Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reality Check - Part 3

I read three books over the past several days that gave me a spiritual butt-whooping. They were:

"Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds" by Tom Davis
"Fields of the Fatherless" by Tom Davis
"Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God" by Francis Chan

These books made me realize that I have become too comfortable. They hit me like a ton of bricks because I realized that I haven't been aggressive enough with seeking out people to help. While I have done things to assist people whose paths just happen to cross mine, I have waited for opportunities instead of searching for them.

Consider the account of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25. Notice that the goats argued (verses 44-45)...

Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

The goats, just like the Marines in part 1 of this post, thought they were doing everything right. How many Christians today think Christianity is this:
1) Read a chapter or two of the Bible each day
2) Say a quick prayer before meals
3) Try to go to church regularly and tithe
4) Show God's love by being friendly and nice to people
5) Try to live a perfect life by avoiding all the "bad" sins

I don't know about you, but I don't see any of the above items in mentioned in Matthew 25. These things, while Biblical and important, can easily be viewed as obligations rather than things we do out of sheer love for Jesus. What IS mentioned is whether we got out of our comfort zone and helped those people that society has forgotten. I have never been satisfied by the status quo, but I have sometimes felt alone in the desire for more. Reading the books I mentioned earlier made me realize I am not alone. There are people, dare I say movements, that are going back to the basics of Christianity - a heart to God and a hand to man.

I am officially out of my comfort zone. No longer will I let convenience determine when I will launch out into the things God has placed in my heart. My faith is either growing or decaying. What kinds of things am I doing that require faith? It's time to step out of the boat.

4 Comments:

At 2/12/2009, Blogger wilsonian said...

We got into a discussion at small group last night. One of the things that came up was the fact that being an apprentice of Jesus is our life's work. Our job is not our life's work. Our hobbies are not our life's work. Even our families are not our life's work. Apprenticeship to Jesus is. How amazing is that??!!

 
At 2/13/2009, Blogger Mark D said...

Wow Erin, that IS amazing!! Hadn't thought about it that way.

 
At 2/16/2009, Blogger karen said...

Yep. Church is every day. Every minute. Every place.

 
At 2/16/2009, Blogger Connie said...

Mark,
Yes! Jesus looks us in the face and says, "Come!"
Hanging out in the Hiding Place gives us courage to 'step out of the boat' and be about the Father's business. We learn to trust in God, not man.

I agree, Karen, church is not a noun, but a relationship, a living thing that is not bound by the law, but love. We are the body, the bride, and cannot fathom how precious each one is to the Father. Even though we understand a bit by how we love our own children and in my case, grandchildren, LOVE is the great gift and mystery.

The Great Reality is that God IS, and LOVES. He invites us scaredy cats to GET OUT OF THE BOAT! Life lived obeying and accomplishing amazing things through supernatural courage is lived gloriously. Available in any circumstance, any minute, any place. is the hiding place with infusion of love and courage.

btw, thanks for the kind words and visit to my blog...the amazing world of insects on flowers is one I am privileged to share.

I am enjoying reading your posts.
<>< c

 

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