Tag Archives: homeostasis

We need evangelized: 3 things that show it

evangelized rodents

Every day, I need evangelized. Like Paul said of Abraham, the faithful friend of God:

“He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21).

I am also not wavering. But I need to be strengthened. I need to be fully persuaded that God has the power to do what he promises. This strengthening and persuasion happens every day.

To be honest, we, as a church, need to keep the spark of evangelism stoked among us and through us or we might “waver through unbelief” like Paul fears the Romans might waver (or why bring up Abraham, right?). If Paul looked over our church, he might be writing a letter to our leaders and to all of us when he saw the kinds of things we do rather than persuading people that God has the power to do what he promises through Jesus Christ.

Here are three things we tend to do these days that show we need evangelized — no judgment, just things to think and talk about.

We manage lovelessness

This week, all sorts of people are going to bring out the four horsemen in their relationships at home, in your cell and with the leaders. We are going to be tempted to manage the symptoms of their lovelessness rather than teach a better way. Rather than reconcile after our teaching causes conflict, we will be tempted to keep things calm by not confronting the life-sucking lack of love and keeping our mouths shut. We try to manage the lovelessness. This managing rarely succeeds and the territory of the loveless expands rather than stays in the boundaries we set. Basically, we spawn a dysfunctional family like that from which many of us came.

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Jesus the great disrupter

These are some thoughts that have been developing in me ever since I studied Matthew 13 in preparation for our training on Saturday. Jesus keeps disrupting me with them. I hope he will bless you in the same way.

Jesus is an artful, courageous-but-loving disrupter of homeostasis. His goal is to help people, like us, who are prone to resisting change to keep changing in God’s direction. We’re working on being disrupted and disruptive. He has lovingly stirred me this year. He is artfully refocusing us all. The newness feels good.

Jesus comes to us breathing the air and moving with the rhythms of the Kingdom of God. As a result He is naturally disruptive to our sin-soaked sense of reality. When we meet Him, this “Pearl” of truth and love often seems like a shocking discovery.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:14-6)

“Why did I not see that before?” we ask.  We have reasons. Even so, the ultimate disruption to the emotional and spiritual equilibrium we protect still comes to us like wind, and still moves us. We find Jesus to be of greater value than anything to which we are tied.

Sometimes we feel caught in a web, or writhing like a fish in a net, trying to move but surrounded by people who tie us up. They judge us foolish, even irresponsible for selling out for the Pearl.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:47-50)

The kingdom of heaven is like a netWe are surrounded by people who don’t get it about Jesus and feel threatened or bored by his demands. When the church brings in its net it is a mixed catch.

I don’t think we are “ashore” yet, as the Lord ended His story. So I am sailing through time with a lot of God’s beloved creatures, mixed up with people who resist and wonder why I’m trying not to resist with them. Soon the net will be full and brought to shore. Until then I’m in a mixed bag, “fish of every kind.” The final judge of what gets thrown out is God, not me.

Our new normal in the kingdom of God always has a bit of instability to it because we are not personally complete, we are in a net with some bad fish, and our journey is not over. The promise is that everything is happening in “the kingdom of heaven” and the mysteries of our time will be sorted by God in the end. I take heart in that when I resist not knowing what is coming next.

We have the stability of knowing our end and of knowing the One who will bring everything to its end. Ultimately, we have a great equilibrium which the world cannot offer. Even so, we have a hard time hanging on to our treasure. The world nets people every day and sorts them out into its baskets. It is especially judgmental about people who judge it for doing that. If they are sorting you out, don’t stay their basket; they don’t have the right to keep you anywhere. Even if their latest law promises to make everything right, don’t let their judgments delude you.

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