Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reckless Abandonment

Galatians 2:19-20

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Reckless abandonment is abandoning everything while not knowing what will be the exact result. Like jumping off a cliff when you don't know what is at the bottom. It's taking that one step of faith into the storming sea, when the only thing you know 100% for sure is that Jesus stands in the middle of it. It's talking to Pharaoh and telling him to let Gods people go. It is denying personal wants and exchanging them for the will of your Savior.

Having reckless abandonment can be taken the wrong way. When Peter cut off the ear of the soldier that came to arrest Jesus is an example. He let his own emotions and motivations override the will of his Master. We are called to abandon our flesh, not Gods will. This can apply to any area in life. For example our jobs, our careers, our school, our relationships with other people, and even our future.

The most general area for being totally dedicated is sharing the Gospel. We should be so willing to share the Gospel that we would care 0% about what people think or do, and 100% on what God said to do. I am sadly not a good example of this, but little by little God is increasing, and my selfish desires are getting smaller and smaller.

I recently heard a sermon on Peter, and how he was a great example for being daring with sharing the gospel. The whole sermon was focused around one passage: Acts 4:1-22. Basically what happened is that Peter and John were arrested for healing a man. They are brought before the Sanhedrin, and asked "By what power or what name did you do this?" Peter then, "filled with the Spirit," replies with:

"Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

If Peter was thinking of jail, torture, or being crucified he would of not said what he did. He was thinking 0% of the consequences for standing up for Jesus, and 100% on simply standing up for Jesus. Maybe Peter learned his lesson after he denied Jesus three times. All that past regret and pain was turned into a bold zeal that burned furiously with passion for the Gospel and his Lord. Nothing would stop him.

The result of this daring move was not what one might think. I would've guessed that the Sanhedrin would of had them both crucified, but instead they were astonished!

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

How amazing is that? Peter and John didn't know much about anything, and here they are, quoting scripture and rebuking the most powerful men in Jewish society. It's as if two men from rural U.S.A, with no college education, went to Supreme Court and won the Justices over with outstanding arguments and evidence.

I find the next part so beautiful. The Sanhedrin took note that they had been with Jesus. The only thing that set John and Peter apart from other men was that they had been with Jesus. The glory for their bold speech had been credited to Jesus Christ. Perhaps in the same way when we share the gospel boldly, without fear, people will take note of our courage and realize that Jesus is at work in us.

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.

Even though the Sanhedrin was amazed, they still commanded Peter and John to no longer share the Gospel. What a joke! These two men were in reckless abandonment for the Gospel! No one could stop them. They responded with a very controlled, simple and straight-to-the-point answer. "Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

It's interesting to point out that Peter and John didn't curse the Sanhedrin, they didn't argue their constitutional rights to share the gospel and they didn't sue them. They simply said they could not stop. Both men were willing to be arrested again, and if need be, death.

Any thoughts on "reckless abandonment," and how that can be applied to areas of life? :)

I always love comments.


1 comment:

  1. Great post!

    I have a lot of the same thoughts as you on this. Right now I gave up my laptop in order to spend more time with Christ and less on the internet, I'm a marine biology student and it's been crazy hard writing my papers at the Library, I also locked down my phone so there's no internet access.

    All my friends think I'm nuts but it's something that I don't regret, it's refocused my view and I've only spent minimal time on the computer.

    Also awhile back I wanted to be an Astronomer, long story short that dream was crushed and I was left wondering what I was going to do. I prayed for some direction, the medical field came up I saw how much I could do for Christ through that and I ran after it, everything has crazily fallen into place and I'm just amazed how well he has planned this out for me, all I've had to do was give it up to him and I am probably going to end up doing medical missions.

    Even if it doesn't seem like it's the most logical choice to run recklessly after Christ it's always turned out better than I could've tried to make it!

    And yeah, I'm not always the greatest when I'm lead to share Christ, but pray to God for the strenght and he won't let you down!