I’m not saying this is the best way to view the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m not saying this is a complete way to view the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m not even saying this is an accurate way to view the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
All I’m saying is that it has been really interested to think about things along these lines instead of the one I was given growing up.
These concepts have caused me to dwell deeply on the work that Jesus did, what it accomplished and how it is applied into our lives… my life.
The fruit in my life has been: searching scripture, inquisitive prayer, good conversations with trusted friends and consistent peace, knowing that God is not far away.
Feel free to disagree. I probably will disagree with myself at some point in the future. For now, it’s helpful, but it’s not the end of the process.
I have a lot to learn.
I’d love to hear other perspectives.
Be nice in Facebook threads and blog comments.
John 14:23 – Eph 3:17 – Rev 21:3
All?! Is that in Bible? HERESY!!!
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”
Hmmm… Alright, I’ll keep reading… but, for the record, I’m suspicious!
I’d like to point out that I’m not saying that all people will go to heaven. According to 2 Thess. 1:8-9 people are eternally separated from God, not because of sin, but because they refused to believe and respond to the good news of Jesus. Separation from God is a real thing that is coming for some, but what if it has more to do with faith than sin?
I apologize for the bad penmanship, surfer-dude language and unedited illustrations. When I wrote/drew this out, I had no idea I would make it into a blog one day.
I don’t have an answer for these questions which will be able to be applied to every person out there, but I think they are questions that every person should authentically ask.
Here are some things I have heard from people while I’ve been on this earth:
You need to take care of your family.”
“Start saving early so that you have enough when you want to retire.”
“Go to college and get a good job.”
“You need to be able to support yourself.”
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“Start a 401k.”
“Save up 3 months wages in an emergency fund.“
“Prepare for the future.”
What does Jesus teach?
Let’s try really hard not to interpret these verses by what the DON’T mean.
What DO they mean?
How DO we apply these crazy things?
How do we read his words without twisting them because of our worldly perspectives?
Lets try to hear these things without pre-conceived ideas of what it means.
John 6:27 “Do not work for the food which perishes.”
Matthew 6:24 “Cannot serve both God and money. Don’t worry about food/drink/clothing/tomorrow” Paraphrased
Luke 12:16-34 Story of the new barns & dying. “Don’t build a shore house for tomorrow and don’t worry about what you will eat/drink/wear.” Paraphrased
Mark 10:21-31 To the rich guy: “Sell everything you own.” It’s impossible to enter the Kingdom with your money and without God.
Luke 5:1-11 Jesus asks His new disciples to leave their recently acquired financial breakthrough.
1 Timothy 6:5-10 Be content with food and clothing
If these things don’t mean what He actually said, what DO they mean?
Why are we so quick to assume that this can’t be taken at face value?
What if these things were true?
- Don’t work for physical food.
- Don’t worry about what you are going to eat, drink or wear.
- Don’t worry about tomorrow.
- Don’t save up for the future.
- Sell your possessions and give it to the poor.
- Be content with food and clothing.
- Seek the Kingdom more than you seek food and clothing.
Is Jesus telling you not to have a job? Why not?
Is Jesus telling you to quit your job and leave everything you are doing now in order to follow Him? Why not?
Is Jesus telling you to sell everything you own and give it away? Why not?
Is Jesus saying that you should be okay with only having food and clothing? So, no phone, no house, no car, no furniture, no computer, no TV, no video games etc. Why not?
Don’t try answering these questions on your own. Connect with a community of trusted believers and hash this stuff out. Study the context of these verses. Study how the disciples applied Jesus’ words. Challenge each other.
Ask God a direct question in prayer:
Father, how do You want me to respond to these scriptures?
This walk isn’t designed to be walked alone.
In the last few years God has been teaching me to take His promises at face value.
If Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils…” (John 6:27) maybe he meant it.
If he said, “Don’t be concerned about what to eat or drink. Don’t worry about that stuff. All that jazz dominates the minds of people who don’t see the bigger picture. Your Daddy knows when you’re hungry, and He’s a good Dad! You just worry about playing your part in your Daddy’s business and He’ll worry about feeding you.” (John 12:29-31 NBV) maybe he meant it.
I love when Jesus makes promises about our Father taking care of us.
Today, I was convicted. Do I love it when Jesus makes commands? Do I take those at face value?
When Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give to those in need…” (John 12:33) maybe he meant it.
When Jesus said, “Give to those who ask…” (Matt 5:42) maybe he meant it.
I have a tendency to explain away commands like I used to explain away the promises. “That homeless dude isn’t really in need… He probably makes $100 an hour doing that… I don’t know how he is going to spend it.” But, am I really a follower of Jesus if I’m not actually following His teachings? (Not questioning my salvation here, FYI) He said, “Give” and I interpret it to mean, “Give after you have fully investigated how your money is going to be used and have thus verified that it will be used in a God-honoring way.”
When I look at the context of that verse in Matthew 5, it doesn’t seem like Jesus’ primary concern is how the recipient of your “giving” is going to steward your money. Read it.
What if my responsibility is not for the outcome, but the obedience? How does that play in to the fact that we have so many “charities” that are hurting people more than actually helping them by giving unwisely? I don’t know.
What if the promises and commands go hand-in-hand?
What if I can actually take the promises of scripture at face value as I act on the commands of scripture at face value?
I have this feeling that we explain things away too often. Maybe we’re too smart for our own good.
Do you mean that we should all quit our jobs and do full-time missions work?! Who would support us if none of us have jobs?!
Maybe we should… and my Father is loaded.
Do you mean that I should always give money to every homeless person I see? What if they’re using it on drugs and it’s just going to help destroy their lives?!
Maybe we should… and Jesus knew what he was talking about.
More important than those questions is this question:
Is everything in my life on the negotiation table or am I not willing to “go there” when Jesus starts talking to me about that.
My primary concern is to follow Jesus. If He is actually directing my life as my CEO (aka, Lord) then its possible for me to follow Him and trust that He knows what He’s doing when He gives me directions.