Friday, September 11, 2009

The Disciple's Light

What is our hope? I do not mean what is our ultimate hope, while we treat other things as temporary hopes with some power to save, deliver, and sustain life. The time has come, and indeed is long overdue, that the believing followers of Jesus Christ walk away from everything that keeps us from experiencing and modeling an outright fanatical, desperate, and peace filled confidence in Jesus Christ, our only Hope. How is it that our lives are so conveniently hidden within a world of darkness? Where is our light? And why don’t sinners ask us about our hope?

We have dispensed out our lives in so many different directions and with so many attachments that it has become impossible for others to see any remarkable difference in us. Our worries, our cares, our finances, our minds, our emotions, our time, and most of our energies are allocated to endeavors of this world. And even when we gather together for the expressed purpose of worshiping the Risen Christ we come without prepared hearts and are consumed with the event rather than the Christ. And five minutes after we leave the building we are well on our way to the same innocuous and insipid life we lived the previous week. In short, we have become locked into a changeless and indistinct existence that reflects so little light that Christ is obscure and anonymous in the very life from which He should radiate.

It is not wrong to be faithful to the mundane concerns of this world, but it a grievous wrong when those things are the center of our lives, and in some cases, the exclusive core of our entire lifestyle. To profess that the Creator of the Universe actually lives within us, and then to exhibit such little residual evidence of that truth is to live the most profound lie of all. What we say we believe is staggering, and if true, its impact should and must be extraordinary in the assembly line world of human ants struggling to achieve some level of significance and purpose. The life of a believing follower of Jesus Christ should be a beacon of love, grace, redemption, and one that is marked by prayer and commitment that would be unexplainable under any normal circumstances. But, sadly, our churches have so lowered the bar of Biblical discipleship that many millions can be faithful to the weekly gatherings without the slightest evidence of a Christ filled life and still feel the satisfaction of meeting their religious obligations.

As the culture has compromised and even swallowed up our Christian witness, the church has diluted its message and the depth of its challenge to accommodate, and in some cases integrate, the cultural effects. What then remains is a well managed and well rounded western lifestyle that acknowledges all the correct moral views and the gospel tenants, but is so homogeneous to its surroundings that is must be considered fully clandestine and completely inconspicuous. Again we are left with a lifestyle that is alien to the Book of Acts and inconsistent to many examples of church history that, instead of receiving the imprint of their culture, have left His mark upon their human environment.

So what does it mean to be a faithful, and even a passionate follower of Jesus Christ? What spiritual accoutrements that are reflections of the Incarnate life have we compromised and even discarded? And what cultural parasites have we allowed to contaminate and misrepresent what it means to be a follower of Christ, and in fact misrepresent Christ Himself? And the overriding question will be the motivating factor as to how far and how deep we reexamine our personal commitment to the Lord Jesus.

The question is this:

Is Jesus worth more, much more, than we now give and surrender to Him?

Think on that question which should be rhetorical as well as a convicting indictment. I will in the future address certain spiritual and Biblical truths juxtaposed against what should be our practical manifestations of those truths.

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