Tuesday, April 04, 2017

EXCUSE ME...BUT IS THAT A GAS CHAMBER AROUND YOUR NECK?

Can you imagine a necklace with a form of a gold gas chamber dangling?  How about a gold hangman's noose lapel pin?  Or...how about a gold cross?  You know...jewelry?

These questions are intended to draw into perspective the loss we have suffered as the perspective of the Cross has shifted dramatically from a death to decoration...even in the church.  Christianity has long been about many things except for dying for others including our enemies.  Basically, we refuse the assignment.

Decor; how we look, how we appear, how others are treating us has become costume jewelry coupled with definite intention of going through church without stress.  We believe that we don't need it.  More dramatically, we don't believe we deserve it.  Yet, even enemies can't get well if someone doesn't die for them.  That's precisely what Jesus did for us...while we were enemies...Romans 5:1-11.

I don't like upset.  You don't like upset.  Jesus calls us to pick up our cell phones and follow him.  That isn't exactly our interpretation; but it may be closer to our practice.

Yet, Christianity is a cell group of people called to not get our way.  This is why we can't run, can't quit just because there develops a strong heat in the kitchen.  Carrying our crosses is majorly significant for it is who we are to be.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (II Cor. 12:10).  

Are you serious?  We are a people who abide in contentment when insults are hurled our way?  Distress?  Even the slightest thing called difficulty?  We are content with these?  Um...I think we are basically anything but content.  I see us become agitated, irritated, and fumigated (that last one will take some thought).

Don't get me wrong.  I am the sort that really likes happy.  I like others happy and I'm especially fond of me being happy.  Yet, this isn't reality and smiley faces are not the emblem of the church.  It is the Cross.  We are to take it up and follow.  This is different than whether we like the programs offered or the worship style preferred.  This is about me not getting my way and praising God for it...over...and then over some more.

Deathstyle is our lifestyle.

So I raise my voice again to plead with any who want to quit because of being mistreated.  For any who wish to bail on a relationship because you are being disrespected, I would encourage you to not  wear a cross but to let your cross wear you.  We have become so very selfishly touchy that church has to be our way or the highway.

I'm saying the road to heart satisfaction and spirit joy is found only on the uphill trek while we have a cross strapped to our backs.  We must believe that gnarly and hateful individuals will surrender to Jesus if they can find a Jesus-like follower who will die for them.

We are called to difficulty and stress.  That is the nature of the church.  We live in resurrection power.  And resurrection power is always the need when one has been slain and can not make comeback on his own.  That.  Be.  Who.  We.  Are.  Supposed.  To.  Be.



3 comments:

hannah2707 said...

Right on.

Paul Castleman said...

YES!!!

Shirley Carrison said...

A deeply thought-provoking and truthful message. WOW! I am so delighted to read this-- the challenge that Jesus puts before all of us who call ourselves Christ-followers. Not necessarily "christian"--that is an easy term to give ourselves because we go to church every Sunday morning and do a few good works. A Christ-followers takes up the cross daily and lives like Jesus did while He was on earth. The Holy Spirit in us lives that powerful life on a daily basis.
Thank you, Terry Rush. I am just now reading your book GOD WILL MAKE A WAY." A lady in my Sunday School class handed it to me and said, "God wants you to have this." My mother went home to be with the Lord in 2013, my brother also in 2016 and just this past October my husband passed away after several years battling Alzheimer's disease. The Lord is so faithful to give me joy in the midst of my sorrow.
I will be sharing at a ladies retreat, in Missouri, on April 29th and one of the sessions I will be talking about grief and the process of healing that God brings us through. I hope to get some more copies of your book.
God bless you in a wonderful way
Shirley Carrison
shirleycarrison@gmail.com