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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Agape - Part Two: The Outsiders

God is love. God is holy, God is jealous, God is faithful, God sacrificed his life.


God adopted the chosen into his family--the righteous children, the followers of Christ, the lovers.


However, those who are called to love often do not fulfill that calling. Christians today are often the opposite of love, raising themselves as "godly" and throwing others to the floor as Godforsaken dirt.


In the words of James, these things ought not be so.


Chrisitans are asked to be imitators of God. We're commanded to strive to live as Christ lived. Why? Because this is the life that best glorifies God. And because a live lived in obedience, is a life filled with joy. At the center of this obedience and imitation is love.


God created because he loved. He delivered Noah because he loved. He came to the earth because he loved. And he died because he loved. Every action we ever praised God for happened because of his incredible love. Love for righteousness, love for people. If God is so centered around love, and we are called to live as he lived, what does this mean for our life?


We're called to be lovers.


We've talked about or love for God. We should be willing to die for him--he died for us. Our death should physical and spiritual, laying down our lives and carrying his painful cross to follow him. We talked about how worthy he is of this, and how undeserving we are of his sacrifice. We're all undeserving, and God loved us anyway.


We are to imitate God. And that means loving the world just as he did. Dying for it.


I've been thinking a lot about this lately. That God loved us while we were still sinners. You've heard the verse. "In that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." But do we understand the meaning of this? Jesus died for those who hated him. For people who didn't want him to die for them, but he still did.


We need this love and passion for the lost. Millions are dying. And they're going to spend eternity separated from God.


But we know this--the world is dying, yeah yeah yeah. But it's not just the world. It's your school, it's your coworkers, it's your street, and, for some of you, it's your family.


Christ was heartbroken. Why aren't we?


Pray for this brokenness. Be willing to lay down your life for the lost to see Christ. This is meant literally but in other ways as well. Lay down your desires, lay down your time, lay down your resources. Be willing to give everything to serve the lost and bring them into the kingdom.


Because really, you're sacrificing little and gaining so much. When you die, and you're millions of years into heaven, you aren't going to look back on earth and think, "Man...I wish I had played more video games." Your heart will be shattered on judgment day, wishing you had spent more time on the streets, in your friends' lives, showing the love of Christ.


You'll wish you laid down your life.


Let’s chat,

<
To the end,

Nathan

10 comments:

Galadriel said...

Very hard-hitting post

Jake said...

Great post.

Like someone once said, "We are not called to play video games." Your post reminded me of that. In fact....this video is excellent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVeXy7mPL0M&feature=player_embedded

Stephen Pope said...

wow, I love this! we talked about this a little today in small groups at church this morning. people ask the question why God chose to love one person and not the other (see Romans 9 for the Sovereignty of God, good stuff), but the real question is why He chose to love any one of us. even our greatest works apart from Christ are as filthy rags, but He chose us, big-time sinners, to be His children, co-heirs with Christ. Keep posting these gems of truth, brother, they are really encouraging to me and other people I am certain :) may Christ be our light!

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Galadriel, in a good way I hope? Writing this really woke /me/ up at least haha

@Jake, great video! I love it! Thank you so much for the link!

@Stephen, It's so true. People, myself at times, look at others and immediately see problems and stuff. Man...don't they see that God died for them? yadayada. But me? Psh. God thinks I'm awesome so he died for me haha. Uh no. The greatest motivation for obedience is understanding how undeserving we are of God's grace. And trying to comprehend how MUCH God's love and truth is worth....really stirs me to action. Understanding how unworthy I am...makes me want to "walk worthy of the calling".

Thank you for your encouragement :) So glad I can help

Stephen Pope said...

you are very welcome :) this is what I am here for: for encouragement of the saints and others.

Justin said...

This was very illuminating. All too often we forget what God has called us to do; namely, reach out to the lost. Please keep writing. You have my support friend.

A.W. said...

That was brilliant! Well said. Amen to that!

--A.W.

K.M. Weiland said...

Beautiful thoughts. Sacrificial love - the kind of love that dies for someone who hates you - is something I wanted to explore in my historical WIP. It ended up being an incredibly moving experience for me. I don't think we're even able to fathom the depth of such a love.

Ryan said...

This is my son in whom I am well pleased. Great challenging encouragment Nathan. Thanks. Really needed to hear this today.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Justin, thank you very much :) forgive the super late response...life is busy and moving quickly and this blog has slipped out of my priorities haha

@KM, I agree. Writing the Chains of Hethra was much the same for me. There's a seen, my favorite, where the Christ figure is staring down the Satanic/Sin image. Evil says, "Hethra has chosen us!" And with his dying breath their savior whispers "But I have chosen them." I had to step back from that scene and just cry at the beauty and wonder that is God's grace...

@Dad, This is the father who lived out this agape faithfullness. Thanks for being the image of the father :)

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."