Jesus said two things that often troubled me. The first is one of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled,” and the second is referred to as the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength….” These sayings troubled me because of the intensity they demand. We live in a society where so much balance is required. We are a little of this and a little of that. We are taught not to be intemperate about anything, including religion. Wouldn’t such conduct as Jesus demands make us fanatical, unbalanced and perhaps, if taken too far, even mentally ill?
This is what Satan would have us believe. The prevailing wisdom, after all, is worldly wisdom. It proceeds from the flesh, not the Spirit. The Spirit continues to call us to total commitment, to a God who alone brings purpose and depth, meaning and joy to life. This you will never see on TV, or read in magazines or find suggested by a Hollywood movie. But you will hear about it frequently from the lips of the only One who has perfect understanding of what life is meant to be. Total commitment is not a burden to be borne but a fantastic opportunity to be embraced. Jesus tells us about a man who was walking across a field one day and stubbed his toe against the edge of a partially buried treasure chest full of fabulous wealth. As soon as he could calm himself he ran off and sold all that he had and bought that field. He has been hugging himself ever since that he had sense enough to do it. That, says Jesus, is what finding the Kingdom of God is all about.
My God forgive the passionless sermons and lessons I have delivered over the years. May God wake up His church that is half asleep atop the treasure chest of the Kingdom. Please don’t hesitate to kick me in the leg the next time I give the impression that the Christian life is anything less than an opportunity to tap into the unlimited wealth of God.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship