LIVING RADICALLY. Those are some big words to use. Especially in the climate where we are at. There are so many things that are pushing the boundaries of God’s truths. So what would it be like to live radically for God’s word?
I was having a conversation with someone about the sermon on the mount and the words that Jesus was saying. That would’ve been RADICAL teaching for his time. At this point, the old mosaic law was still essential and all that the people knew and strove to obey. Now Jesus wasn’t coming to abolish the law, or even fight against it. He was there to fulfill the prophecies that were spoken about him. God sending Jesus to earth was to show His incredible mercy and grace and ultimate plan of salvation. At this point, the teachers and religious leaders were considered the wisest and most knowledgeable of God’s words. They were the ones who were doing the “saving”, going into the temple to make sacrifices on behalf of the people. And now here comes Jesus starting to preach that ANYONE can get into the kingdom on their own, for simply believing? That the meekest, the most humble, those are the ones raised up. What a show that must've been. No wonder the leaders questioned, and even plotted against Jesus. They felt their security and their position threatened. Have you ever felt that? Have you ever become defensive towards someone that was simply speaking truths into your life? I know I have.
And yet, Jesus stood firm in God’s words. He didn’t let the “what abouts” or “what ifs” get in the way of God’s truths. He lived radically for God during his time on earth because he knew there was so much more. His work on the cross has brought everyone into the fold, no matter what we do, we are given salvation because of Jesus.
My children and I were reading the passage about being the salt of the earth and light of the world. We had a great discussion that centered around what that means, and how we are to truly be the salt and the light. And sometimes, that will be hard, and challenging, and there will be people who will want to make your saltiness useless or hide your light. There were many during Jesus’ time that wanted to make him useless. They were more concerned about who he spent time with, how he taught, when he allowed children to come to him, even the places he stayed.
So when the bible says to not be afraid, how do we live radically in freedom? When the bible says to cast all our cares, how do we live radically in peace? When the bible says to stand firm in trials, how do we live radically in steadfastness? When the bible says to not be angry, how do we radically bear with one another in all circumstances? When the bible says to maintain unity, how do we radically come together despite differing opinions?
How? Well, on our own, we cannot. It’s impossible. Those standards are unreachable without the help and promise of the Holy Spirit. When the pressures of this fallen world are bearing in on us, we can cry out to God and he will rescue us. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”-Isaiah 41:10. At Tuesday night bible study we have been studying prayer and using the psalms. One theme that we have noticed threaded throughout is the promise of rescue and brought into wide open spaces. This is our God! “In my distress I called upon the Lord; he brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”-Psalm 18:6,19. Living radically means to live in communion with God. Living radically means to be his light in a dark world. Living radically means to give all the glory back to him. Living radically means to rely on his strength and not our own self-sufficiency. Living radically means to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul”.-Matthew 22:37
So build your house on his firm foundation. Study, pray, invest in your relationship with the one who will sustain you and provide all you need. Live radically for Him because his ways are good and perfect. This is our God!