We've been spending some time talking about my mission statement:
Stimulating redemptive living and kingdom investment
What does "living" mean to you? We use the word in several ways:
How do you make a living?
Where are you living now?
This is a nice living room.
I'm glad to be among the living.
What makes something alive? Breath? No, gotta be more than that, because plants and single-cell organisms are alive, and they don't breath. Wikipedia (which is never wrong) says that scientists define life as "objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes" as opposed to objects who used to have those processes and no longer do (dead) or objects that don't have such processes.
That sounds to me more like a definition of surviving, not necessarily living.
Living is so much more than surviving. Living is embracing what really matters, and sucking the life out of it. Not like that boring acquaintance sucks the life out of a party, but more like the way I suck the melted ice cream out of the bottom of a DQ Blizzard. I do not want to waste a drop of that precious elixir.
That's the kind of life I want to live. And what I hope I stimulate in others. That full to the max, get all you can out of it kind of living.
So here's the deal, the way I see it. Jesus wants people to live. Not just make a living, not just to survive, but to have life. Real life, maximum life. Suck it dry and go back for seconds life. But there is a major hindrance to finding and living this life:
We want to do it on our own terms.
At first I was thinking that there are two ways, but really there's not. Just one, but it shows up differently in two broad ways: some people follow their own terms by looking for life in their own religious piety, and other people follow their own terms by looking for life in the stuff of the temporal. Jesus makes it clear in interactions with both types that neither will ultimately satisfy. We all want to be the doorway to our own happy life. But its only found in a real relationship with Jesus. He's the bringer of life.