

And to each of us? How well do you know the people who live next door, across the street or behind you? Do you know the names of their children? How are they doing? How can you be a better neighbor? Ask: “How can I pray for you?” 

Two important questions: How can I as a Christian make a difference in the lives of those I meet? How can I be part of a church that continually does the same?

Do we have the courage to dismount from the dead horses that slow us down and concentrate on the challenges ahead? It’s not easy, but serving God was never meant to be easy. God never said, “Get up on that dead horse and ride.” Jesus said: “Take up your cross and follow me.”

Prayer Challenge: What dead horses stand between you and serving God?

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