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Dangerous Like Jesus

11/08/11

Dangerous Like Jesus

Jim Elliot, the missionary whose life and death God has used to move thousands to become missionaries testifying of God?s love both here in America and around the world, wrote to his mother when he was still in college:

I spent this afternoon with Ron at (he names the family). They were most hospitable and were eager to be remembered to you all, especially you, mother... They have a nice home and belongings and two cute kiddies, but are so like the rest of us that it is again disheartening. We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth century does not reckon with. But we are ?harmless? and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, and conscientious objectors in the battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the cross. We are ?sideliners??coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. O that God would make us dangerous.

There is a recklessness that does not glorify God: when men try to be dangerous, doing things for God that He does not ask. Unlike the Master, they follow the devil?s lure and jump off temples tempting God. And when they crash they wonder what went wrong, where was God? They argue their faith is great and try to prove it with ?spiritual stunts? that God did not command.

But the danger, which Elliot speaks of, is more character than behavior, not to minimize behavior. If we were more like Jesus the world would like us less. Jesus said the world hated Him and would hate His followers. A follower is someone who follows, goes where the guide leads, does what he sees the leader do. Jesus was dangerous, and that is why they killed Him. Do we love like Jesus? Are we meek as Christ? Do we forgive those who sin against us? Are we exercising the power of the Spirit as Jesus did? Are we willing to stand alone when others may forsake us, and not hold it to their charge? Are we willing to fall to the earth and die? Do we love our heavenly Father more than the world, or for that matter, life itself? O that God would make us like Jesus, and then we would be dangerous.

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