Philippians 3:20 You should hold men like him in highest honor, for his loyalty to Christ brought him very near death—he risked his life to do for me in person what distance prevented you all from doing (Phillip’s Version)
One of our common complaints, though few like to admit it, is that we are bored. We find ourselves surrounded with plenty of food, decent homes, clean water and 24/7 technology, but in our heart of hearts we long for something more. Why do people spend their days on Facebook, Twitter and text messaging? Why are we addicted to the latest styles in clothing or the next big game? Why do we count the hours till we can sit and watch the next episode in whatever is our favorite show? Maybe because underneath it all we hunger for a meaning to our lives that is threatened by our sense of uselessness. We are bored! We are bored with our jobs, bored with our pursuits and bored with the sense of hopelessness that follows us home like a stray puppy.
But just beyond our comfort zone God is calling us out to live a life of risk. Jesus is calling us to follow him with our cross. The cross of Jesus has great risk. We could lose our friends. We could lose our comforts. We could lose our savings, our health and even our very lives. If that all seems a bit scary, then maybe we are finally cracking open the windows of our make-believe world just enough to let the fresh breeze of God’s kingdom in.
Will we put our bodies joyfully on God’s altar as a living sacrifice to serve the needs of God’s people? Can we imagine leaving behind our own personal interests completely and discover that God’s interests are way better? God is not just offering us a sweet abundant life as we follow Jesus. No one lived a more abundant life than Jesus Christ! Yet in his life on our planet Jesus was rejected, despised, robbed, misrepresented and crucified. He ended his life with a crowd looking on as He suffered cruelly in the most humiliating way possible, then he said, “It is finished!” Will we with all our material things around us and in the comfort of our homes and the approval of our friends, be able to have the peace that He had in his heart as He breathed out his last breath> Will we be able to say, “Father into your hands I give my spirit?” Can we ask forgiveness for those who are right now crucifying us? That is the abundant life of great risk that Christ is calling us to. He called us by name. He gave us His own life. He left us His Spirit and He waits for our reply. Will we be willing to risk our own life to follow Jesus to the end?