Category Archives: Holiness

put flesh and blood on Jesus

Nothing puts flesh and blood on Jesus in our world more than loving others for who they are, not just loving who we want them to be.

Isn’t that the plot of the gospel? God’s relentless love towards us is demonstrated by his sacrifice while we were still an absolute mess. The apostle Paul says that Christ died for us “while we were still sinners.” He freely gave his love for us even though we wanted nothing to do with him. There were no conditions to his love, no fine print. And even if there were never any change in our lives, not even an ounce of acknowledgment of his love, he would still love us the same way.

We need to ask ourselves a difficult question: Can we, will we, walk the same path as Jesus and love the people around us while they are still sinners? If we’re serious about following Jesus by loving others, it means loving the people around us for who they are today, not just loving who we want them to become someday.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.172

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pain and trust

So the tough choice we face – which will tap into our reserves of grit – is to own our pain and then offer it to God for redemption. But we will make that choice only after we have decided that – despite whatever pain we may have been handed in life – God can still be trusted.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p.86.


reject the easy jesus

When we reject the easy Jesus in search of the real Jesus, we take a step. When we convert our desire and intention into commitment, we take a step. Day in and day out, with each seemingly small decision to align our lives with the way of Jesus, we take a step. And before we know it, with a little bit of grit and the Wind at our backs, we find that we’ve covered some ground. We’ve moved forward in running after the rich and satisfying life that we desire.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 41-42


fighting grace

God’s grace is a fighting kind of grace. It pokes and prods and confronts and pushes us toward the path that leads to a rich and satisfying life. Grace will not let us settle for mediocrity and small living. It compels us to change.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 33


will we experience god’s forgiveness?

Ultimately, if we refuse to forgive others, we won’t experience God’s forgiveness – not because he will withhold it but because we think we don’t need it.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 52

 


compassion requires reaction

Compassion requires reaction.

That’s what the world needs – our presence as well as our prayers. People who are struggling and in need aren’t looking for pity. They’re looking for care and concern that act on their behalf – for people who will not only pray from a distance, but who will also be willing to draw so close to them that our shirts might get stained.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 66


loving, doing good, blessing, and praying

It’s worth taking a look in order to understand the powder keg that Jesus ignites here.

(Jason Mitchell is discussing the content of See Luke 6:27 and 28.)

“Love . . .”

We have all sorts of ideas about what it means to love, and most of them revolve around feelings. The word translated as love in this passage, however, is light-years away from sentimentality. For Jesus, love is an action-oriented, sacrificial, work-up-a-sweat commitment to do what’s right for another person. This kind of love proves itself in a willingness to give until it hurts.

“Do good . . . “

The word translated as good in this passage is tied to the Greek word kalos, which carries with it the idea of pursuing what is “right and beautiful.” So when Jesus talks about “doing good,” he is describing a kind of life in which we make right what is wrong. It’s a life centered on bringing beauty to what has been marred and broken.

“Bless . . .”

The ideas of blessing someone is pretty straightforward, It’s a translation of the Greek work eulogeo, which literally means “to speak good words” about someone.

“Pray for . . .”

In the New Testament, the word pray is tied to the idea of well-wishing. In the context of this passage, when Jesus tells us to pray he is talking about desiring the best for someone. We desire God’s favor for the people we pray for, wanting them to flourish.

My guess is that we all would agree that loving, doing good, blessing, and praying are all good ways to live. The tension comes from who Jesus says should be the recipients of these actions.

  • Love . . . your enemies.
  • Do good . . . to those who hate you.
  • Bless . . . those who curse you.
  • Pray for . . . those who hurt you.

So ask yourself, who is my enemy?

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 46-47


follow to encounter

The truth is, we will never encounter the real Jesus until we go beyond merely believing in him and actually start following him. Yes, it’s much harder to follow that to merely believe. But following is the only route to the rich and satisfying life we desire.

Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus forward, page 24.


worst trade ever

We swapped the glory of the eternal God for a fabricated greatness we’ve forged on our own, one that never seems to be enough. We were created to image God, to resemble and reflect his glory, but we’ve seen it, suppressed it, and sold it, and now we’re left with an emptiness that nothing else can fill.

That’s the problem of sin. We’ve gotten rid of the very thing that gives us lasting pleasure.

Jonathan Parnell, Never Settle For Normal, p. 50

 


your greatest contribution

Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”

Andy Stanley, Global Leadership Summit, August 10, 2017