Monday, September 7, 2009

Something worth checking out

I often listen to podcasts from the church I was going to when I lived in Waco. Carl Gully, the college pastor, is such a passionate teacher. Anyway, I was listening to last weeks podcast and I just had to stop folding my laundry and write this blog.

Many of you may know that the community aspect of Antioch is done incredibly well. Many of you may not. I feel like I can't even explain how well people love each other out there. And even though this can, it's not the point.


(Sloppy editing, but he says at the end, "an amazing car that I am so grateful for")

So this is the type of community love that I have had the great opportunity to be a part of. But the community, and the love that was going on there, that wasn't even the point of the illustration. God's providence wasn't even the point of this illustration. The point of the illustration, that happened just a couple weeks ago, was this: AJ responded to that love. When people encounter such a great love, they don't just stand there emotionless. If someone experiences an amazing act of love toward them, to not respond would seem so bizarre it would be unimaginable. Carl put it this way, "An extravagant act of love towards us demands an extravagant response." And I think that is so true. When we get to experience the love of God, how can we not respond in love to him? When we experience the sacrificial act of love from God, we should be responding in a radical and sacrifical way, you know?

I guess what I am getting at is this. Every day I know that I have been blessed. Every day I know that I get to benefit from the love of Jesus. What I don't do everyday is respond in a radical way to that love. I think that we tend to get into habits. We tend to get comfortable doing what we are doing and we forget about the part where we live radically and with an "extravagant response." I think what I'm getting at is this: we live for God; we serve God, we work to glorify God; and we live to make His name known, but I think sometimes we just do it. I think that we can do all this, and our motives are in the right place and our hearts desire is to please Him, but is it done with passion? Is it done daily out of the "extravagant response" to love. I guess the key word I want to focus on is "extravagant." We should be living as an extravagant response to an extravagant act of love.

In the illustration, AJ, didn't just drive away emotionless. He was impacted. He was "undone" by the act of love displayed toward him. He experienced the love and he responded to it overwhelmed with love.

I think that things like this just get me fired up. I love to see God loving people and I love to see people loving people. I think that for me, this is just a reminder of how much we should be impacted by a love that is so grand. I think that there has to be something seriously wrong with us if we can experience a love that is so deep and so profound and not be moved to act in response.

So, I guess just think about this: Doesn't the act of love God has shown us just make you want to respond to him in such an open, willing, and sacrificial way? Doesn't receiving a love like that just make you want to give it back? I think it does. So there is that.

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