Monday, November 9, 2015

Just Go!

Many people use the Bible to prove a point, reinforce their own opinions, and proof text their values, morals and ideals. If one took an honest, open minded approach to studying the Bible for what it actually says instead of what we think it says or what someone else told us it says, we would find there are some things that are ambiguous at best.  While the Bible can be misused, misrepresented, and misunderstood there are certain things especially in the New Testament that Jesus made perfectly clear. We find in the scripture of Matthew, what is known as The Great Commission. Before leaving earth and ascending in to heaven Jesus leaves some very clear and specific instructions not just for those who were there at the time but for all people who follow Jesus.  There is a big distinction in knowing or believing in Jesus and following or being a disciple of Jesus. In the Great Commission Jesus says “go” and love. It’s really that simple. When we look at the life of Jesus that is exactly what Jesus did.  Whenever reading the Bible about Jesus it’s important to notice what is included but also what is omitted.  For example, the bible states that the son of God, Jesus, had no place to lay his head. It tells us Jesus had no home. We never read anything about Jesus buying a house, owning land, starting a business, or settling roots anywhere. We read just the opposite. Jesus was always on the go. He was always moving from town to town going to wherever there was a need.
 But honestly it is hard for us today to be on the go for Jesus. We prefer to stay at home. It is just safer, easier to control, and a lot more comfortable to just stay where we are. Jesus made it clear that love and serve were synonymous. When questioned when his followers ever showed their love to him, Jesus responded when you fed, clothed, visited, cared the least of the marginal people.  We hear the words of Jesus but our culture and our world tells us something different: “I was hungry and you went out to eat again. I was thirsty and you needed cold bottles of water. I was a stranger and you called the police. I needed clothes but you needed newer clothes. I was sick and you pointed out my behavior that led to my sickness. I was in prison and you said I got exactly what I deserved.”  The culture and environment we must live in bombards us with images and messages that are counter intuitive to Jesus instructions. We have opportunities daily to show our love for Jesus but we tend to only focus on ourselves.  We justify this sometimes by saying we are compassionate people. But compassion is a word that is action oriented. Feeling for people in need and not doing anything is not compassion. That is empathy not compassion. So we must begin to love people one at a time. Jesus met people all the time that was not a planned. We must share the love of Jesus as we go. The single most consistent proclamation of the Bible and what is at core of Jesus’ heart is that He loves people. Jesus loves all people regardless of any circumstance, bad decision, past or current situation. Every day we, as Jesus followers, have opportunities to do exactly that: love as we go. As we “go” to show our love for others, we are also showing our love for the One who loved us first.
Go love/serve somebody


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