No matter how intense the opposing voices, we must learn to stand up and follow Jesus. There is no way we can do this if all we pay attention to is each others’ voices or trend-setting voices. There is a seductive voice also in many minds, whispering the suggestion that you too could set a trend and get a “viral post out there” or “do something so noteworthy that large numbers look your way,” and yet this isn’t what defines significance and integrity. We know that true integrity is what we should long to live out and actually live out. What’s exciting about this reality is that it doesn’t take popular opinion to live a life of integrity, and in most cases popular opinion won’t affirm you if you keep making choices that support increased integrity in your life. You’ll hear popular opinion as a sort of white noise in the background more and more as you live a life and make choices that are drilling down into a life of patterns, patterns fostering a life of integrity, a life of love-soaked decisions and actions.
May the God of peace soak our thoughts and hopes and dreams and decisions and actions in His love more and more.
Stand up and follow Jesus! How? Kneel in God’s presence every day.
It’s that simple and beautiful. As we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we more and more realize that this isn’t a brokenness like any other brokenness. This is the broken spirt and contrite heart God loves, one that recognizes the sin in one’s life and recognizes the Savior Who gave up Heaven for a few years to give us Heaven’s King for eternity as our Brother, Savior, Friend, Lord, God Incarnate… We get the ultimate gift of Heaven, Jesus Himself!
As we enter into our prayer rooms day-by-day, we get to step into the real world with more and more awe that God would give us opportunities to touch the lives of believers and non-believers with the love of God and Gospel of Jesus every day.
Yesterday I was finishing my work day and witnessed a young man’s bike being stolen from him. He had just paid over $300 for this bike at our local bike shop and he was furious and on the phone with the police when my kids and I walked out to see how we could help. We gave him funds for a bike and a Gospel of John. He hung up with the police and looked into our eyes and was deeply grateful. He had mentioned in a brief comment while on the phone with the police that his girlfriend was about to have a baby. This really impacted my son, J, who commented on this fact multiple times, and he mentioned it when we prayed for this man we will call Jay. My son J repeatedly prayed for Jay that God would comfort him and provide for him. As J prays this and has opportunities to bless others, I believe he will grow into a pattern of life that reflects Christ to a hurting and dying world. As the kids and I spoke with Jay, we realized that we had an extra mountain bike – a nice one – back in my office. We didn’t need it, and God had blessed us with it through auction buying at a fraction of the cost of what it is worth. We’d gotten some good use out of the bike as well, and so it seemed like God was prompting us to give it to Jay. We struggled a bit with giving it because we liked it, but we believe God led us to it.
We stepped into God’s lead on this and felt increasing joy as we got to see Jay later in the evening yesterday. We tracked him down partly because we needed a bracket off of that bike for our tail bike for the kids. Fortunately we found him, were able to continue the conversation with him a bit, and got that bracket! This morning as I brought the kids to school we prayed for Jay again, and we are trusting God to give us another opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus with him and maybe continue to help him along in some way. Generally I try not to give more than maybe a meal to the homeless or those I’m sensing are likely homeless, maybe a sleeping bag or socks, etc, and when a meal, I try to do that in a way where we share a meal and connect relationally. More than anything I don’t want to enable someone with any kind of addiction and I genuinely WANT THEM TO KNOW JESUS through showing them relational, healthy, consistent love, godly love, genuine love, not the world’s cheap substitutes for godly affection. The more I’ve gotten to connect with those in hard places in this more thorough way, the less I’ve done things like we did yesterday. However, this was one of those divine appointment opportunities to shock someone with God’s reckless grace so-to-speak. Think of how reckless in a sense and scandalous the Gospel of Jesus Christ is!
May the Gospel of Jesus Christ show up on the ground of this earth through you, my siblings in Christ! Stand up, and follow Jesus today.