To all those living out The Jesus way in 2010

I was reading a part of the Bible (John chapter 5) with a friend this morning. It is amazing how different life looks when your focus is on reading the Bible and what Jesus said and doing it. Things are turned upside down! It seems odd that this should be when I have grown up in “the church” and have always been part of a group of Christians where we have lived. But more and more I am thinking things like,  “Hang on a minute – where does it say that in The Bible….?!”

So that is the challenge – to return to the practice of scripture.

After all that is what a disciple of Jesus is – someone who loves the Father through obeying Jesus commands. (And Jesus Himself said that in John 14:21) So that is the job for us as people who profess to follow Jesus – to “live it out” how He wants here in 2010.

In John chapter 5 Jesus breaks the rules. We have ,in many people’s eyes, broken the rules and a number of people have said this to our face. Normally though it is whispers behind our back. What was Jesus’ crime? He healed someone on the sabbath. What is our crime? Living to share Jesus with people outside of existing “church structures”. Everyone who knows us will know that we are not bitter about this in any way. I just wanted to use this as an illustration. In Matthew 12 Jesus said to the religious leaders of the day, “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this scripture meant, ‘I prefer a flexible heart to an unflexible ritual’ you wouldn’t be nitpicking me like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; He’s in charge.” (The Message Version)

What is important here? That our buildings, programmes and denominations are maintained and passed on to the next generation or that our own particular brand of Church-ianity is preserved for another 100 years?

Jesus – the fullness of God’s revelation to us – clearly explained to people that God is more concerned about people doing His will than about performing rituals. I am not slamming churches here! But I am suggesting to myself and to everyone else who calls themself a Christian that there is danger of cherishing the status quo and what we are used to more than cherishing what God is saying to us today. After all God had instructed His people to keep the Sabbath so really the religious leaders did have a point didn’t they. Well the problem was that they had elevated the law and the requirements to a position that was not intended. When the fullness of God came in Jesus – who came to fulfill the law – they did not recognize Him.

There are many of us in different circumstances who are trying to live out the Jesus way in 2010. Some of us have stepped out of things. Some of us have stepped into things. Some of us don’t know where to step! We want to encourage you though to keep slaying the sabbath! Keep putting to death the old things that keep us from embracing what God wants us to walk in today. Remember that Jesus desires a flexible heart more than an inflexible ritual.

What is important to God?

God is concerned about how his disciples love each other more than what day of the week they meet on

God is concerned about how we are making disciples of all nations more than how many people come to our particular church meeting or service on a Sunday

God is concerned about people obeying Him more than maintaining our buildings, denominations and getting people on board with corporate church visions

I speak to myself and anyone else who wants to listen……

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom April 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Amen to that my brotha!

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Lizz Selway April 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Bless you! I just needed to read this today. Right words in the right time and all of that. This makes my heart glad- it’s all about Jesus at the end of the day.

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