Friday, February 27, 2009

Jack (aka Jesus) - Part 3

Imagine, if you will, that you are watching TV and Jesus is in the room with you. You are switching channels and happen to land on one showing Jesus speaking words of great importance that you have never heard before. He beams because he knows you are watching and listening to him. Would you change the channel and keep surfing? Hardly.

Now for a scenario that you don't have to imagine because it has likely happened to you. You're tired and just want to veg a bit. You are switching TV channels and happen to land on one of those programs that show malnourished children in underdeveloped areas of the world. What do you do? Do you change the channel?

Guess what - those scenarios are one and the same. Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it (or not done it) to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it (or not done it) to Me." How many times have YOU switched the channel and ignored Jesus?

The excuses are many...Wouldn't it be easier not to get involved? Does the little that I could do really matter? I already sponsor one child and that's all I can do. If I don't pay attention, I don't have to think about it, and maybe it will go away. Can I really trust the organization(s)? It looks like a propaganda machine. What if I opened myself up and something didn't work out the way it was supposed to? The list goes on and on.

I had no idea that Jack's story would not be the happy ending that I might have expected. It hurt. There were questions. Frustrations. Sadness. I could have saved myself much of that if I had sheltered myself and looked out for my own comfort , if I had just left well enough alone and contacted my supervisor when Jack came back. But is that what Jesus did?

My Bible says Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. He emptied Himself without any guarantee that we would make the conscious choice to accept His sacrifice. Wouldn't it have been easier to stick with the comfort of heaven and being present with God? He left His comfort zone, paid the ultimate price of being tortured and killed, and yet some still reject Him. Why did He do it? Because we are worth the risk.

Jack was worth the risk.

Yes, there is a risk to opening up oneself and stepping out of the comfort zone. Not everyone will give us accolades, people may ridicule us, things may not go as planned. People may call us crazy for loving others the way Jesus did - a dangerous love that is offered with reckless abandon.

He who shelters and protects his life will lose it, but he who gives his life to helping others will find it.

True living is only found by giving our lives for others. True love gives to others when you may not get anything back. I determine to live sacrificially and love dangerously.


At 2/27/2009, Blogger Kitty said...

Great post Mark. I would love to watch TV with Jesus :)

At 2/28/2009, Blogger Erin @ T5M said...

...I would too, though I think it would be hard to focus on the TV with Jesus in the room :-)

I recently read Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren, and she talks about that obedience can be "dangerous" - in the same sense that you're talking about - emotionally. If you haven't read that book, you may enjoy it.


At 3/05/2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so fitting for recent Bible study and sermons at our church. Thanks for sharing it!

I believe God sends people into our lives that are opportunities to serve. Since I don't know who they are, my goal has become to treat each person as if they are my "opportunity for service," my "Jack." That way, I won't miss "Jesus" when He passes me.

Thanks for a compassionate challenge, Mark.

At 3/05/2009, Anonymous Leslie said...

This was a fantastic post, Mark. The frustrating thing is to see the vast need in the world and realize that my little contribution will hardly make the smallest dent. Tens of thousands of children are starving in Africa. Hundreds of families are trying to raise funds to adopt children in the US and overseas so they can be rescued from poverty and human trafficking. Hundreds of children die in their beds in dark and dirty orphanages everyday in Ukraine. Foster children in the U.S. are passed from family to family with no hope of a forever home. What can I possibly do? What impact could I ever make in such dire circumstances? But my husband reminded me today that even though we cannot possibly save the world we can make a difference in the lives of those around us and God will give us guidance to where it is that HE has called us to serve and give and rescue and love. My prayer is that my heart will continue to beat steady with the heart of Christ. That His desire will be my desire and that I will seek out ways to serve Him to the fullest of my ability. Thanks for sharing, Mark. God bless you!!!


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