Are we preparing ourselves to live?

This past week I had a few moments to kill so I found myself perusing through the Christianity section at Barnes & Noble. Honestly, I haven’t read too much in the past few months so I was looking for something that caught my eye. As I stumbled along I saw the name of an author I heard speak last summer, Mark Scandrette. I found his offering entitled Jesus Dojo very thought provoking and intriguing on what it truly means to be a genuine follower of Jesus here on earth. So I picked up the book entitled Soul Graffiti and began reading the forwards, introduction, table of contents, etc. when I came across this quote:

“In many religious traditions, Christian faith, as it has been shaped culturally, has prepared people to die, but has not equipped them to live well amid the complexities of contemporary culture with an increasingly global and ecological awareness. Many of us find ourselves searching, not only for a way to believe, but also for a way of life.”

Standing there in the bookstore, I had one of those moments when I thought, “yes…that is what I have been thinking in my mind but have been unable to express with my words”. Am I the only one this kind of stuff happens to? Where you have all of these thoughts swirling around in your head and you can kind of make sense of them all, but not clearly. And then in one moment, bam! It happens. Well, I had that moment in the bottom floor of the Galleria Barnes & Noble. This quote just resonated with me. It resonated with me because it speaks so much to what Consumed Ministries is all about. We are about life! Not that preparing for death is bad. Not that knowing what you believe is bad. But Christ didn’t come to earth and die so we can punch a time clock for 50-70 years and then enter the gates of heaven. He died to give us life…life to the full. He came to be our Savior, but also our teacher. He initiated a new life. A way of living that when done so passionately and motivated from a heart of love will bring the Kingdom of God and His will to earth. I wonder sometimes to myself. I wonder about what the world would look like right now if the church truly lived. Would God’s Kingdom be more evident if the people of God truly evidenced their belief in Jesus by actually living out the teachings of Jesus? Would there be places in Africa where kids die every day because they do not have drinking water? Would the homeless problem in our cities (and suburbs) be solved? Would lives be transformed as people embody the Gospel, not just talk about it?

Then I wonder too myself “am I doing my part”? Because it always comes back to me first, right? I better worry about my actions before I think on others’? Do I know what it means to truly live a way of life that people can label as Christian – little Christ? Am I going to the marginalized of my day as Jesus did in His day? Am I storing up treasures on earth or treasures in Heaven? When I look at people, am I moved with compassion to meet their needs? Am I broken to tears when I understand the empty and meaningless lives people lead when they don’t know Jesus? I am realizing more and more that the best way I can influence change is not simply to talk about living, but simply to live. “God help me.”