Friday, 26 August 2011


Why Jesus Was Radical...
What Jesus taught about developing godly spirituality- the kind of spirituality where a soul is connected intimately with God - sounds counter-intuitive. Jesus taught that authentic spirituality didn't "look" spiritual! In fact, He warned against spiritual parading. To be spiritual, Jesus taught, is to do some very practical things, like provide your parents, help out strangers, love your wife, be a part of a church community, demonstrate consideration for others, and bring all your needs to Father God in prayer each day.
This almost counter-intuitive spirituality continues when Jesus teaches those who would follow Him that they must relegate what they want by helping others with what they want. "If someone asks you to go one mile, go two..." "Give to him who asks for a loan and do not expect any return..." It's as if Jesus is saying, whatever you want, give it away. Want love? Show love. Want attention? Give someone your attention. Want company? Give someone your companionship.
This is surely counter-intuitive. I wonder if we could be a counter-intuitive church? Instead of church being about "me", I wonder if I could make it about "you". Instead of church being about "you" and if we could make it about "us". Perhaps this doesn't start here, but at least it can start here, when we come together this Sunday, instead of waiting for someone to come to you, could you go to someone - especially someone attending for a first, second or third time? Perhaps go beyond striking up a conversation and offer to have them back for lunch. I know that some will respond with, "Why should I?! No one's ever invited me or my family for lunch!"
First John 3:11 ¶ For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it is not just non-Gospel it is anti-Gospel! It is spiritually toxic! To think of others and do something that shows we care is at the very heart of the Gospel. Consider this:
Q: What is in the centre of "SIN"?
A: I.
And this one-
Q: What is in the centre of "CHURCH"?
A: You Are (UR).
Eph. 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
I want to be a counter-intuitive Christian. I want to respond to the Christ who taught that if I want my life I have to let it go. This is the same Christ who taught if I want to find my life I have to lose it. The safest road, Jesus taught, was not the broadest road, rather it was the narrow road.
Living as Christ taught nearly always demands a counter-intuitive response. Our wife hurts us and we instinctively wait for them to apologise. But Christ's instruction to the offended is counter-intuitive! He instructs the offended to initiate forgiveness! (Matthew 18:15) When we are deeply betrayed the most natural thing to do is to rehearse over and over again the hurtful event. But in a shockingly counter-intuitive manner, the New Testament instructs us not to dwell on these events but to rather dwell on virtuous and excellent things (Phil. 4:8).

Bill Hybels constantly reminds us that the local church is the hope of the world. We get hope by giving hope. I know. That's counter-intuitive. This Sunday do something counter-intuitive, then do it again on Monday.
Father, I want my life to be more about You and less about me. I want to be a blessing to others especially when I'm desperate for blessing in my life. Help me to minister to others with what I have. Everything I have is Yours. Everything I do is for You. Everything I am is for You. I know that I am not yet what I will be. So Father, please change me and make me a fully devoted follower of Christ. Change the way I think, the way I speak, the way I act and the way I feel, so I can see others how You see them. May my heart be Your heart, in Jesus' Name, Amen.
Eph. 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ps. Andrew

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