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#5kMay2020 Blog (Day 18)

Happy Strava Reset Day, everyone!

Last week I was able to pound out 62.5 miles. I am feeling pretty good. This week started with a little bit of rain, but I can’t help but find it to be refreshing. This is the day that the LORD has made! We should rejoice and be glad in it!

Jodi and I knocked out our daily 5k first thing this morning in a nice, comfortable drizzle. I was able to run a fairly wet 10k with Derrick Miller later in the afternoon at our regular Monday meeting spot / time. Not a bad start to the week.

Daily Run: For the first run of the day, Jodi and I ran our 3.1 mile “Criswell Out & Back Route” in 28 minutes and 47 seconds, which is an average pace of 9:16 per mile. I was surprised by how well she ran after yesterday’s “Epic Eight Route”. 

For the second run, Derrick and I took it fairly easy on the completely empty Fredericksburg trail. We saw multiple rabbits and several deer on the run. We ran 6.2 miles in 46 minutes and 15 seconds, which is an average pace of 7:27 per mile. This was the first Monday in a long time that the trail was not bustling with people. I suppose the rain probably scared them away.

Daily Bible Reading: In today’s podcast, I read Luke 10 and made a reference to Christianity being like a “Pyramid Scheme”. I feel like I should give a little more clarity to what I mean by that. But first, let’s look at the context of the comment, and the passage that the comment came from:

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38–42, ESV

When I read this passage, I am convicted of my go-go-go tendency. Martha was definitely a doer. There was work to be done and she was busy doing it. Meanwhile, her sister Mary was just being. She was sitting at the LORD’s feet, and just being in His presence. 

The truth is that Jesus does have work for us to do! Make no mistake about it. Earlier in this chapter He sent out the 72 with a job to do! Just before we read about Mary and Martha, Jesus tells a story about the Good Samaritan. The story literally ends with the words, “You go, and do likewise” (see Luke 10:37, emphasis added).

The doing is really not the problem. 

And in this context, I mentioned that Christianity can be like a Pyramid Scheme. In a Pyramid Scheme, someone is at the top, trying to sell some specific product. That person tries to recruit others to work for them, underneath them, helping to sell the product.. Those workers, in turn, try to recruit others to work for them, underneath them, helping to sell the product.

If you think about it, that is kind of like Christianity. Jesus is at the top, and He is offering Himself. He recruited disciples to share that news with others, who would share that news with others, who would share that news with others, etc.

This really isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it is a brilliant strategy. 

Many people, especially those who have had a negative experience with a Pyramid Scheme, are offended by this comparison. But the word scheme actually has two meanings. It has a positive and a negative. The main definition of scheme is: 

scheme: a large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining a particular object or putting a particular idea into effect

There are two sub definitions under the main:

1. a secret or underhanded plan (this is bad)

2. a particular ordered system or arrangement (this is good)

Jesus had a master plan for reaching the entire world, and it was not through addition. It was through multiplication. 

Let’s look at this from a practical, mathematical perspective:

If you had 10 evangelists who were so effective at sharing the gospel that they each led 1,000 people to Christ every single day, do you know how many years it would take for those 10 super Christians to reach the entire world for Christ?

It would take them roughly 1,753 years… and that is if no one else was born between now and then. That is called addition. 1,000 + 1,000 + 1,000, etc. 

However, if you had 10 normal Christians who followed Jesus’ plan for advancing the gospel and making disciples one person at a time each year, but part of making a disciple included training and expecting the new disciple to reach another person for Christ within one year, and so on and so forth, then you would be talking about multiplication. Do you know how long it would take those 10 normal Christians to reach the entire world for Christ using this “Pyramid Scheme”?

It would take less than 30 years.

Those 10 disciples would multiply themselves, and you would have 20 disciples after one year. Continuing in that pattern, you would have 320 disciples by year five.

10,240 disciples by year ten. 

327,680 disciples by year fifteen.

10,485,760 disciples by year twenty.

335,544,320 disciples by year twenty five.

10,737,418,240 disciples by year thirty.

The whole world could be reached within our lifetime! That is the power of multiplication. That is the power of a large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining a particular object or putting a particular idea into effect. That is a gospel-centered “Pyramid Scheme”. 

However, as i pointed out in the podcast, the biggest problem with the typical underhanded Pyramid Scheme is that the people who are selling the product often don’t even use the product, themselves.

When it comes to Christianity, this is horrifying.

Jesus is the product. How tragic for us to be in the business of passing the good news of the gospel on to others, if we are not spending time enjoying Jesus for ourselves!

This good news of God’s great love for us isn’t meant to simply be packaged up and shipped out to others. It is meant to be cherished. It is meant to transform us. The natural result of spending time at the feet of Jesus, just being in His presence, should be that our hearts are too full to try and keep this great love for ourselves. That is where the doing kicks in. There is plenty of Jesus to share!

The product, in this case, is unparalleled. If only 10 of us normal Christians would get serious about spending time at the feet of Jesus, and sharing His love with just one other person each year, who would be trained to spend time at the feet of Jesus and share His love with just one other person each year, etc… We would be enjoying the product, and participating in a Pyramid Scheme that would literally reach the whole world within our lifetime, and transform the landscape of eternity forever.

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