Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

Recently, I was reading a book on the love of Christ and how it is the very foundation for radical discipleship. Within the book, I read a gripping letter from a young pastor in Zimbabwe, Africa, that was discovered following his martyrdom for his faith in Jesus Christ. I quote his letter verbatim:

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit’s power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made – I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’ m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am lifted by prayer, and I labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions are few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me…my banner will be clear!

This may be the most powerful letter I have ever read on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Even a casual reading of the Scriptures will reveal that the person closest to the heart of Jesus Christ is not the who knows the most, prays the most, or holds the most important position or title. It is the one who loves the most. For you see, Jesus Christ by His very birth, ministry, death and resurrection has transformed His followers into imitators of His great love. I would go as far to say that it is impossible to say one is a Christian if Christ's love is not readily apparent, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

Let all of us continually seek the cross of Christ, humbling ourselves on Calvary, basking in His great love that we may take our fill and pour it out to each and every soul that crosses our path.

“However holy or Christ-like a Christian may become, he/she is still in the condition of 'being changed.'" - John R. W. Stott

No comments: