Okay, as Christians we need to have some conversations! Like real conversations. Like conversations that are going to change things. Conversations like missionary, Jack Harris http://www.globalmessenger.org had with our church many months ago. He talked about enemies that hinder the spreading of the Gospel. The #1 enemy is apathy. We just don’t care. I was so convicted, personally, by his message. He shared a story about how he was beaten almost to death while preaching the gospel in the streets of another country.
I asked myself if I was willing to take a risk like that to make sure that people heard the gospel. I was ashamed of my answer. I understand that God endows certain people with grace to be able to walk in a calling or mission and although that may be true, we are all told to preach the gospel to every creature. How many of us, if we were honest, can say we are ready to die for our faith? It might sound romantic to say that we would but many, like Jack Harris, are doing it every day. Many are imprisoned and suffering horrendous crimes because they refuse to deny by word or deed their Lord, Jesus Christ.
There are many ways we deny Christ and surprisingly we do so every day. Not in rule breaking, legalistic ways. Which were the Pharisee’s understanding of not following God. But actually, these things [washing your hands, not working on the Sabbath ]did not matter at all to God to the weightier matters of love, mercy and compassion. And so many times we still get our eyes on the things that don’t matter to accomplish the things that we think matter to God but in reality cause Him grief.
We condemn the world when Jesus came to save the world. We reject the sinner when Jesus accepted him. We live by rules and regulations when Jesus lived by the Spirit, in relationship with the Father. We separate the world from God with our piety and injustice and Jesus came to reconcile the world.
In all the teachings and access to all the information about church and how we are supposed to live, we still aren’t walking as Jesus walked. Why? Why are we still getting it wrong? I believe it’s because we don’t want to pay the price of true discipleship. True discipleship requires the truth. It requires speaking the truth and living it. Not just as an outward sign but an inward conviction.
A conviction so deep that we would not compromise it in anyway. So ingrained that we could not assault it with denial. Our hearts so arrested by the glory of this Jesus that nothing could stop us from declaring Him, in any way, at any time, in any place!
But how many of us truly walk in that place? How many of us could say that we do? Truly. It is to my shame that I fall very short of this ideal. I believe it is the ideal that Jesus possessed not because it was cool or trendy, nor because of who He was. But, my conviction is that it was because of Who He was in relationship with, the Father.
Can we not hear the love in his voice when he spoke of the Father? The undying loyalty to the Father’s heart and mission? Can we not see the love displayed on the cross of complete and utter obedience to His Father? This obedience came by more than will power, or even love for us, but sheer and complete love for His Father.
This relationship between, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is like none we have here on earth. This communion is divine and absolute. Such unity will never be found in this world. Such commitment of one to the other to the humility of all. Each laying down their own will for the other. If we could really look into this relationship, we would be astonished and fall on our face in worship!!
And it is THAT relationship, the Father is forging in us. First toward Him and second, toward others. This, my friends is true religion. Or should I say, when we are given to THIS relationship, true religion is the result!
So perhaps our trouble is that we are not given to this relationship w/ Father, Son and Holy Ghost to the degree that no price would be too high to pay to follow or walk in obedience. I say, yes, perhaps this is our trouble, indeed.
May Christ be glorified in all!
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