The call of Jesus is simple. Love God with all that you are and love everyone else in the same manner. Feed the hungry, care for the sick, the widows and the orphans. Live a life of service; reflect God’s love to everyone you meet. This was and is the mission of Jesus Christ.
If you failed to recognize modern Christianity in the paragraph above, you are not alone. Christians have become known as an intolerant bunch of self-righteous homophobiacs who build big comfortable buildings with high walls in an apparent attempt to keep others out. Our building project budgets dwarf our missions giving and our internal activities far outpace our outreach ministries. How did this happen, and more importantly, how do we fix it?
The answer begins with you and me. We must repent; we must change. If Christ has been removed from the church, then it is our responsibility to seek Him outside of those comfortable walls, to find Him in the eyes of the people He came to save. We must go to the alleys, to the suburbs and to the ghettos. We will find Him in the poor, the sick and the abandoned. Jesus is near, but we have become blind.
It is time that we who claim to know Jesus begin to live a life that looks like His. We must walk where He walked and touch those whom He touched. The time has come to shed our Western trappings and live a life marked by simplicity and grace. Our closets are packed with clothing we never wear while half the globe walks around in rags and without shoes. Our cupboards and refrigerators burst with food in quantities unfathomable to the three billion people in the world who somehow exist on only $2 per day. Jesus said to give all that we have, but we quarrel about the proper amount to tithe, and whether that amount is before or after taxes. Although we are the most blessed generation of people in history, are charity pales in comparison to our earnings.
While some will give of their money, they will withhold their time. Other will give their time, but hold on to their vices. Following Jesus is all or nothing. You can’t do it half-way; you’ll simply get left behind. Following Jesus requires an intense faith a passion to do the works we were both created and commanded to do. Now is the time for this generation to rise up and rebel against the religious traditions we have been taught. Almost everything you’ve learned is wrong because it suffers from years of man-made additions to what is at its heart a very simple mission. True followers of Jesus will reject the pharisaical teachings of the past and return to a life spent in relentless pursuit of the Savior.
Let us begin that journey; let us learn to strip away all that is not of Jesus and begin again to walk in His footsteps. Along the way we will learn what it means to truly identify with the poor and the sick. We will discover renewed passion for life and a compassion for others that is unquenchable. When it comes to Jesus, it is essential that we yearn for more and more; we must never be satisfied. Our longing for Him must leave us aching for more and more. He is our Creator, the One who is madly and passionately in love with us. He longs to be known by you. Will you seek Him? Come with me and let’s learn to pursue Him at any cost. Let us learn together what it means to be a true follower of Jesus.