Friday, July 22, 2016

Christo-centric or Fill-In-The-Blank-Centric: Finding That Which Grounds Us

We can be safe or we can be ambassadors of Jesus Christ. It is unlikely that we can be both at the same time. Jesus wasn't safe but He was good. Fear would have us live protected lives and be safe in a world filled with land mines.

Living safe looks like disciples huddled together behind locked doors after the crucifixion of Christ. The fear was real and the fear was fueled by a legitimate threat because the disciples were likely asking themselves a very legitimate question. Which one of us will be killed next?

We are not called to be controlled by fear. We are called to operate with a sound mind. God did not call us to a life of timidity. Courage may be required as we press into our fear as this culture is rapidly moving toward secularism.

When we recognize the incredible resurrection power available to us and live into all this means, we will no longer fear losing political power or being marginalized as Christians in a culture that may be becoming more hostile to the Christian faith. In a world in which we are living more like exiles in our own land, fear is not going to be life-giving. Fear will kill us much quicker than the outside threat we perceive to exist.

If we find ourselves fighting to be center place in this culture through political means or other forms of structural power, we may be operating out of fear.

I am reminded that Jesus never implemented a new political system. He is the one that said, "And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles."

This was not a a popular message of revolt against an oppressive Roman government. It was a path toward a life of humility. It was a call to something much deeper. In essence, it seems to me Jesus was saying, "Quit clinging to that which you find your identity in. Instead, find your identity in Me. Stop trying to insist on finding places of power from which to wield change. Relax. Realize I AM the change your heart desperately desires. When you recognize who I AM you will stop insisting on finding temporal solutions for eternal desires and needs."

I am reminded that when the disciples came out from behind closed doors, identifying with the Resurrected Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, everything changed. They couldn't be shut up, threatened, or intimidated. They were convinced Jesus was raised from the dead and their Christo-centric hope led to a Christo-centric life. The meaning of life was found ONLY in Jesus Christ. They just couldn't stop talking about Jesus. It was obvious. These disciples had the conviction that their whole life revolved around Jesus.

~ John Comstock

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