This post is devoted to my dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are living out Matthew 28:18-20. Today I am particularly mindful of Rev Mike Neal and his bride Dee of Glorious Light Church in Chicago Illinois. I am also mindful of Reverend Reggie Tucker and his bride Mary of Orange Mound Outreach Ministry, in Memphis, TN. You are living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Be encouraged, the world, seeing your faithfulness will have no choice but to give glory to God. The way that you share the love of Christ is too powerful to be ignored. You are excellent examples of the kind of people who seek to bring about Godly Justice through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I also dedicate this to the saints at Glorious Light Church and Orange Mound Outreach ministry. Your royal priesthood is not in vain.
Radical Devotion to the whole Gospel
I have experienced two different extremes in the current church world when it comes to loving God and loving our neighbors by bringing about Godly justice on earth. On one extreme I know pastors who teach God’s word and preach discipleship. Their job is not to clean up neighborhoods or get involved in politics or social work. Their purpose is to teach God’s word and equip saints. Before I continue, please don’t detect anything negative in my description of this extreme. Their purpose is not necessarily the problem, however, more about that later, I am getting ahead of myself here, lets continue with the other extreme. For now let’s just say that the fulltime task of radically devoting yourself to equipping saints so that they are prepared to equip other saints is an awesome thing to do. Now lets get to the other extreme.
On the other extreme you have pastors who devote their lives to justice. They see that primary role as to be Jesus with skin on. They may not even feel the need to teach God’s word at all. Their gospel is social, yet personal…real…gritty… “hands-on.” They believe that God’s word will be revealed through their devotion to let the light of Christ shine. Their heart breaks for the lost. They judge no-one and accept everyone because they remember that they were once lost fools themselves. They aren’t afraid to get involved in politics, healthcare, education or any other social institution plagued by injustice.
In response the these extreme view points on God’s great commandment to love him with all our hearts and to love others as we love our selves, some people believe that the response to these extremes is moderation. There in lies the problem. There is no “balanced” or “moderate” approach to loving God and People.
I learned from Dr. Perkins that faithfulness to the whole gospel requires radical devotion to both extremes. Radical devotion to God’s word means that we love God with all of our being. Radical devotion to God means that we don’t stop at believing that His is a just a devotional book. Radical devotion to God believes that his word is a “play book” for our lives, that we are not just to believe His word, but that we are also to do his word as well. Therefore, we can’t have radical devotion to loving God without radical devotion to loving others.
This flies in the face of the latte centered consumer driven world we live in today where we have replaced the pursuit of truth with the pursuit of comfort. The reality is that the world has always pursued comfort at the cost of truth. Let’s just say that the church cannot afford to do this. Every believer in Christ needs to know that their full devotion to pursuing the righteousness and holiness of God must be match by their pursuit of the compassion and justice of God. These two concepts are as one with God. He did not save us so that we get to fulfill our own passions on earth. He saved us so that we could share in His passions on earth and throughout eternity. Full devotion to God is not something he wants from us, as if we could ever pay him back for his blessings he has poured on our lives through Christ. Full devotion is what he wants for us.
Dr. Perkins lives out this kind of full devotion to Christ. He is unapologetic in his declaration that Jesus is Lord and that all scripture is God breathed. He is also unwavering in his radical devotion to seeing God’s love and justice lived out on earth as it is in heaven.
What if every believer lived this way?…