|Photo by ramoo76 at flikr
Our pastor set before us a three-fold challenge yesterday.
SIMPLE: Love people.
CHALLENGING: Love people that nobody expects us to love.
RADICAL: Love people that do not deserve to be loved.
We are called to live simple, challenging, and radical lives. We are to live out a radical faith.
What does that even mean? Well, to define radical, here’s what dictionary.com says:
of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radicaldifference.
thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy ofa company.
favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radicalideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
forming a basis or foundation.
existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.
Interesting, isn’t it? Fundamental, extreme, drastic. I don’t usually put fundamental and extreme in the same category, but I think when Jesus calls us to live radically, he is calling us to live in a way that mirrors Him…and that is basic. It is fundamental. When we do that, we live in love. We love the unlovable. We love the undeserving. We love like Jesus.
Let’s go out of our way to be RADICAL this week. Who is in your sphere of influence that needs radical love? Who can God bless through you this week?
Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)
43-47“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
48“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”