Last week I was in Starbucks and start chatting with the guy in the line whilst we wait to be served. He asks me what I’m up to and I tell him “I’m doing a bit of reading and some writing.”
“What are you writing about?” he asks and I tell him I’m writing about faith. He goes on to tell me what he believes, telling me “I like to keep it simple”. I reply “me too”. He asks me what I believe, so I tell him.
We chat a bit more and he heads off with his coffee and apple fritter. But he’s left me thinking. “Religion” is often not simple. It is often the opposite. Complicated, messy, lists of rules, do’s and don’ts. All that stuff.
Following Jesus is simple. At least it should be. It’s not a complicated message. But somehow along the way we’ve added a few things that can get us in a right old tangle.
Jesus made lots of “simple” statements like “Love God and love your neighbour.” Oh that’s easy, right?
He also said to his disciples in Matthew 16
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Piece of cake.
He also said:
“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” No probs.
The thing is, what Jesus says is simple but the living out is, um, hard. Actually this stuff is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Truly it is. We’ll never do it. That’s the whole reason Jesus came. The grace of God means that we are accepted as we are. But it also means if we choose to follow Jesus we are empowered by His spirit to live the life He calls us to live. Little by little, step-by-step as we choose to depend more on Him our lives begin to look more like what He calls us to.
Where have you tangled up the Gospel?
What does it look like to make a simple step to be more dependent on Jesus today?
What does it look like to make a simple step to live out who He calls us to be, and what He calls us to do?
posted by Anna