Soul Deep Stuff

If you go to the store…you are going to do something there. if you are there to be with people, just to be with people…then you are among them. Christ didn’t come to earth. Sure, in the physical scientific sense he came TO earth. But he didn’t just come to earth. He came to be among us. Emmanuel – God with us! There is a difference whether we come to another culture or arrive to be among. i like to say around vs among. if you come around them, sure you are there with them…but not to learn from them, not to gain from them. you are only there with your agenda and that, to you, is all that matters. we have been incorrectly made to believe that our job as believers is to “save others”…it is not. there are no scriptural references to this. there is a huge number of verses telling us to love people. and this one where jesus tells us to “make disciples”… what you have to understand is that making a disciple was not a momentous occasion. it was a lifelong process. a process that took time, patience, compassion, selflessness. maybe somewhere in our history, some bishop somewhere said this is going to cost us way too much effort, so, let’s market jesus and salvation and throw this “sinner’s prayer” in there for effect. (Just fyi, that prayer didn’t come into play until 100 of yrs after Christ’s resurrection). In fact, salvation is played out differently for each individual in scripture. i mean, for the rich young ruler, he was called to give up his possessions. for the woman caught in adultery it was to “go and (do this) sin no more”…and others it meant just receiving healing. in fact, the word salvation means healing. for any doctors reading this, you can understand that healing takes time. it doesn’t happent overnight. it took the criminal on the cross to be near death to finally realize his need for Christ. Somehow, Christianity thinks they have the monopoly on salvation. When that in and of itself is not something humanly bestowed. We must realize this. We are called to be among people, whether its family or some obscure tribe. everywhere we go holds its own culture. we must live out that realization. An encounter with Christ was always transformational. Yet, Christ himself didn’t always talk about spiritually lofty things when he encounterd people…he talked about their needs…soul deep stuff…He came to save the world, not us. We can’t. We are just seed planters. But, even then, it doesn’t mean we shout Christ’s name everywhere we go…or treat Christianity as some spiritual catch-all to our problems…it is an invitation to the most romantic spritual encounter one will ever come into….yes, there will be times when the words will come out…but we are not told to force people or situations…but we are invited, commanded to live out transformational lives through loving others…

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