Part 3: Progress New Life, New Shirt
Chapters 10-15 covered what we should be doing as Christians.
Chapter 10: Living the Jesus life is about letting Jesus live through us. There’s no way we can be Jesus to others on our own. At best, we are only cheap imitations. We are called to abide in Jesus and in turn, he will live through us. And when we abide in him, we have abundant lives and we can fulfill the promise of doing greater things than Jesus.
Chapter 11: We need to SLOW down to the speed of love. We go through our daily lives running around at the speed of light (like a chicken with our head cut off). We can accomplish so much more (in terms of what is meaningful) if we will just slow down and take time with people. Build relationships, take time to develop them and really see people. Jesus took one day a week to rest on the Sabbath. God rested on the seventh day of creation. Jesus is who we look to as our example, and if he rested, shouldn’t we?
Chapter 12: We need to be vulnerable. We need to be real in our relationships. We have built walls in our lives to keep feelings, people, or other things out so that we won’t feel pain or disappointment or anger or some other emotion. I know that I have done this in my life. There are things I have experienced that make me leery of certain people, afraid that they will hurt me again in some way. I struggle with “belonging” and shut people out because I’m afraid to be rejected. I am praying that God will make me more compassionate. I know that he is doing this in my life even as I speak. I know he is working to let me know that I belong with him, that I can trust him with my life, that he will never reject me. I guess I just need to realize that he is all I need (in such a way that I live like he is all I need).
Chapter 13: We have to go against everything we “know,” and seek to die to ourselves. We choose to die by serving others. Jesus modelled this in everything he did, the most recognizable example is when he humbled himself to the losest place on the totem pole and washed the disciples’ nasty, dirty feet. I wish I could go back to when Frankie and I first got married and make some different choices about our finances. We are not by any means in financial trouble, but we made some decisions that I regret now and as a result, we are not able to do things I wish we could do… God is teaching me that it’s not about having the best toys of this world, that we need to focus on what’s really important.
Chapter 14:The world is crying out: “Touch me, I’m sick!” Are we responding? or are we ignoring those people who need a touch from us (and more importantly, from Jesus). Jesus touched people when he lived on earth, he touched people that society commanded you to stay away from. He sent out his disciples into the world to touch people. And today, he is sending each one of us into our world to touch the untouchable, the beggar on the side of the road, the prostitute on the street corner, the co-worker who is struggling, the neighbor who is sick and has no family, the possiblilities are endless. Are we touching people?
Chapter 15:God has given us a mission to share the gospel with the world. We are under a time constraint; we have objectives that we need to meet. There is an urgency and an importance to this mission. We need to search the world over frantically for any who would be a lost sheep and show them the way to Jesus. This is our mission… if we choose to accept it. And when we became disciples, we knowingly or unknowingly accepted it.