FROM THE PASTOR…
Believers or Followers?
I ask you to consider how stale is your faith walking? If you lived in the time of the early church as a disciple of Jesus, would you be like you are now? Passionate or complacent? Rolling through the week, no, make that sleepwalking through the week, doing your busy worldly duties, with little risk. Yes, little risk. Living in a prosperous land as we do, is there any risk at all? Consider this writing by Kaj Munk, a Danish priest that wrote this just prior to dying with his Bible next to him, by the Gestapo in January 1944 (careful, really following Jesus could get you killed):
“What is, therefore, our task today? Shall I answer: “Faith, hope, and love”? That sounds beautiful. But I would say – courage. No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature….we lack a holy rage – the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity. The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets, and when the lie rages across the face of the earth….a holy anger about the things that are wrong in the world.”
Maybe we only have a desire to rage about politics…or how we are mistreated by others and don’t get what we deserve….or to rage about how sin-filled those other people are! Holy anger is to rage against the ravaging of God’s earth, the destruction of God’s world. To rage when little children must die of hunger, when the tables of the rich are sagging with food. To rage at the senseless killing of so many, and against the madness of militaries. To rage against complacency. To restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms to the norms of the Kingdom of God!!!!
Remember the signs of the Christian church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish….but never the chameleon. It strikes me that chameleons are very hard to see in the world. Chameleons won’t change many things nor show Christ to others with their lives.
Followers show Christ to others.
(THE BIG POINT) Jesus makes it clear that faith in Him does not mean simply an intellectual agreement with His claims! No, to believe in Jesus is to serve Him and follow Him. It is absolutely meaningless to claim faith in Jesus and then live contrary to His teachings with no apparent interest in aligning ourselves with them. Faith means hanging the entire balance of our lives on His claims and His commands. It means not only accepting Jesus as our Savior, but following Him as our Lord! To separate these two roles of Jesus is to make Him into something He is not, and it is to make our beliefs almost meaningless. Whoever believes in Him, loves Him, serves Him – that person will follow Him. Whoever does not follow Him does not serve Him, love Him, or really even believe in Him!
So what does it mean to follow Jesus? It means that wherever He is, that’s where we’ll be. Where does he want us to be? God wants us to be co-laborers, missionaries, searching for lost sheep. We are to be seeking others on behalf of God. We are to be praying for opportunities to show Jesus to others. God does not rest as long as there are lost sheep!
Followers work with God to BRING them home.
If we hang around inside the fold, with our fellow found sheep, hoping that the lost sheep will wander through the door……well…..that is simply not how Jesus told us to do it. That is not how a follower does it. Jesus told about leaving the 99 sheep just to find the 1, do we “followers” need to adopt the same attitude? Jesus in essence said, “Follow me and be a co-laborer finding the lost sheep!” “Go and make disciples……”