Thursday, July 22, 2010
Jesus Deficit Disorder
We were in Bible study last night - in Hebrews. The picture above is not from that study. :)
But at times it might as well be. The average American Christian has 9 Bibles in their home. There are 30 TV networks available on cable and satellite that are filled with Christian programming. Great teaching about Christ is available over the airwaves on TV and radio, and just a click away on the Internet. And yet, when I think about the average person I know who says that they are a believer, I have a sneaking suspicion that texts like Hebrews aren't where they spend their time (reading one of their 9 Bibles). Why have I come to that conclusion? Because I see the signs of "Jesus Deficit Disorder" all around me.
We've found ourselves lulled to sleep even though God has given us the Greatest Story Ever Told, because we think we know everything we need to know about Jesus. NO WE DON'T. Even if we have read the Bible multiple times. Even if we can recite large portions from memory. Even if we possess perfect attendance Sunday School pins that would give us the Baptist equivalent of General Petraus's medals - people who should be in love with Jesus should love to read, hear, or discuss what they've learned about Jesus again and again and again. It's like we think we've reached our "Jesus quota." Go back up and look at that picture again. The young woman on the right in the corner might not be asleep, but she certainly isn't enjoying herself.
We are spiritually anemic and as a result are weak in the ability to live the life God has laid out for us, and changing the world? Forget about it. As Keith Green put it, "Jesus rose from the dead, but you, you can't even get out of bed."
This can change. We can change. The antidote is Jesus. Praying to Jesus. Meditating on His Word. Studying His life. Sharing His love. We need more Jesus. True joy is not found in the ideal circumstances we all seem to wish and hope for. True joy comes from being in a living, active, growing relationship with the Son of God.
We've run forward and have dived into the deep water at New Hope. Opening our hearts and minds to God's Holy Spirit through two of the most Christ-centric books in all the Bible - Colossians on Sunday mornings and Hebrews on Wednesday night. I've read them devotionally over the past few weeks, and began the humbling task of breaking them down and crafting messages and teaching materials to use. The texts have amazed me, encouraged me, and excited me about Who Jesus is and just what I've received in Christ.
What you've received in Christ.
As the old song puts it "and the things of earth with grow strangely dim, in the light of His marvelous face."
Yes they do.
Take some time before Sunday comes and read Colossians 1:15-23. Take a step back and see if you can grasp just who Jesus is - and what power He has - and what He's done - what He is doing - and what He will do.
15 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. 16 For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. 17 He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. 18 And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. 19 So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. 20 Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. 21 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. 22 But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. 23 You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message. Col 1:15-23 (MSG)
We need more Jesus.