Tasters And Samplers

 "I know all the things that you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of My mouth." Revelation 3:15......."Today's compromise is tomorrow's captivity.....Be holy. Be one. Be light." Samuel Rodriquez

 

A good friend spoke recently about how those who profess to follow Him are really more "tasters and samplers" of Him. So many like to get Him in bits and pieces. The bits and pieces that they find acceptable. Few seem to really desire to immerse themselves in the fullness of who He really is. Even the way we in the Church present Him tends to emphasize this. If we're not marketing Him to a lost world, we at least put forth a one dimensional, watered down and user friendly Jesus that the world will find acceptable. We almost beg them to "take Jesus....please." Jesus never begged anyone to "take Him." How many of us would turn "the rich young ruler" away from the doors of our church? Yet Jesus was uncompromising on what it would take for him to come and follow Him. The young man wanted a taste, a sample of Him. Jesus wanted all of the young man, and for the young man to desire all of Him. Christ bids us come and follow Him....as He is and on His path. That path always leads to and beyond the cross. You can't "pretty up" the path. Neither can it be sampled. It must be followed...walked upon. Died upon.

We are stressing the love of God in the Church, but it is His love as defined and understood by us...our flesh. We preach a gospel that has at it's center, "me." Jesus came for and died for me. He wishes to make my life good. He gives me a future and a hope. He's the provider, we're the consumer. He does all the compromising and we reap all the benefits. He's our no-cost insurance plan that covers all the expenses of life. He paid it all so we don't have to pay at all. This has nothing to do with our earning salvation. But as one man said, "When Jesus calls a man, He bids him to come and die." We are not called to be His tasters and samplers. We are called to come and die....in Him....and so find true life. Tasters and samplers have no impact on their world. They only see that world insofar as it affects them. Never beyond. Keith Green sang in his song "No Compromise," that"It's so hard to see when my eyes are on me." 

 

I write all this today because of what I've been hearing from a group of Christian leaders gathered in Texas by evangelist James Robison. He and Ravi Zacharias have called these men and women to come together in response to an ongoing spiritual collapse of our culture and nation. I have heard so many rich things from these ones, but a man named Tim Clinton said something that really resonated with my heart. He called for an uprising of the Church .He asked, "Will we just have conversation, or will we rise up with a voice?" The Church has had an abundance of conversation. What is needed is an outpouring of His Spirit that raises it up to once again be a vessel of His Voice. We need to speak, live, and show forth the fullness of the Gospel without apology in the midst of an unbelieving, even hostile world. That uprising will begin, that voice will be found nowhere but at the cross. We cannot taste and sample the cross. We can only die on it. He bids us come and do so.....and find our voice. His voice.

One last thought in this perhaps, too lengthy writing. The friend mentioned above made this point, so often overlooked. The gospels related that at one point during His crucifixion, both of the thieves were hurling abuse at Jesus. Yet, in the end, one of them asked that He would remember him when He came into His Kingdom. That thief saw something in Christ's death that made him hunger for His life. Such was the power of His witness. Do we have such a witness today? The Church is called to an uprising. It begins, it will always begin, at the cross.

Blessings,
Pastor O

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