I heard Jason Upton interviewed on God TV. Something he said has been sticking with me... He was asked something like, what advice would he give young Christians... (and I guess this would apply to "old" Christians too :^)... Now for those of you who are familiar with Jason Upton, you know that his music and worship style is anything but traditional... He is my alltime favorite worship leader. I guess because he is so real, and so unaffected by trends and the opinions of man. He just gets out there and worships his heart out and might be seen by the mainstream as "different". He definitely is what I'd call "deep". So much so that he's sometimes over my head... but his music always touches my heart and I believe it also touches the heart of God.... So when he was asked this question I was very curious how he'd answer... I figured it'd be something deep and mysterious... but actually what he said surprised me. He (basically) said that there are so many mysteries in the Bible that are meant to remain mysteries... and so often we cause divisions over these mysteries when we don't even know for sure what they mean... denominations are often formed because of them... But there are so many things that are NOT mysteries in the Bible. Things that Jesus was very clear about and are not the least bit mysterious. Things we are to obey and yet we often ignore... We need to go back to the Sermon on the Mount and learn how to live the Christian life and not get caught up in all these controversies... " I thought this was good advice! And this "old" Christian is going to take it!
It's weird but right around the time the Lord began to speak to me about this, I had a dream. In the dream someone in the church called the church and was complaining about some really insignificant thing and making a huge fuss about it. (I think it had to do with the Christian flag that was displayed in the sanctuary or a banner or something) and I said by the Spirit, "we need to quit majoring on the minors and start majoring on the majors". Nothing so eloquent that you'd frame it or make it into a refrigerator magnet but I think that in it's simple way, it is profound. And I am seeking to do just that.
Not that we ignore the mysteries in the Bible... Proverbs 25:2 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings." But I think all too often we spend more time searching out the mysteries and ignoring the obvious!
At the Onething conference I just attended at New Years, Mike Bickle taught on the Sermon on The Mount. He called it the "constitution of the Christian faith", the "core values of the Kingdom", the "litmus test to measure our success in this life". He said that our foundational calling is not ministry but to live out the Sermon on the Mount.
It's about our relationship with God and how that is lived out in our daily life. That is our "internal calling". Our "external calling" is our assignment while here on earth. We spend way too much time worrying about that and neglecting our "internal calling" to love God, to have a relationship with Him and to be a faithful disciple of Him. If we make this our main focus, we will fulfill our "external calling".
Our time on this earth is our internship for eternity. We will not be floating around on a cloud playing a harp. We will rule and reign with Christ. We will have assignments then. We need to not content ourselves just to "make it" to heaven but to live our life here on this earth for Him and HIs Kingdom's purpose. If we do, we will be rewarded in eternity. I know we are tempted to think that that sounds kind of selfish to think of eternal rewards. But the Lord talks about it in the Bible. He wanted us to know about it because it was important to Him, so it should be important to us as well...
It doesn't matter if others think we're successful or dedicated...they don't get a vote! It only matters what the Lord thinks. He's not going to judge us on the size of our ministry but on our relationship with Him, our heart of fascination with Him.
I for one was challenged with this. I admit that in the past I have sort of skimmed through the Gospels and although I could quote lots of Jesus's words since childhood, I didn't give them enough thought... but I am going back and re-examining them with new eyes... It's now like "Wow, Jesus actually said that!"
So I want to invite you to join me in re-rexamining Jesus's words, especially in the Sermon on the Mount. I don't want to just know it, I want to live it. That's a tall order, but the Lord doesn't instruct us without equipping us.
God bless... Kayla
Very Good! I have been meditating on Matthew 5 this week myself. Thanks for writing. love ya. Keith
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