What would it look like to be crazy radical for Jesus in 2013? I’m talking pedal to the metal, all in, no holds barred, “is something wrong with you?” crazy. No more being lukewarm, no more spiritual fits and starts. It’s time to dive in head first. Do you need to take a missions trip to Vietnam? Do you need to adopt a child from a foreign country? Do you need to do a thirty-day fast? Do you need to give away half of your income? Well, maybe. All those things are good, and maybe God has called you to do one of those big things.
But for most of us, being sold out crazy for Jesus will look very…ordinary. At least to the casual observer. Most of the crazy things we do for the Lord will be noticed by exactly no one – except the Lord.
So, you wanna go crazy this year? Here’s what you should do…
Spend time with someone who can’t repay in you in any way, either financially or socially. “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14)
Look for any and every opportunity to serve, rather than to be served, even if it only means giving someone a glass of cold water. ”But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43-44)
Fight against your sin with a crazy, almost disturbing intensity. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29)
Show the world that you are a Christian by consistently loving, serving, and blessing those around you. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Commit yourself to regularly gathering with God’s people, giving special attention to how you can encourage them and stir them toward love and good works. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Earnestly love your fellow believers, being eager to extend mercy and grace toward them. “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Most of the time, being crazy for Jesus means doing the hard, right, boring thing, which no one but God will see. It means being patient with your children, giving sacrificially, setting up chairs at your church, making a meal for a new mom, and putting together a spreadsheet for your church finance team. It often means doing what needs to be done rather than what you want to do. These are not glamorous jobs. Nobody wants to read your blog post: “Hey check out all these sweet chairs I set up!”
I fear that in our celebrity pastor, post it to Facebook culture, we think about being sold out for Jesus only in terms of big things that catch people’s attention. The reality is, being a servant and slave of Christ usually means serving in obscurity. Being radical for Jesus means doing hard, yet ordinary things, like confessing sin, changing the channel when something inappropriate appears, serving your butt off in church, and reaching out to the “uncool.” Our spiritual lives are not the result of one or two “big” acts for God. They are the sum of ten thousand small choices – choices to either follow the Lord or follow our sinful desires.
This year let’s be crazy for Jesus. Crazy ordinary. Who’s with me?
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Stephen Altrogge serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, preaching, and working with youth. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included on Sovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of the book Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wannabes, published by Crossway Books in September 2008, and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence, published by Crossway Books in April 2011. When not shining his dad’s shoes, you can find Stephen drinking coffee or playing video games.
Find out more when you visit his blog, The Blazing Center.