A Challenge from Shane Claiborne

A Challenge from Shane Claiborne
Before I get into the music portion, I wanted to share with you a challenge from Shane Claiborne. If you’re wondering who that is, Claiborne is in Philadelphia leading a radical ministry working among those in need. In his book, Irresistible Revolution, he writes, “What if Jesus really meant the things He said?” 
 
His challenge brings to the forefront of our minds the question of, would our lives be different if we really took Jesus at His word? For instance, what if we believed Jesus really meant what He said in Luke 3:11, “Whoever has two shirts is to share with the one who has none, and the one who has food is to do likewise.” – If we believed Jesus was calling us to do this, would we do it?
 
Believe me, I’m not trying to press anyone’s buttons. I am simply putting this question out there as it was presented to me. And it is so good for us to think about as Christians so that we can honestly follow Christ instead of a watered down version of Christ. For that matter, we must know why we believe what we believe. But not just when it comes to passages like Luke 3:11, this is great to think about in regards to Jesus’ promises. For instance, Jesus says in John 7:37, “Whoever believes in me… out of his heart will flow fountains of living water.” – There is great power in believing such a statement. 
 
What would happen if we simply believed what Jesus said and followed it, mimicking the life of service He lived, would our lives be different? I encourage you to share your thoughts on the matter.

Loving With Authenticity

I read an incredible book by Donald Miller this past week called Scary Close. There were many wonderful points made that I wish I had time to bring out. But here is one that I found incredible for Christians because we wish to love others. 
 
To paraphrase what I understood Miller to say…
To love is less about being great in other people’s eyes and more about being human. It’s less about impressing and more about connecting. If we stop trying to impress and make connecting a higher priority then love will be a byproduct. There can be no love when all we do is attempt to impress. For when are fixated on impressing we only give people the version that’s cropped and edited. But people cannot connect to someone who is impressive. We must be human for others to feel like they can relate. Therefore we must reveal the real us when we want to connect. 
 
Let’s practice authenticity as Christians. It will allow us to connect with Christians and non-Christians alike. And it will allow us to actually be able to connect and love people in a deeper way than we could if we trying to seem like the “superhuman Christian” that none of us are. Glory be to God, He grants greater intimacy through the relationships of people who realize they are unique, flawed, and yet they love people for who they are. Let us love and accept love out of who God has made us to be. 

What Makes Jesus Compelling?

What makes Jesus so compelling? This is a question brought out by Francis and Lisa Chan in their recently published book on marriage, “You and Me Forever.” I wanted to challenge us with this question this week. Because the more we are “compelled” by Jesus the less we will be “compelled” by the world. 
 
So what do you find most compelling about Jesus? What does scripture say is compelling about Him? Hope this question encourages you to dive into the endless oceans of God’s grace. To see His worth in truth makes the idols of this world look like rubbish (Philippians 3:7-9).