Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Does A "Real" Follower of Christ Look Like?....... We look like RSB's

Last night Jim and I watched a TV program about Adolf Hitler and the devilish power he gained over a nation of people, causing them to attempt to destroy the Jews, the sick, the lame, the mentally unstable -- and anyone else who wouldn't fall in line with his plan for the world. People followed Hitler out of selfish desires, devotion to a cause, fear, coercion, etc. I went to bed shaking my head at the weakness of the human condition.  Instead of thinking," Those stupid people," I thought, "People are so stupid."

When Jesus came to minister on Earth, he spoke to people just like you and me. Some of them were looking for a rescue from their "humanness" and its disastrous results. Others were happily living their selfish lives with selfish motives. Some had tried righteousness and sacrifice; some had practiced following teachers, but all were subject to the same human condition of selfishness. They were all Unredeemed Selfish Brats.

Jesus' conversation with people of his day went like this, 'None of this stuff you are trying will work. The only thing that will work is what I am about to do for you. I am about to give my body, my blood -- my life so that you can be reunited with my Father. And unless you receive me and the truth of my death and promised (and fulfilled) resurrection, you will be  subject to the rules of the World, now and forever. Period!' (I am obviously using my words, here.)

Whether you believe it or not, Jesus' life, death and resurrection are documented, historical facts.  Just like Hitler's speeches,  his reign over Germany and his ultimate demise are historical facts.  But look at the difference!  One man was a selfish, megalomaniac imposing his ideas and ideals on people; while the other gave up his right to rule over us and instead paid with his life for every selfish act that anyone who ever lived has done or will do.  Did you know that is where the phrase 'once and for all' came from?

One man exacted a price and destroyed anything blocking his path; the other paid a price and saved anyone who would follow his way. 'Take up my cross and follow me.'

I realize this is offensive -- even ridiculous -- to people like you and like me. It is offensive to realize that we are selfish, rude beings and that we can't fix ourselves. But it is true and you and I know it. And the only difference between a redeemed selfish brat (RSB) and an un-redeemed one (USB) -- is death.

Yes, death. The redeemed selfish brat is dead, yet living free; the unredeemed selfish brat is living, but in a deadly prison.

Oh, you are still reading?

When Christ opened my heart to his redeeming love, I, that is my "self," died. Now, I have the option of climbing back into my selfishness, or LIVING a new life, following the example of LOVE that my redeemer set for me. Unlike the Un-redeemed Selfish Brat, USB, I have been  forgiven all my errors (made and yet unmade) and I've been given new tools to work in the new soil to produce a crop worthy of  Jesus' example of sacrifice. But, like all RSB's (Redeemed Selfish Brats) I fail constantly. That's why it is so hard to tell the two apart. (Just in case you've been wondering.)

When Adolf Hitler came to rule in Germany, he was speaking to people just like you and me. Some of them were looking for a rescue from their "humanness" and its disastrous results.  Others were happily living their selfish lives with selfish motives. Some had tried righteousness and sacrifice; some had practiced following teachers, but all were subject to the same human condition of selfishness. Does that sound familiar?  It should.

My point is that people are people.  In our natural state, we will follow whatever feeds our USBness. God leaves the choice to us, sort of.  He does not coerce, plead, bribe or bully people into being RSBs. This is how he does it, he uses people like me, people who know they are only RSB's, to tell others about his plan and his solution to their problems. This is the plan: admit that you are a selfish brat, stuck in a world with others just like you, Understand that God offered you a way out at his own expense. At this point you die,you are released, then you live again to tell about it. It is really that simple...not easy...simple.

Hitler is dead.  Jesus lives.  Rebecca Neville is dead, Becky lives to tell about it -- in Jesus. Done.

If you are a USB, and you know who you are, you have an invitation to accept your "release papers." I received my papers about 30 years ago. You might be interested to know that I never met the person who told me how to become a RSB.  Her name was Corrie Ten Boom. She was the only one from her Dutch Christian family to survive Hitler's reign. Corrie went to prison for hiding Jews in a secret room of her home, a Hiding Place.

After much suffering, and more than a few answers to prayer, she was given a "Certificate of Discharge," to get out of Ravensbruck, one of Hitler's death camps. It was the only way to get out of there alive. And God arranged it because he knew Corrie would spend the rest of her life, another thirty years, telling others about the Hiding Place that people have in Jesus and how to get out of the death camp they are in.

The kind of certificate that gets us out of here is the one that Jesus offers; it is the one that is stamped upon my heart -- RELEASED. Some day I will tell Corrie how much I appreciated her book. Whether you are a USB or a RSB, I encourage you to read  it: The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom.

What does a "real" follower of Christ look like? "Entlassen," --  Released!

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1 comment:

  1. Wow Becky, this is an excellent illustration. Plus such gracious writing! Thank-you for this. Your writing is so refreshing ( :


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You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

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My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

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