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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Laying it down...

       Patmos...the place where St. John wrote Revelation because he had laid his life down for Christ!

It’s interesting how God works and speaks to us.

Last night I was chatting to a Christian brother, and we talked about how God often repeatedly speaks to us over the years on important topics, yet on deeper levels.

This morning The Lord reminded me, once again, of the importance of putting Him first in my life – a warning to steer clear of idolatry…

Then this afternoon I was researching some high-profile Christian people and their theological worldviews on particular topics, and found my way to a TED interview by Rick Warren.  Now I am NOT going to discuss Rick or any other high profile Christian here in this post because that’s NOT the point I want to make (hence the post’s title)…But I am going to discuss Rick’s talk – so here’s the clip, which IMO is worth watching…

In this clip, Rick Warren discusses his book ‘A Purpose Driven Life’ and the realities which occurred in his and his family’s life, due to the massive income which followed its millions of sales.  Rick discusses the steps he took to avoid idolatry – however I found the end of his talk the most interesting and I wonder if you’ll agree.

Near the end of the talk, Rick tells of how the Moses story (specifically Moses’ commissioning by God) impacted his own stewardship and choices in relation to his finances (this is after discussing Solomon).   Rick specifically mentions how God asked Moses what was in his hand, commanded Moses to lay-it-down and then to pick it back up.  Rick then discusses how Moses’ staff represented Moses’ identity (job), income and influence.   He follows by putting forth the same question to others that is, “What is in your hands that you’ve been given by God?” In a nut-shell, Rick then asserts that we are all made by God for a purpose.

Now yes, we are all made by God in His image, and I agree we have a purpose – but what struck me with this talk was the lack of the Gospel message which had a perfect opening with God commanding Moses to lay-the-staff down…if you’re not following just hang on…

I want to say quickly that I do not want to start a conversation to bad mouth anyone, or that I do not realise Rick is speaking in a non-church venue.  Just to be clear I am NOT concerned with the venue or audience – as surely this should not change an evangelist’s message…Yes???  I am struck with the lack of the ‘Lay-it-down’ part of the message which is missing and is also a perfect intro for the Good News.  I am saddened by this important theological concept being missing…and I want to know…AM I THE ONLY ONE?

It seems to me this message is as follows – you are made in God’s image for His purpose…So look at your talents and let them lead your life.  But where is the need for Jesus in this message?  Where is the need to repent (make a 180deg turn) from your former life of sin and lay-down-your-life to Jesus and follow Him? 

It seems EVERYWHERE I look people are their own god today…and yes, this is idolatry. 

If people don’t have Jesus as number one they just have another substitute…whether it’s money, themselves and their talents, their family or a combination of all or any of the former – and in my opinion the LOVE of self can be found under any title, for example…atheist (I am supreme)…New Age (I am god/creation)…Paganism (I can outwit the system)…

You see, Moses had to obey God and throw his staff down (which is when God showed Moses some of his power by turning the staff into a snake) BEFORE Moses was allowed to pick it back up again!

Jesus said we are to lay down our life and follow Him!  

This is in more than one part of scripture, try Googling it, you’ll find it out if you haven’t heard this before J

God is NOT a genie…He is not some distant being who gives you talents to then go and be successful with…sorry to burst anyone’s bubble!

He is Holy and pure and loves you.  He loves you so much that He did not want sin to separate you from His holiness anymore, and that is why Jesus became a human being and lived a perfect life and died in our place.  You see sin = death.

But God made a way, when there seemed to be no way.  Jesus took our place upon the cross, he died the death we deserve, so that we may REPENT of our sins and be born-again a forgiven, child of God.

And this is why we lay-down our lives daily and follow Christ’s command to tell the world how to be re-united to God through Christ…(Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus).  We obey out of thankfulness, having experienced God’s amazing love and we want this for all people.

We carry the most important message anyone could ever hear…and NO it’s not look at your talents and then run with that!  It is look at the precious life God has given you that is marred by sin, and understand the wonderful free gift He offers you to be forgiven, and be made brand-new through Jesus Christ.  Accept the free gift by repenting of having yourself as god, and lay-down your life to accept a new master, Jesus Christ.

I understand that this is a long and passionate post from me, but I do hope if you’ve been reading my blog for a while that you will understand my heart is always for us to be in true relationship with Jesus Christ – this blog is written from my perspective…but should never assert me…it should always point you to the ONE who SAVES – JESUS!

In love as always, Melanie.


Chanda Griese said...

I can see what you are saying,'s so easy to fall into talking about living a good life without sharing the power of the gospel to save us. Living a good life will not save us from our sins, only Jesus can do that. He died for us, was buried, and rose again so that we could truly live.

Melanie Baker-Nash said...

Amen Chanda Griese - this is the power of God to save!