I can see it now. Up the intrinsic, secluded boulevard, a top-of-the-line chrome BMW sweeps the curve. Taking each passing yard in stride, he approaches the pearly gates. He activates the remote gate opener and breezes through without stopping. Pulling up to his mansion, he slows to a halt as attendants rush to meet his every whim. An on-staff car maintenance worker buffs the vehicle, paying careful attention to extra shine the platinum fish plastered conspicuously over his rear left bumper. Servants hoist him upon their shoulders and usher him past the beggars crowding his doorstep. Several swift kicks from the help drive the nuisance away, and he locks himself in his air-conditioned, self-contained, sanctified, isolated residence. This is where he entertains himself by listening to the newest contemporary Christian hits and watching the newest rapture film while the world outside is slowly going to hell. This is just another day in the life of God.
Needless to say, there is something very wrong in this picture. No one conceivably would believe that this is how God operates, at least not those who know Him. Yet for many of those "outsiders," this fits His description perfectly. And we cannot blame them; we have shown them exactly what we wanted them to see. Somewhere in our personal doctrine we forgot about a little necessity called grace, and believed the lie that a spoonful of Jesus helps the hypocrisy go down.
What we must realize is that God operates in certain ways that we choose not to. Jesus never wore His own T-shirts, recorded His own albums, or became chief editor of Son of God syndicated. He simply became soaked in His calling and purpose. He wasn’t looking for a market, but a ministry. He didn’t try to make a quick buck, but to plant eternal wealth into our hearts. His mission wasn’t to pull the wool over our eyes, but instead to liberate us with the truth, and seeing that, we would choose to follow Him.
Jesus didn’t come to Earth to set up a franchise. He is not a CEO or a corporate spokesman. He is only in the business of losing—losing your life, losing your own will, losing your pride and dignity. Quite sadly, many of us are major holders of a stock that God despises. We should learn from the example the Pharisees left. They were the classic too-cool-for-God crowd. They had the look, the walk and the talk, but in God’s eyes, the only eyes that really counted, they were a fake. Who are we living for? It shows.
We were simply called to be Christian. Now we’re even too Christian for God. The modern-day evangelist Kim Clement once spoke of the time when he fasted continuously for 40 days. After completing his task, he thought of what a great thing he had done, then sensed God’s reply, “I didn’t ask you to do that.” Many of us consume ourselves in economic spirituality, a faith you can simply put on your credit card. Without Christ, we were running aimlessly. Now we do no differently except mark our lives with the $5.49 dove stamp we bought at the Christian bookstore. Somewhere in the recesses of our mind, He is still speaking to us. Isn’t it insane we spend more for a CD than we do for eternal salvation? God asked us simply to do two things—to love Him, and to love others. And it’s going to take more than just a Hallmark to say that.
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