Jesus had a meeting with His disciples in response to their questions about how they should operate after He returned to heaven. He told them that they needed to write down a vision and mission statement—this would help keep them focused. Second, it would be very wise to have a clear rule book with His stated commands so people would know what they could and could not do—much simpler and more elegant than what the Pharisees were teaching. Third they would need to get a solid 501 (c)(3) so that they would get credit with the tax collectors for their donations. Fourth, they certainly would want to set regular meetings up—preferably on Sunday mornings to differentiate themselves from Jews meeting on the Sabbath. Finally, they should call themselves Christians so they would not be confused with idol worshipers or Jews who refused to believe in Him. You can read the aforementioned discussion in the book of Machinations—a lost part of Scripture recently unearthed in Portland, Oregon. (Of course this is not true).
John 6:35—“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.”
Carl Medearis wrote a book I highly commend for your reading entitled, speaking of Jesus. What makes it such a great read is Carl’s assertion that we are turning people away from Jesus because we are so consumed with Christianity. Poll any ten people about what comes to mind when they hear the word “Christianity” and you are likely to hear negative adjectives. But if you ask the same audience what they think about Jesus they are far more likely to respond positively.
Jesus called people to Himself. He made it clear that Hewas the essential element everyone needed to find salvation. So why do we spend so much time and effort trying to recruit people to our church or to make them conform to standards espoused in Scripture? We take stands against people engaged in behavior that offends us but neglect sharing the very Savior who regularly hung out with the outcasts. We complain about immoral leaders and a decaying society yet leave out the hope we have in the One who permanently eradicates hunger! As Carl writes, “There is no person in human history who holds a candle to Jesus.” Perhaps we should spend more time following and sharing our Savior than worrying about protecting our religion.
When we preach Christianity, we have to own it. When we preach Jesus, we don’t have to own anything. Jesus owns us. We don’t have to defend Him.—Carl Medearis inSpeaking of Jesus
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)