October 4, 2010

Just Do It...

A quote from “The Forgotten Ways Handbook” by Alan Hirsch: “The dangerous stories of Jesus are alive in his people, and in a very real way, we must actually become the gospel to the people around us. When we look at the phenomenal movements, we find that these groups found a way to translate the grand themes of the gospel into concrete life through the embodiment of Jesus in ways that were profoundly relational and attractive. This embodiment cannot be passed on through books: it is always communicated through life itself, by the leader to the community, from teacher to disciple,and from believer to believer.”

I once had a friend who loved baseball. He could tell you anything you wanted to know about the sport. He kept up with batting averages, player profiles, franchise histories, and team standings. His favorite team was the Reds and would endlessly argue the virtues of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and of course, Charley Hustle-Pete Rose.

I was always envious of his passion and his wealth of knowledge of the sport, that is until I actually "PLAYED" baseball with him. He stunk! He couldn't throw. He couldn't catch. And when I say he couldn't hit, I mean he couldn't even get the bat on the ball.

It was sad to see someone who loved a sport so much be so horrible at it. The reason he was horrible? He spent so much time watching it and talking about it, he never had time to actually "play ball."

I am often concerned about disciples for the same reason. We seem to know a great deal about what Hirsch calls the "dangerous story of Jesus." But when all is said and done, more is said than done. We have not been called by God to pool as much knowledge as possible, although knowing scripture is important. We were called to "go and make disciples." In other words, we are called to "play ball."

I think that we sometimes feel that we can think our way into different actions. We seem to want to learn everything we can about Jesus, hoping this will fuel our passions for His cause. However the great commission tells us the we are to "go and make disciples," meaning we should be people who instead of thinking our way into new actions, are people who act our way into new thinking. The successes and failures we have in real life discipleship are the fuels that cause us to want to serve, learn, and grow.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:14-18

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