Saturday, September 26, 2009

to whom much was given

Luke 12:48 says, "to whom much was given, of him much will be required." As I listened to some conversations over the past week, I realized how badly we have missed the point when it comes to following Jesus. I wondered what humility looks like in a generation that honors pride and self worth above love for others. I considered the topics of conversation, and the importance they reflected on people's lives. TV shows. Facebook. Nice cars. A cute boyfriend/girlfriend. The newest cell phone. An incredible education to bring self worth.

Nothing is wrong with these things. The problem that I have with them is this: we are often so concerned with ourselves that we build a pride that somehow, in our minds, places us above other people. How far do we let this go?

What happened to walking justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God? What happened to loving your neighbor as yourself? What happened to loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do we think these things don't apply to us? Do you think when we neglect to care for people in need, we do these things?

None of this is easy, but are we really trying as hard as we possibly can? I want to love God with every fiber of my being, and it is extremely difficult. I know I'm not a good person. I know that I neglect others. I know that I'm a selfish pig and that I will continually screw up. Despite these shortcomings, how badly do I want to become a woman after God's heart? What do I need to do in order to pursue Him?

Turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Stop texting. Do it for one hour. Decide that you want to spend more time in God's presence than you will with any of these other things.

Then, give yourself away to God and to others. Give your spare change to the homeless man on the street corner. Better yet, put yourself in a difficult situation by giving more than you can handle. Give him everything in your wallet and ask God for help with your finances. He asks for your everything; do you think He would leave you to starve to death if you gave away your food money in His name?

The most beautiful thing about giving yourself away is that while you help others, you put your trust in God on the line. You actually ask Him to take care of you from a place of need. You lay down your rights to depend on your parents, your paycheck, your education. You learn to depend on God. That is something that we should be desperate for.

We have become to comfortable and reliant on ourselves. We have been given so much, and now, much is required of us. Sadly, we are missing the point and we don't care to do anything about it. What would happen if we decided to do things right for once? What if we lived as though the story of our lives would be read by the world?

If your life story was mentioned in the Bible, what would it say? Would you be mediocre; a disappointment to God? Or would you be the person who God is pleased with; the person who loves others so much that it hurts? The one who gives so much away that they have nothing? The person who lives so passionately that there is no other explanation but God? Right now, as you look at your life, do you think your name would even be worth mentioning?

If you simply don't care about any of the questions above, then do this: stop telling people that you're Christian. If you can't believe that God's power will take care of you, then why believe in Him at all? Stop saying that you're doing things in Jesus' name, when you are choosing to trust, believe, and live for Him only on Sundays. Don't you dare disgrace the name of Jesus by living your life with Him on the sidelines.

Let's be what we are meant to be! Let's live our lives of love to God. Let's live in the reality that we are nothing. I don't want to define you by your job, education, or friends. I want to know you by the song of love that pours out of your heart when we live lives of meaning with each other.

I can't think of a better way to end this blog than with the lyrics to a favorite song of mine.

We're looking to Your promise of old
That if we pray and humble ourselves
You will come and heal our land
You will come
You will come

We're looking to the promise You made
That if we turn and look to Your face
You will come and heal our land
You will come
You will come to us

Lord, send revival, start with me
For I am one of unclean lips
And my eyes have seen the King
Your glory I have glimpsed
Send revival, start with me
--Matt Redman, Send Revival, Start With Me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

simply beautiful.

"This is what God has done for us. He has come into our condition. He has come to bring us back. He has come and embraced us. He has come and covered us in Himself. Watch this Christ. Watch as He is accused of being a drunkard, of associating with tax collectors. Watch as He brings healing to the afflicted, love to prostitutes, forgiveness to sinners. Watch as He climbs the hill bearing His destruction on His back. Watch as blood and water flow. Watch as salvation comes to us all. Watch as glory ascends to come again. Watch and fall in love with a God who does not resolve, whose rescue is never-ending. Whose prayer is that you would be the rescue. Who sends you to be that rescue. Be courageous. Even as you stand there hiding in the bushes, shaking to the bottom of your toes, frightened of what's to follow, what consequences will come of it, know that evil will not prevail. That you are not alone. That you bring the kingdom of God and there is hope. There is hope always. And others will walk out of dark places and see you standing there, arms outstretched, given completely to this hope."

-- David Crowder, Praise Habit

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