Never the Same

I once heard a pastor say that you can not have an encounter with Jesus and remain unaffected. roses1

You can not come face to face with the crucified, risen-from-the-dead Son of God and then go on about your business as usual.  You can no longer view the injustices around you and write them off as the result of living in a fallen world.  You can not admire the sacrificial lives of others without realizing that you are called to live the same way.

I read the book, Crazy Love and it ruined me. It ruined me for the status quo. It ruined me for a life of playing it safe.  Francis Chan makes this statement early in the book.

“It’s crazy that we think today is just a normal day to do whatever we want with.”

He is referring to the fact that our lives are just vapors.  We are not promised tomorrow, yet we live as if we have all the time in the world promised to us.  People are starving. Hurting. Lonely.  Lost.  And we have the answer.  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians…

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…  – 2 Corinthians 4:7

The treasure Paul is referring to is the gospel – the knowledge of Christ – the good news of God’s love for us.  We have this treasure that is meant to be shared.  Yet, we hold it inside our earthen vessels and assume we will have other opportunities.

An encounter with Christ means change.

Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”  And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.   – Mark 10:52

Jesus granted Bartimaeus’ request.  He healed him.  And then He gave him permission to go his way back to his life. He was allowed to go back to whatever it was he thought he would always do if only he could see.  The only problem?  Bartimaeus had just had an encounter with Christ.  There was no going back.  To go his way was no longer an option.

Bartimaeus was ruined for anything other than a life of following Jesus.  He now had the gift, the responsibility, the overwhelming honor of carrying the treasure in an earthen vessel.

In the preface to Crazy Love, Francis Chan makes this statement…But you will have a choice: to adjust how you live daily or to stay the same.  Now, he is referring to the choice you will have to make after reading his book.  But, this is a choice you have to make when you encounter God – when you come face-to-face with who He is and what He has done – actually, there is no choice.

You can not stay the same.

Not because it will be easy.

Not because it will be financially rewarding.

Not because people will admire you or even like you.

But because you are ruined for anything less than Him.

2 thoughts on “Never the Same

  1. My first thought was of the rich man who asked Jesus what he should do, and after hearing his response decided not to follow him after all.
    Sometimes I think even when we see things right up in our face, we just can’t handle the reality of it and walk away.

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