“We’re celebrating Christs birthday!” a friend of mine exclaimed as we entered store after store, hitting up all the after-thanksgiving shopping sales. I laughed to myself every time he made the declaration, because we both knew full well how ridiculous western Christianity has become.
Do we still serve the same Christ who told the rich young ruler to sell ALL of his possessions? The same Christ who stated “let the dead bury the dead, you follow me“? The same Christ who stated in Luke 14-“those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples?” I think we can all agree that Jesus cared very little about wealth, regardless of what some pastors may say on the television during the wee hours of the morning. If we know this to be true, then why don’t we follow His example?
Are the freedoms of this Nation so great that we must ignore Christs example? Think about that…Do we have it so good here in the U.S that we have the right to refuse His example? To live a life of wealth and gluttony, and forget about the poor, the sick, and the dieing. The very people that Christ came to preach to!
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Luke 14:18-19 (Jesus reading from Isaiah)
One passage that has been on my heart lately is Galatians chapter 2, in which Paul and Barnabas go to the apostles Peter and John, and give them a report on there evangelism to the Gentiles. I’ll let the rest speak for itself-
“James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.”- Galations 2:9-10
James, the brother of Jesus, and the apostles Peter and John. Men who grew up with Jesus. Men who walked, talked, laughed, joked, ate, cried, and slept with the very Man we still worship today. What kind of impression did Christ have on their lives? Remember the poor…remember the poor…remember the poor.
Francis Chan is an amazing author, pastor, and speaker. I was thrilled at Passion 2010 when I got to hear him speak, he’s just an amazing down-to-earth guy. My respect for him grew even more after discovering that his church gives 51% of their income back into the community. A body that gives more than it receives. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that Christlike? A missionary once told me: “if you can’t put all of your belongings into a couple of bags, then you’re living in excess.” Whether that’s true or not, his point was clearly made.
How much is too much? Are you giving more than receiving? Do you think of the poor? When was the last time you actually had to give up something for God? Well, it’s 3 A.M and I’m hoping this makes sense.