DayBreaks for 03/30/11 – An American Jesus
In Luke 9, Jesus begins a series of amazing statements. To paraphrase: if you want to follow me, you’ve got to hate your family – even your own life – then you can come and follow me. Another: you’ve got to pick up your instrument of torture, shame and death – if you want to be my disciple. Strong, STRONG stuff. How would you react to that if Jesus showed up in your room tonight and said that to you?
We don’t want to believe He asks those kinds of things of his followers. He did. He does. We just don’t want to hear it and so we explain away those difficult sayings with, “What Jesus meant was…” And when we do that, we may be getting in way over our heads because we’re redefining Christianity, we are setting the terms of our discipleship, not letting Jesus do it. We make Jesus sound more palatable to our ears and consciences. In short, we are making up a “…nice, middle class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balance, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live our Christian spin on the American dream.
“But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image. He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshipping ourselves.” – David Platt, Radical
Are you worshipping the American Jesus, or the heavenly Lord of Hosts?
PRAYER: Keep us from idols we make in our minds that are fashioned in our image, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple ><}}}”>
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