Bill Rudge surrendered his life to Jesus Christ on May 23, 1971 at the age of 18 after hitchhiking across the country. He has never wavered in that commitment – the wisest and most courageous decision of his life. His walk with the Lord has proven that it takes more strength, determination and self-control to live for Christ than any other lifestyle available. And it has been the most exciting adventure imaginable!
Throughout the Old and New Testaments we meet people who offered sacrifices and demonstrated the appearance of spirituality. However, God labels many of them as lukewarm, disobedient, stiff-necked, stubborn, rebellious or apostate. Why? Because God is more concerned with the attitudes of the heart than with outward displays. God desires a people who are obedient and faithful.
King Saul learned the hard way that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” Following Saul’s lame excuse for only partially obeying the Lord’s command, the prophet Samuel rebuked him with the following words:
Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice… (1 Samuel 15:22).
It is very important that we not only talk our Christianity, but that we walk it. Titus 1:16 states:
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him….
All through the Scriptures we meet those who were tempted, tested, and confronted by obstacles. Some disobeyed, rebelled, and turned from the Lord. Others remained faithful – no matter the cost. Those who disobeyed suffered the consequences; immediately or in the not-so-distant future. Those who obeyed received God’s blessing and ultimate victory.
On Talking Back
When I was in gymnastics and my instructor would say, “Billy, climb the rope to the gym’s ceiling. Do a round off and several backhand springs in a row on the mat. Get on the trampoline and do a double back flip.” I did not say, “I don’t feel like doing that today.” I did it!
When going out for football and the coach would say, “Hit the sled and keep hitting it until I tell you to stop. Run the ropes. Take five laps.” I did not say, “Well coach, I am not in the mood to do that today.” I did it!
When, in karate, my instructor said, “Do knuckle pushups.” I did knuckle pushups. When he said, “You, Rudge! Come here. I want to use you for an uke and beat on you for awhile.” I did not say, “Not today, Sensei. Maybe next time.” No, I stepped forward and let him demonstrate strikes and kicks on me. When I was told, “Lay down and put this potato on your chest so I can slice it in half with this sword.” I did not say, “That’s a bad idea.” I obeyed. When he said spar and fight, I sparred and fought!
Should I obey any less the King of kings and Lord of lords, the God who created me, the God who came and died for me, who bodily rose from the dead, and who is coming again to rule and reign for all eternity?
When His Word and Spirit tell me to do something, how much more should I obey without talking back or whining or complaining or making excuses? I do not say, “Well, if I feel like it, Lord,” or “Maybe I will think about it,” or “I don’t know if I want to do that.” I obey! That is what it means to be submitted to Christ’s Lordship.
But is this biblical? In Luke 6:46 Jesus asks:
Why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?
In John 14:15, 24 Jesus said:
If you love Me, you will obey what I command. He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching.
In Matthew 7:21 Jesus states:
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
1 John 2:3, 6 says:
We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
And the manner in which Jesus walked was in humility and obedience (Philippians 2:8).
Excerpted from Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ which is being expanded for its third edition.
In addition to national and global outreaches, Bill Rudge Ministries has many opportunities to touch the lives of area youth and adults.
Students’ lives are impacted as they see our Motivational Assemblies, attend the Self Defense and Street Survival Strategies classes and/or go through our Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course. Some are able to hear Bill and BJ speak at their church or other event, or attend BJ’s soccer camp. We are one of very few ministries that has access to the schools and the opportunity to work with and train military.
Many individuals, businesses and churches have been a crucial part in God’s blessing on, and expansion of, this multi-faceted ministry. We freely offer our services and resources: books, tracts, posters, audio messages, speaking engagements, obstacle course, radio broadcasts, podcasts, blogs, web site, and more. We have sent over 1.5 million of our biblical resources to chaplains, missionaries, pastors, prisoners, military personnel, students and other youth and adults in every state in the U.S. and in over 140 countries. Our promise is to use all funds wisely and maximize resources to reach this world for Christ.
We thank the LORD for donors with vision and a missionary heart. May God bless you for your ongoing prayer and financial support of Bill Rudge Ministries which enables us to continue touching lives in this area, across the nation and around the world (Acts 1:8), as well as challenging believers to reach their maximum potential (Philippians 1:6).
One day, together, we will receive our eternal reward for faithfulness to Him. Then we can rejoice in His presence with all those whom we have reached with the Gospel.
We often see athletes being interviewed and put in the spotlight for their success and victories, while those who fail and lose and are often maligned and ridiculed. This past weekend, Cody Parkey, who is the kicker for the Chicago Bears, personally knows this reality. In the closing seconds of the game, with his team down by one point to the Philadelphia Eagles, Cody was given the opportunity to kick the winning field goal. This kick would not only allow his team to advance, but it would give the Bears their first playoff-win in eight years. Despite a good snap and hold, Cody’s kick “double-boinked” by hitting both the left upright and crossbar, as it ultimately bounced back onto the field. Although the kick would eventually be deemed a block by one of the Eagles players, the missed kick still left the Bears players and fans dejected and brokenhearted.
Despite the miss, and his own heartbreak, Cody’s response to this situation has proven to be a powerful light during a difficult and disappointing time. In fact, his response to this situation is a reminder to us all about how we as Christians should respond to difficulties and disappointments in our own lives.
While many people who fail either find ways to blame others or avoid the comments by critics, Cody stood firm and took responsibility for the outcome of the kick. He approached this difficult moment with inner strength and integrity. This is a great example that the true essence of who we are as a person is most displayed in how we respond to the challenges and disappointments we face.
While many only praise and thank God in the good times, the first thing Cody did when he missed the field goal was to point his finger to heaven to acknowledge and praise Him even in his moment of disappointment and failure, a great reminder that we are called to serve God in all circumstances in our lives. As Cody mentioned in his interview on The Today Show, “Something that I have always tried to do through good or bad is to give praise to the higher power our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
While many only live for the things of this world (success, popularity, fame, etc.), Cody acknowledged that his life transcends all of this. Even though still saddened by how he felt that he let the whole Bears’ organization down, he made this powerful statement, “I’ll continue to keep my head held high because football is what I do, it’s not who I am.” This is a great reminder for all followers of Jesus that we do not live for the things of this world and that our race is for a crown that will never perish (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).