Matthew 10

10 Feb

37″Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

What kind of Jesus do I present to people? For many people these are strong words and the Jesus that they have heard of really doesn’t have the credibility to say them. For many people when they think of Jesus they think of hypocrisy in the Church. When they think of Jesus they think of having to sit through boring sermons or ceremonies. When they think of Jesus they think of someone entertaining them with words and music for an hour. For many the Jesus they have heard of and experienced just doesn’t have the credibility to say these words.

I know that when we come around to teaching this at Ecclesia that the people who are going to hear these words will filter them through the community that they have experienced. If we are a community that represents the body of Christ well then these words make sense. If we are a community that doesn’t represent the body of Christ well these words won’t make sense.

I know that the argument can be made that if you preach these words then the Spirit of God will convict the heart. I absolutely agree with that. But the Spirit of God shows up in cultivating the hearts of the people in the community who call themselves the church. If you look around and the people in your community aren’t being transformed by the Spirit of Christ and changed to live like Jesus then I would say don’t expect the Spirit to just show up and change a persons heart during your sermon. I think the two are intrinsically linked.

So does my faith community live (albeit imperfectly) in such a way that Jesus is the treasure of their heart and in a way that they have discovered that in dying to themselves they have found new life?

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