This article is part one of four. Please read along as we explore PLUSONE Living.
Every church has an approach to doing what they do. I’d love to say that we are all doing what we’ve been asked to do – but that’s really up for debate. But guess what! Vintage has its way of approaching the simple Biblically revealed purpose for our lives too. For us at Vintage, the walking out of this purpose can be summed up in PLUSONE living. It is simple. More on this in the weeks to come.
I consider myself to be moderately intelligent, and that moderation forces me to look at things in simple ways. For example, let’s ask a major question:
How do we get to a sincere Christianity that actually reflects who Christians say God is?
My simple nutshell: A real relationship with Jesus produces a normative reaction in the human heart which then pours out through their lives. That’s it. The key is that it is normative.
Here’s a story
There’s an account in the Bible (Matthew 28:18-20) of Jesus talking to his friends about his desire for their lives moving forward. It is simple to understand in a plain reading, is the entire purpose of the church throughout time, and it is largely ignored. I find this ignoring, or putting-off of a very clear command very concerning because of, well, normative. Look at it like this:
One day a young lady meets a rich man who is shockingly kind and loving. He loves her as a daughter and provides for her in areas that she was not even aware that she had any need. He extends to her – everything. So great is his love that he desires to share his goodness with others, that everyone would know him as she has come to know him. He tells her to go, to give what has been given to her freely and to share what she has come to know about what he has done. As the young lady goes and shares she will go on to grow together with this new family under this ‘adoptive father’ – busy about the family business of grace, mercy, and love.
Now, who in their right mind would not be blown away but such a great love? How could this young lady’s response to his request be anything other than “But of course!”. If she’s anything like us she would have already been liberally sharing the great news about this relationship all along. Seriously, when was the last time that you got a great gift or bought a new whatever and didn’t tell someone excitedly about that thing (which is most likely in a dusty drawer or landfill right now)? We talk about and share the things that are meaningful to us. Normative.
Excuse or Gaffe?
Let’s ignore for the moment that Jesus flat out told his followers to share his amazing news. Let’s ignore that some ‘Christians’ pepper their spiritual resume with “I don’t feel called to”, “I just have too much on my plate”, “I don’t have time to invest in other people right now”, “I don’t know enough”, “I’ll start once I get my life in order”. These aren’t issues of understanding, time, priority or worthiness – they are issues of relationship.
I believe that far too many ‘Christians’ know stuff, but just don’t know God. Not very personally anyways. How can anybody be joyful about someone that does not hold their affection?
Sincere Christian lives can only be the result of a sincere relationship with Christ. We would say that if you have Him you have it all. Christians will nod, check their that sounds Christian box, and then…what? James, the brother of Jesus wrote a letter to the early church and pretty much called BS and champions the cry “Show me!” (James 2:18) to those who would only speak of a cerebral faith.
For anyone drawing breath, a life that doesn’t interact with those around them just isn’t normal. A faith which is not lived out in love and grace before those same people just isn’t Christian. This is where PLUSONE comes in. I am excited to share it with you, and man is it awesome!
*THOUGHTS FOR THOSE EXPLORING CHRISTIANITY:
- Have you met a Christian that you felt was sincere in their faith and that reflected something that could be described as ‘good’, or ‘godly’?
- Have you ever met a Christian that you just wanted to punch in the face?
- Is there someone in your world that says that they are Christian that you would like to share these memories and thoughts with?
*ACTION POINTS FOR CHRISTIANS:
- If you are not purposefully connecting with the people around you to share the love of Christ, what is holding you back?
- What is your ‘normative’ reaction to Jesus? We are not talking about church or other Christians that you know – just Jesus.