Friday, July 6, 2012

different --- living & thinking

(NOTE: this post was first seen on my blog in August of 2007, and I wanted to share it with you again as I am out of town this week with my family.  May God use these thoughts to shake up our lives.)

Erwin McManus
Do you ever get the feeling that you are different or strange. Not like the other people you are around?

The first day of school has just passed us, and I remember well those first days and how strange they were. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I go to a new place or am around people that I don't know. But I hear God saying something to His church. He says be different, set apart and point people to me.

Different is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. Think about it.

Jesus was radical. But he didn't have a house or a temple or anything that really made the upper crust people look at Him. He was different because He was called to be that way.

Acts 26:18 (nlt) --- ... Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me. 

John 12:25 (nlt) --- Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
John 15:19 (nasb) --- If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
Matthew 5:14 (nlt) --- You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

Sounds radical and different to me. Some people call those folks 'Jesus freaks' ... if the shoe fits...

I think you get where I am coming from, and it is pretty obvious that the church, you and I, have to be different in our living and thinking so that we can point the world to Jesus. We don't do this with money or popularity. We do it with life. That's why I ask God to make me and the church creative and on the cutting edge. What do you think?

Here are some thoughts from Erwin McManus along this line:

When I gave my life to Christ it was not to go to heaven or avoid hell or even to have my sins forgiven; it was for one reason above all the others – Jesus could change me to become like him in his character and in him my life would not be wasted. For me the gospel was a call to live a heroic life marked by honor, wisdom and sacrifice.

This is central to the heart of 
Mosaic (the church McManus leads). Jesus didn't die just to get us out of trouble. His death was the price for our lives – so in him we become fully alive. As followers of Christ we live to love and love to live. Jesus pulls us out of a life of mediocrity to live a life defined by passion and compassion.

We choose the name Mosaic because it is an art form where broken and fragmented pieces are brought together by an artist to create something beautiful out of the imperfect and irregular pieces. We are a work of art formed by the hand of the master artist. He is creating something beautiful through us all using even our brokenness and imperfection.

This is at the core of what is happening on the edge of what has been historically known as Christianity. It may also be the best way of understanding what we are about and why it is so hard to embrace at times. What others see is the mess of our pieces scattered all over the place in disarray; what we see is the future Mosaic.

It is different; but different in a good way. It is more raw, more honest, more authentic, more transparent, and in this way more dangerous and less palatable. Sounds like the first century church to me.

There is a new church coming. There is a new movement erupting. There is a new future being created. We call it a Mosaic future.

(click HERE for the article this is taken from)

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happy birthday, Julie

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