One of the study questions asked about what my "safe life" would look like and how I would see my life being more radical. If I were to think of it. I don't think I can fully see my life as being a very safe one. Sure, it has some luxuries (a TV, a laptop, iPad, a roof over my head, if you were to ask about material things), but I have lived with personal struggles, and still do. I'm in a position where I can choose to talk with a fellow student about Jesus, or not. I guess you could say that I'm being risky to talk to my friends and classmates about Him. I mainly explain that I was saved, and that Jesus loves and wants to help them.
Another study question discussed about the gifts and passions that God has given me. To me, I'm finding that God has gifted me with a passion for wanting to help other people learn about Him, and that I have a knack for knowledge and teaching (though, I'm still testing these out some more). I also found over the years that I'm developing more as a person who effectively exhorts others. While I do have these gifts, I'm also aware that I need to continue practicing with them and take on other risks in order to grow further as a follower of Jesus. In relation to this, another set of questions focused on attitudes that Christians have on the work in which other Christians participate. I believe that I have no real problem about what another brother's vocation turns out to be; as long as he serves Christ with all that he is, I'm cool with it. I also don't see that any real hierarchy should exist among fellow disciples (or people in that matter). We're all born equal and we have all sinned equally in God's eyes (see Romans 3: 23).
Guillebaud reminds us in the book that we are ambassadors for God, in the world but not of the world. I do see this aspect within me. To put it out in simple terms, anyone who is a follower of Jesus is an ambassador, or representative, of His kingdom; we are meant to spread the good news about His love and His acts of mercy. Because I now see myself as someone who represents God in the physical world, I am also working to apply what I learn about His character so that I can be more like Him over time as He continues to work in me and through me.
Guillebaud had brought in a few statements that reflect what it means to be a follower of Jesus. They are as follows (with a few notes from me):
- "Saying that God matters most doesn't imply that everything else matters little."
- What he means is, because God matters most, everything else must also matter greatly.
- "The term 'full-time Christian worker' is a misnomer, as all Christians are full-time."
- We do have missionaries out in the world, but aren't we all the same when our mission field is right at home?
- "Following Christ was never meant to be comfortable, easy or safe, but rather impacting, tough and real."
- This statement reminds me about how we are tested for our faith; will we cling to Jesus and see things through to the end, or will we let go and drown in our pride, fears and sins? As much as we want our lives to be easy, we learn that it is through these struggles that God helps us to grow deeper in Him.
- "From the outset, we admit we're all weak, fickle, proud - basically, we've messed up and need God's help."
- This is a bit self-explanatory, as God has all the strength and power in the universe. But because we wanted to go our own way, we have become cursed to die and be eternally separated by God, which is why He came as Jesus to die in our place and conquered death by rising again, fixing the relationship between God and humans.
Since I had brought up the notion of struggles here, I thought I'd share a song about it. The video embedded below has a song by the band, Tenth Avenue North, called, "The Struggle." The song talks about things that people struggle with, and how God has freed us from such bondage. I hope that this song speaks to your heart as you go about your day.