Is following Jesus really radical?
40 Days with Jesus – October 18th – Luke 6:27-36
What do David Platt and Francis Chan have in common? Neither is as radical as Jesus. Wow, I did not need this God interruption in my life. My tendency is to love those who love me. I want to love those people who fit into my schedule and comfort zone. So, I open the Gospel of Luke for a safe devotional thought and Jesus out radicals David Platt. He tells me to love those I have no natural reason to love. I get the sense that He is saying that’s the point. I am calling you to love those that I must love through you. God seems to be reminding me that following Him requires three radical truths.
The first truth is love is not an emotion it is a decision. It is a decision to pass on to others what I have generously and freely received from the Father. This act of obedience stretches me further than I usually want to go but it never leaves me empty. When I extend to others what I have freely been given it seems that I actually have more to give. Who is your difficult person to love? I am sure you do not have to think very hard; in fact I am sure you know exactly the person God is calling you to love. Think about what needs they have. How could you serve them by 10 o’clock tomorrow?
The second radical thing God asks us to do is serve others without expectation of return. My experience this year with international missions has allowed me to serve first hand without expecting anything in return. On the mission field it is so easy to serve and not even dream of getting anything in return. However, when we come home our attitude can quickly change with a sense of American entitlement, and the busyness of schedules come back into play and it’s just all together not so convenient. When was the last time you sacrificed without getting anything back?
Finally, practice the discipline of remembering. Remember how merciful Jesus has been to you. Name it. Share it. Enjoy it like the cool side of your pillow or the cool breeze on a sunny fall day. Be humbled that the God who would rather die than live without you created mercy so that you could have a relationship with Him. When I think about it that way, it’s incredibly humbling. What right do I have to not give someone a second chance when the God we serve is the God of second, third and fourth chances.
What a responsibility and privilege we have to be the hands and feet of Jesus through serving others.
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