August 06, 2012

Living A Radical Love

Photo by ramoo76 at flikr
Our pastor set before us a three-fold challenge yesterday.

SIMPLE: Love people.
CHALLENGING: Love people that nobody expects us to love.
RADICAL: Love people that do not deserve to be loved.

We are called to live simple, challenging, and radical lives. We are to live out a radical faith.

What does that even mean? Well, to define radical, here's what dictionary.com says:

rad·i·cal

  [rad-i-kuhl]  
adjective
1.
of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radicaldifference.
2.
thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy ofa company.
3.
favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radicalideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
4.
forming a basis or foundation.
5.
existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.
Interesting, isn't it? Fundamental, extreme, drastic. I don't usually put fundamental and extreme in the same category, but I think when Jesus calls us to live radically, he is calling us to live in a way that mirrors Him...and that is basic. It is fundamental. When we do that, we live in love. We love the unlovable. We love the undeserving. We love like Jesus.


Let's go out of our way to be RADICAL this week. Who is in your sphere of influence that needs radical love? Who can God bless through you this week?



Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)

43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
 48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."



8 comments:

  1. It was a very thought-provoking sermon. Someone popped into my head yesterday morning and I knew God was telling me to change my attitude toward this person. There is a male nurse that is assigned to my father and visits the house periodically. Very few people ever rub me the wrong way and I can put up with just about anyone, except this guy. During John's sermon I began to think this man's pompous, overbearing attitude may be a cover for some shortfall or low self-esteem. He treats my father and mother very well, and that is what I have to be grateful for. I am praying for him and for a different way to look at this gentleman.

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  2. I love this b/c when you think of radical you think of an action that causes a stir--like skydiving with a sign that says Jesus love you or standing on table tops at a restaurant and shouting about Jesus (all of which I roll my eyes at) but the truth is loving someone undeserving is most radical!! A major action!

    Awesome!

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  3. I have a family member who needs radical love and it's not something I've always been good at. I love him so much, but there's a faith divide that's hard to cross. But I'm realizing more and more, it takes active, radical love to really be Jesus in the flesh...it's not something I can do passively or half-heartedly. Thanks for not only the encouragement today, but also the challenge!

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  4. Love this reminder, Sherrinda! Great post!

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  5. I remember the song Jesus Freak by DC Talk - that's what this reminds me of. I have a family member who doesn't act in a lovable manner, so it's hard to love her sometimes.

    When we think about Mary Magdalene we see her heart - what Jesus saw - and it's beautiful, conflicted, repentant and weeping, but if we put it in the context of our modern day prostitutes, it sheds a whole new light on the kind of woman she was. Think about it - how many prostitutes, strippers or pornography stars could you take into your home and accept, even love? It would be very hard, but that's exactly what Jesus did and what He calls us to do.

    Thank you for this reminder and the call to love radically and unconditionally.

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  6. Gabrielle, I haven't thought about Jesus Freak in so long, but yes!...that is it exactly! Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart.

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  7. Do I have to??? :( Sigh. Great reminder for a snarky personality type like myself :)

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    Replies
    1. Jaime...I LOVE SNARKY! :) Is that a good or bad thing? ;)

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