1/03/17 Weird Ducks
“Where are you leading those who are following you? Where are you taking those whom I entrust to you? Are you giving them your brand of religion, or are you leading them to Jesus? Have you studied how He would walk in your generation, and then are you teaching others to do the same? Are you the example of who He is, so that they can emulate your life and be prepared to face Me with complete confidence that their works will not burn away?
"Let Me tell you some of the things that are going to burn away. All good things, even good things done in My Name that have not come directly from Me. Warm religion. Your independence of Me. Going to church because you have to go. Everything you have left after you are gone. You see, on the day that your life is reviewed, few of the things that make you feel religious and that you have done enough are what makes a difference to Me. I will measure how close you looked and acted like Jesus to those around you.
"How many people cultivated taste buds to serve as He did, because they saw you doing it? How many sought to crucify their flesh through My power, because that was the example you set? How many wept for lost souls because you taught them the meaning of My kind of life? Look around you. Examine your life before it is too late. How close do you resemble Jesus to others? What are you doing about it?”
1 Cor. 11:1 NIV
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Hebrews 12:12-13 NLB
12) So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.
13) Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.
Standing before God is not the time that you want to hear surprises about your life and the example you set for others to follow. When Jesus dropped into a society, that society noticed that He was there. They may have hated Him, or loved Him, or they ran from Him. The one thing they couldn’t do was ignore Him. His every action moved others to a decision of some sort about Him, and consequently about themselves.
Merry and I have traveled to a fair amount of places; in fact, we’ve moved to different locations as the Lord directs us. We do this on faith that the Lord will provide for us to get there and when we are there. In our travels, we have seen a pretty clear cross-section of the body of Christ. There really is a different spiritual climate in different communities. Most of the time, the spirit of that community continually entices you to fit into the religious rut of that area. When you don’t, you are set aside in some way.
We try to follow hard after Jesus. We believe that He should be our only source, and that following Him leaves little room for embracing the things of the world and calling them Christian. Our joy is Jesus and what He is doing, not what activity in His Name is prevalent at the time. It consumes our conversations, permeates our actions, and garners our full attention. Needless to say, once we have been found out, we are not liked very much. If fact, we have been the burr under the saddle of many places we have been and people we have known. I’m not talking about the world; I’m talking about the church.
We have often been told that “we just don’t fit in.” The fact is, we don’t. Empty conversations are boring compared to talking about Jesus. At social gatherings, if we are invited, we run out of things to say. Our thinking is different; our outlook is not the same. We are weird ducks, and people sometimes flee from us. (By the way, we have found many fellow weird ducks along the way. We have real, vibrant family all across the nation. God has truly blessed us with others who challenge and encourage us by their lives. The real church of Jesus Christ is alive and well in the hearts of many all across this land. People are being prepared for what is ahead.)
How well do you fit in? Are you any different than the cold spiritual climate of your area? Do you challenge anyone to live like Jesus did in His society? Are you building a portfolio of people and places that have attempted to destroy you, so that they can remain in their sin? You should be! Does the area that you live in know that you love Jesus with all of your heart, and are attempting to live as He did? If not, why not?
Desiring to truly live and love as You did, Lord,