Part 1- ???The Hole In Our Gospel??? ??? Examples of Sacrifice and Suffering for the American ChurchPosted: March 29, 2010
So today???s (March 28th) talk Vince gave on suffering as the 3rd??function of the cross reminded me of this past summer and what God did (and continues to do) in my heart with regard to suffering for Jesus. Please consider what God has been challenging me with.??
Vince mentioned in his talk something to the effect of ???as North American Christians, we don???t get many opportunities to suffer for Jesus???. I think what Vince might be referring to here is a physical suffering (persecution). I agree this is hard to come by for most of us. What I believe God has been showing me is that this is??not the only way to follow Jesus??? example of suffering??for the good of others.
Last summer God began challenging me with this idea of sacrifice and suffering as a Christian. Specifically, he used a book called "The Hole in Our Gospel"??By Richard Stearns, CEO of World Vision. Some of you may have heard of it. The question he asks ???is there more to our faith than just going to church, studying the Bible, and avoiding the most serious sins- does God call us to more than just this??????The answer appears to be yes.
???Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.?????(Luke 9:23-24)??
So, while keeping this idea of daily picking up our cross and following Jesus in mind, I wanted to put forth some practical challenges to present God with a sacrifice of suffering for doing good and ultimately bringing??God???s joy and peace??to our lives through doing so.
Practical Challenge #1 of 3:??Giving our Time
If we want something to happen, we make time for it. Now, I understand that life is busy with work, family, daily chores, etc??? but our time is a valuable thing to waste. It will take a sacrifice on our part as the body of Christ to go and serve and love our neighbors (whether that???s literally in your neighborhood or on the other side of the world). If we cling to our own daily life, and making that as ???good??? as it can possibly be, the world will not see the love of God??demonstrated. All we will do is talk about it. So, we have to sacrifice our time to see the Gospel go into the world, and thus ???suffer??? the loss of an easy carefree life.
???Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it.??? ???Well, why don???t you ask Him???? ???????Because I???m afraid He would ask me the same question.????????Anonymous
To be continued…
Post by: Jim MacDonald