I just began Starving Jesus. A book similar in theme to Radical, which I read near the end of 2011. (Holy Smokes! It's 2012!) But when the guys who wrote this one are creators of x3church.com, you get a little bit more in-your-face-go-out-and-do-something compared to the more subtle hints of stop-reading-and-get-out-there from the pastor, albeit a pretty radical one.
All that to say, I like it. And have been thinking about this word, "Offensive," for several weeks now due to a very interesting conversation I had with that guy Ewout I had mentioned earlier.
We were in Buenos Aires, in the hostel, in the morning. It was time for me to read a little bit of the Word before my apparent adventure would start. Ewout naturally asked what I was reading and why. He began to explain how he is reading something pretty powerful too. I recognized the title as something Oprah has supported. One that got a lot of people excited about living life again. Taking charge, self-helpy. The one that eventually still leaves you pretty empty when you do things on your own.
You know the type.
When I tried to explain that I was reading the Bible and I try to read it every day because of how convicting it is, Ewout had made a comment to this effect:
"Oh I dunno. To me I don't think any book can really change you. They're just words."
I must express that never before had I had such a reaction of holding back tears. But after this year and a half (there goes that time flying thing again!), I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Word of God is not just words.
It is living.
Sharper than a two-edged sword.
Because the Word is Jesus in us. You might call it Immanuel. Or better yet, thanks to some Francis Chan business as well, the Forgotten God. The Holy Spirit.
The very One who helped me preach while I was in 30 de Agosto. Who gave me the words with many new friends from Ushuaia. Who gives me strength to persevere in this coming and quickly passing year.
And now that I'm fired up, I want to drive it home with my point. My point is... Christians, especially in the US don't want to offend their friends and neighbors and family members who don't know Jesus. But what about when they offend me with this kind of sentiment???
I know it has a lot to do with ignorance and a hardened heart. I also know that in many ways, I wanted to cry for Ewout (more than my own feelings) because he didn't understand how truly powerful our God is.
My point is that by what people say about my Jesus, I will be offended pretty much every day. It's time I start offending back. In a way that shows Jesus loves you and wants the best for you now. You don't have time to reject Jesus. He will change you and give you the best life you could ever imagine. Trust me, He's real. And He is good. In respect to Valentine's day, His love endures forever.
You know, longer than those bonbons you might have received this year.
Blessings and chau!