I just took my 2 mile morning walk and listened to part of a sermon called “What do you need to by happy?” by Francis Chan. In it one of the ministry team members said “We are to live lives that demand an explanation.” Does my life? Does your life? Do the lives of the American church demand an explanation because they are radical, set apart lives poured out for the gospel?
I was in tears because I know that my life is not….my life comes up incredibly empty. I see myself as more of James 5:5 “You have lived on the earth in luxury and self indulgence.” and less of a “Take up your cross and follow me” life. What would a fully consecrated, holy, set apart life look like? I doubt I would know based on anything except the bible. Paul’s life was radically set apart and so was Job’s life.
An excerpt from Ann Voskamp’s new book “The Broken Way”, says this about Queen Esther, “you can look into eyes and hear the whisper from those outside your door, outside the gate. You’ve got to risk your position inside for those on the outside or you risk losing everything, even your own soul. You’ve got to give your gifts or they may become your idols, your identity, and you become the walking dead. If your living isn’t about giving, then your already dying. You’ve got to use the life you’ve been given to give others life. If your life isn’t about giving relief-you don’t get real life. Give relief or you find none.”
Job did this he gave himself away on behalf of the widow, the fatherless, the poor. What did God say about Job? He said that there was none like him. He said that Job was blameless, upright and that he feared God and turned from evil. What does God say about me? About you? Are we spending this one life we have been given actively and wholeheartedly pouring out and into others who are broken, and needy and hurting?
Elisabeth Elliot,”To be a follower of the Crucified means sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.”
Ann Voskamp again, “What if it is not God who needs us to rush to his defense in the world as much as we need to rush to the distress of the broken who carry the image of God into the world.” Do I? Do you? Do we rush to the defense of the title “D”’s ? Job did. Job 29:15-16 “I was eyes to the bind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy and I searched out the cause of him who I did to know.” Job’s faith was active and he was considered righteous. He actively broke the fangs of the unrighteous, he delivered the poor who cried for help and the fatherless who had no one to help him. He caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. His soul grieved for he needy. He wept for him whose day was hard. Do we do any of these things? Or are we too caught up with our own lives?
Ann again, “You are where you are for such a tie as this not to gain anything but to risk everything. There are so many of us sucking down lattes and dying of thirst, dying for something more, for something abundant. There are those who are saved, but only by the skin of their teeth because they cared most about the comfort of their own skin and only minimally about anyone else’s…there are those who would rather turn a blind eye to the needy then turn the needy to by like Christ. Those who would love playing at being Christian more than actually being one and loving giving.”
Oh may our Christianity actively look like Christ. May our lives demand an explanation. May I live so radically different, so sacrificial, so counter worldly that those who don’t know Christ would question why and want, oh so desperately want what I have…the bread of life, the living water. May they see in me, see in you, see in us the King of Kings! May we all live radical, set apart lives pointing a dying world to eternal life. Amen!
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