Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who Stands Fast?

"Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God—the responsible man, who tried to make his whole life an answer to the call of God."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Christian theologian, pastor and martyr of the Nazi regime)

What, at the heart of it all, is my final standard, really?

Not reason
Not principles
Not even conscience
Not freedom
Or even virtue.

But just an obedient faith that does not compartmentalize Christ, but makes Him the absolute Kyrios, the Lord of all your life - even unto death. The way of Jesus is the way of the Cross. How many of us shepherds preach, first and foremost, this - the way of the Cross - to our sheep? To follow Christ first and foremost. To love God and love people. To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

Or do we preach success? leadership? character? relationships? wisdom? miracles? signs and wonders? theology? riches? poverty? service?

All these are good and important... but let's set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts first and foremost. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."

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