Monday, June 29, 2009

Jesus Freak (?)

"Freak"- someone who commits to something wholeheartedly, with out apology or compromise. (Jesus Freaks, Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus Freaks. )

Jesus Freak. We've all heard the phrase, but what does it take to make someone a "Jesus Freak"?

-Is it passing out tracts in your local grocery store?
-Is it teaching Sunday School to a group of kids?
-Is it living your Christian life, and that's all?
It depends....
-Or is it something more?

Take a quick look at your own life, where you live and what you're doing, and see if you are doing what you believe it takes to make someone a "Jesus Freak".

Alright, what did you come up with?

Wait. Before you answer, take a look at this story......

The Communist soldiers had discovered their illegal Bible study.

As the pastor was reading from the Bible, men with guns suddenly broke into the home, terrorizing the believers who had gathered there to worship. The Communists shouted insults and threatened to kill the Christians. The leading officer pointed his gun at the pastor's head. "Hand me your Bible." He demanded.

Reluctantly, the pastor handed over his Bible, his prized possession. With a sneer on his face, the guard threw the Word of God on the floor at his feet.

He glared at the small congregation. "We will let you go," he growled, "but first, you must spit on this book of lies. Anyone who refuses will be shot." The believers had no choice but to obey the officer's order.

A soldier pointed his gun at one of the men. "You first."

The man slowly got up and knelt down by the Bible. Reluctantly, he spit on it, praying, "Father, please forgive me." He stood up and walked to the door. The soldiers stood back and allowed him to leave.

"Okay, you!" the soldier said, nudging a woman forward. In tears, she could barely do what the soldier demanded. She spat only a little, but it was enough. She too was allowed to leave.

Quietly, a young girl came forward. Overcome with love for her Lord, she knelt down and picked up the the Bible. She wiped off the spit with her dress. "What have they done to Your Word? Please forgive them," she prayed.

The Communist soldier put his pistol to her head. Then he pulled the trigger.

This story took place in Asia during the 1970's. The girl who loved her God and His Word so much that she was willing to die for it was only 16 years old. Wow. I believe she qualifies as a Jesus Freak.

"Martyr"- one who chooses to suffer death rather than to deny Jesus Christ or His work.

Why was she willing to die?

"For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while were were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:7,8 NKJV)

"For God so loved the world the He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 NKJV)

"He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV)

Are you willing to.....

Endure ridicule for standing for Jesus Christ

Withstand persecution for obeying Jesus Christ

Die for believing in Jesus Christ

Be a Jesus Freak?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

When I think of love my mind often goes to scenes from love stories such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. These are great love stories, but are they really the epitome of love?

Something that kind of struck me today while we were taking communion at church was just how much God loves us. Wow. I can't even really begin to understand it. The God of the universe loves me. That is awesome.

God loved me so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for the world. . . no. . . for me. My name, which had not even been spoken on the earth yet, was thought of as Christ hung on the cross. The beatings, the mockings, the pure torture that He went through was because He loved me. Amazing.

The Bible paints Christ's relationship with the church (us) as a beautiful love story with the characters being the bridegroom (Christ) and the bride (the church). Christ loves His bride with a love that no earthly creature will ever be able to duplicate. He has shown us this love by giving Himself up on the cross in order to save His love from an eternity in hell. No matter how much a person comes to love you on this earth their love will never be able to come close to how much Christ loves you. That is the epitome of love.