As I sat in the home of some good friends of ours last night, ate dinner and fellowshipped with three other couples, WE began to watch a video series called “Radical”. I was overwhelmed with a new reality. It is the reality that, although I am extremely blessed to know Jesus personally, I am also responsible to live out the life of a Jesus follower. Now… I know this shouldn’t have been a “new” reality. The sad truth is, in our church culture today, we often assume that all we have to do is say our prayers, attend church, love God and try to be nice to others. It seems so simple when you look at it that way. The problem comes when you realize that believing in Jesus and being a follower of Jesus are radically different. The lesson began to unfold with a few simple, yet challenging questions…
1) Do I believe what the Bible says about the church?
2) Do I believe what the Bible says about the lost?
3) Do I believe what the Bible says about the poor?
WOW. Just WOW is all I can whisper right now. As we began to consider what the disciples were asked to do when they became followers of Jesus, and when we began to discuss what those in other countries today are being asked to do as followers of Jesus, it became very obvious that our American culture has “dumbed down” our calling to actually be obedient to the words Jesus spoke about following Him. We have conveniently accepted the lie that all we really “have to do” is be a good person… most of the time…
If we would spend just a little more time reading the “words of Jesus”, we might find out that there really is more to being a “follower of Jesus”. We might realize that we have been called to be HIS hands and feet to a lost world… to so many people who are watching and waiting to see if we live out what we say we believe. This is admittedly overwhelming, and yet it is also inspiring for me to ponder! If we really LOVED the lost… and if we really LOVED the poor… and if we really looked like the church that scriptures described so beautifully, how would our lives be different? What kind of RADICAL changes might need to be made in our life in order to reflect Jesus to this lost and hurting world around us? Can we truly be recognized as a Jesus follower by our actions today, or yesterday, or last week, or last month? Based on our daily choices, will others be drawn to this amazing Jesus that we claim to follow?
Whew… on my face before the Father right now. Will you join me in asking the hard questions??? And then… be a true “follower of Jesus” alongside me.