21Feb

Will You Be a ‘More Than’ Christian?

Steve Berger, Grace Chapel, Sermon on the Mount, Forgiveness, Mercy, love your enemies“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?” ~ Matthew 5:46-47, NKJV

by Toni Birdsong
Transformation is rough. In fact, it’s one of the most gut-wrenching, albeit exhilarating, spiritual overhauls you can experience as a Christian. The whole “death to self” thing can get pretty dicey especially when it’s . . . perpetual.

So what do you do when God’s Truth collides head-on with your personal traditions, political or social leanings, prejudices (those things you call convictions), or  your customized value system?

If you are a Pharisee your face turns a pulsating shade of rage, you criticize, make excuses, resist, rationalize, and even call for the death of the audacious messenger who would speak such contrary “truth.”

But Jesus never waivered in the midst of man’s legalistic temper tantrums. Instead, He stood on a hillside and simply laid it out.

In the Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew 5:43-48) Jesus calls us not to hate but to love our enemies; not to just love but to go farthter and even pray for them. He’s calling His followers to do more than what’s common or expected in this world.

To do more than means we bless our enemies and to even go so far as to speak words of kindness and mercy over them, their families, their needs, their businesses. To do more than means that we relinquish our “rights.” More than means we allow a higher love to tame every furious molecule of flesh that aches to retaliate.

Maybe your internal dialogue sounds like this:

You: Seriously Jesus? There’s no way. You want me to love them . . . after that @#$% did that to me? Seriously?

Jesus: Yes, that’s right. Anyone can love people who love them. I’m asking you to do more than hit softballs in your short time on this earth. I’m asking you to die to being just ‘anyone’ and be reborn for My Kingdom. I’m calling you to be and do more than.

God’s loving kindness is what made His message sticky then and is the very thing that still moves men, women, and children to repentance every day. Perhaps this day.

The Message puts Romans 2:4 like this:
In kindness he [God] takes us firmly by the hand and leads
us into a radical life-change.

Being a more than Christian causes the world to stop and take notice—of God’s point of view; of His heart. Being more than acutely changes you for this earth and readies you for Heaven. More than means believing that God truly is BIG enough to bring your small act of mercy full circle and lead someone else—even your enemy—straight into the arms of eternity.

This post was inspired by pastor Steve Berger’s Feb. 20 sermon at Grace Chapel. If you want to be a More Than Christian, we recommend you to tune in and listen to Pastor Steve’s sermon. Prepare to be marvelously miffed.

What action can you take today that will move you toward being a More Than Christian?

Post/Tweet this today:
God is calling you out of the crowd and asking you to follow Him. Closer. #LiveSticky

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  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    I believe the most supernatural act we can perform as Christians is to love and forgive our enemy. There’s absolutely no way we could EVER do that in our own strength.

  • Anonymous

    Amen to that brother. Supernatural = key.

  • Tami Heim

    Amen Tony. If we fully understood the power and strength He makes available for us-we would never want to do anything ever again-on our own.

  • http://twitter.com/GordonMarcy Gordon Marcy

    More than Christians, “in all these things are more than conquerors.” That doesn’t just apply to taking more territory for God, or the grand battles we engage in for the gospel. It also means through the transforming power of the Spirit we are able to love the totally unloveable. Like I was when Christ found me.

  • Tami Heim

    …and like when He found me!

  • Tami Heim

    …and like when He found me!

  • Anonymous

    “In kindness he [God] takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” He does this because we are incapable of this radical life-change on our own.
    I’m thankful for His firm yet gentle love.
    And yes, I want to be “more than.”
    Thanks for this great post. I’m looking forward to being marvelously miffed by Pastor Berger’s message.

  • Anonymous

    I love the word radical, Melinda, don’t you??? I could eat for three squares a day. Lord, make me radical . . . for all the right reasons.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking that “more than” is definitely radical. Three R’s=Radical for the Right Reason.
    I’m totally down with that. Radical is defined as “departing markedly from the usual or customary. Jesus was the most “radical Rabbi” of all times. I want to be like HIM!

  • Anonymous

    OK – you just sparked a furute blog post: Three Rs. Where two or more are gathered, the Holy Spirit kicks right on in. We can count on Him for the best ideas! LOVE IT! Thanks for showing up Melinda — it matters! Yes, He was THE most radical rabbi!

  • http://dontlickthelightbulb.tumblr.com Kim

    What an incredible article! Great read!!!!!!

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks Kim – glad you are here and appreciate your encouragement!

  • Teasi Cannon

    This is so right…and so important. In fact, I would say that it’s impossible for us to be effective Christians if we can’t love our enemies…the Bible says we will be known by our love. So, if we’re not showing love, what does that say about us? Loving our enemies – and even those who only “bug” us – is the perfect opportunity to walk in humility. And that makes God smile.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a great thought: a nice, slow smile flooding across God’s face when He sees us LOVE our enemies. I think that’s worth every bit of awkwardness and pain. Thanks, Teasi!

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    We can do more than because He is greater than.