One Thing 10/11/17
True Christianity is a radical departure from lostness. Christlikeness is extreme, and can’t be dummied down to fit a residual comfort zone that we try to drag into our new life. Listen to these words Jesus spoke to His disciples about the radical nature of Christian loving.
Luke 6: 27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
There is no room for hoarding, self-centeredness, unkindness, or bitterness in those instructions. This is what Christlikeness looks like, lived out in practice; yet it seems so impractical.
It is a life of extravagant giving, and letting go.
The question is, are you willing for such a life, and secondly, how do you get there.
Here is the good news.
We don’t try to move toward a place in love; instead we move from a place in love. As a believer, you were born into Christ, and therefore you were born into union with His heart. Being born into Christ is the starting place for everything we do in the Christian life. Instead of always striving to move toward something; we move from Someone. You have to always remember that you are In Christ so that He can continue to tell His story, accomplishing His purposes, through your life. He wants to see, think, feel, and act out His crazy life of supernatural love through you. You don’t need to obtain anything more to be able to live like this, since He, in His finished work at the Cross, has already attained it for you. The Love of God, in Christ, has already been poured out within your heart through the Holy Spirit. At our new birth, you and I were born into union with the fullness of Christ, and we think, believe, speak, and act from, not toward, that place. We do grow more and more into our experience of His fullness, but it’s not because we get more of Him, but it’s because He keeps getting more of us.