Pearl 16: There is no A la Carte Jesus
The words of Burger King seem to stir as I sit with this pearl....Have It Your Way!
My degree is actually in public relations and communication so marketing was a major component of my study. Saying this I know that when you create a tag line you look for the felt need of people. We would ask questions in small groups seeking to find the felt need of our audience. What would speak to them? What would move them to action? What's in it for them, because by nature we are selfish? So realizing that this slogan has been around for 40 years and can be recited by most anyone from 3 to 103 it's obvious that people want it their way! We want options. We want some control. We want what we want when we want it.
Sadly too many of us as believers have spilled this need into our spiritual life. We too want it our way. We are willing to give when their is cushion in the account. We will serve if it doesn't conflict with our social calendar. We will attend a church that keeps us comfortable. We gladly lend a hand if it is "our thing."
I am reminded of the words the Lord impressed upon my heart a few years ago...Rochelle it is not about what you are doing, but who you are becoming, because when you become who I want you to be I can use you everywhere. Though my heart passion maybe towards orphans, the closer I get to His heart the more I am moved by poor or hungry or lost or broken or lonely. I mentioned a few pearls ago that need obviously doesn't move God or Africa would be the most richly blessed country on the map, but I believe need should move us. It is easy to clean out your house and drop off bags full at the Salvation Army and get a write off on your taxes and call yourself generous, yet never come face to face with one whose hands are empty. It is easy to create a path to and from work and school that avoid areas that make you uncomfortable or are not pleasing to sight. It is easy to shut out need and find comfort in your own space or certain places. The problem is that we become deceived that need isn't crying out, and we miss the very things we are called to do. And in missing this need, we will reap consequences.
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?…James 2: 19-20
Even demons believe. Believing God exist is not enough. Your life should bear fruit of your belief. There should be evidence. He never told the disciples that you get to choose which part of me you want to follow. He didn't give us a list of options that we could opt in or out of. It was very clear the calling of His people to give their lives away for the cause of not missing one. This calling is not only far but completely contrary to the message today....You can have it your way! In Matthew 25 when Jesus speaks of His return for His people He tells us that there will be a separating like sheep from goats. Interesting is that both sheep and goats called Him Lord which infers they believed, right? However, His sheep on His right were not those that simply believed but those whose actions showed it.
Those who fed His sheep, gave water to the thirsty, visited the prisoners, invited in the stranger, and clothed the needy were brought in to take up their inheritance and those who didn't were cast out. He says to the goats, "Depart from me!"
I am certainly not sending you out to earn your ticket into heaven, but suggesting that if your lives are not moved to meet needs around you organically then you need to drop everything and move closer. God said that they would know we are His by our fruit. If your life is barren, you can not afford to delay. The time is now! What I have learned is that in my best effort I couldn't change my heart, but as I spent time with the potter my life began to take the shape of His hands.
If someone has convinced you that you can have Jesus your way, picking and choosing what is palatable and fits with your life, I would challenge you to read Matthew 25:31-46. My people will perish for lack of knowledge....Hosea 4:6
Love Your Life,