What a weekend?
Malu and I went to Prairie Bible School this weekend to help Dennis and Sharon with the CAM booth, don't know how much help we were, but it was fun. It was really strange being on another bible campus after growing up at Briercrest; it made me wish I had gone to the mission conference at home. Some things that very much reminded of home was the meeting area in the gym. I remember the days before the Hildebrand Chapel and we'd meet in the gymnasium with the same uncomfortable metal chairs we sat on this weekend. I remember listening to speakers before I even knew who they were...Charles Price, Tony Campolo, just to name a few. And I remember the vibe of mission conference. That was something I couldn't really put a finger on... but for me I equate it like this.
When I was younger, maybe in my teens, I remember people at Caronport Highschool who were devoted chrsitans even as young people and I remember the other crowd. The good kids, none fo us were bad, but not really interested in the things that centered around the bibleschool and the preaching, the non-stop 24/7 preaching. There were the two groups. I remember trying to make friends and hangout with the kids that, at that age, had an honest love for Jesus...but I couldn't, I felt bored by their understanding of "fun". That left only the other group, which by default is where I found myself. It was a group looking for adventure, not always coming up with the smartest of ideas, but entertainment was the goal none the less. This attitude followed me after graduation from High School. My love for Jesus remained at my core, but I just could never "relate" with most people in the church and so again I found myself hanging around the other group...those outside. As you can imagine the saying is true, "bad company corrupts good character" and I spent time living a life in search of entertainment....more accurately fulfillment.
For me the crossroads came one night...I had been out with friends and returned home and cried out to the Lord..."God if this is all there is I don't wanna live no more...I'm tired! However, I love you and I don't know what to do...forgive me Father and I'll make you a promise that I will follow you completely, entirely....Your part is that you will continue to forgive my mistakes along the way, my part is to keep trusting you.
Things started to change...I moved to Calgary and I went on my first short term missions trip. I found a new people within God's community. A people that carried that special vibe to mission's conferences around Canada and around the globe...missionaries. People willing to risk everything for Jesus. People really willing to risk their lives...either by death or investing their lives in something other than their own security and happiness, they invested in God. And you know God brought them through things that made me excited. God used their lives for His glory and in return they knew God and that gave them a "vibe". They have/had lives that made me say...Here I am Lord, Use me!
Radical commitment, that 's what God is looking for
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you that a rich man will with great difficulty enter into the kingdom of Heaven.And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When His disciples heard, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus looked on them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Then answering Peter said to Him, Behold, we have forsaken all and have followed You. Therefore what shall we have? And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
I found out what I had missed all those years, what I only picked up as a vibe. It's radical commitment. It's counter-cultural thinking. It's a complete regeneration of ideals. Now you don't have to go to a unstable, war torn country to be a radical missionary, but you do need to give up everything...what keeps you tied to the things you have or the job you do? Are you there because of Jesus and for Jesus? You can serve Him part time, saying that "yes!" I can reachout to people here, I can be a silent witness by my life...Jesus doesn't want a silent witness or a good person...He's looking for active radicals. People willing to share their faith, pray for people, encourage one another, demonstrate His love. You don't have to be a preacher, but you do need to be able to, and willing to, share the faith you have. Did you know that all people need to hear is what you believe...not why it's right, just what you believe and how God takes care of you because you put your trust in Him?
Are you willing to leave everything for Jesus?