Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day: Do Something Radical

EDITOR'S NOTE: I had previously encouraged you to read Philippians 3:1-17, but actually, I meant Colossians 3:1-17. Opps! I have always loved April Fool's Day ever since I was a little girl. The opportunity to think of a way to trick someone was something I craved, and I was always seeking to play a prank on any unsuspecting victim, especially my big brother. :) I clearly remember the fake spider prank I tried to pull on him, but alas, it did not succeed. Then I remember all my other failed attempts, and unfortunately I have not tasted victory for many years. But once, I did succeed, come to think of it. It was April Fool's Day several years ago, and Ben, my big brother, was still sleeping when breakfast time was approaching. Suddenly, I knew my chance had arisen! I raced into the boys' room, calling out in a panicked voice, "Ben! Ben! Get up NOW! It's almost noon! I can't believe it! It's time to get up!" (In reality, it was only around 8:30 a.m.) Ben jolted awake and leaped out of bed. (I amazingly was keeping a straight face and playing my part very well.) "What? Oh no!" he exclaimed in a worried tone. Then he looked at his clock, and knew I had got him good. :) This morning, I completely forgot it was April Fool's Day until Ben and Leesha reminded me while getting out breakfast. Immediately I thought, "What should I do? What should I do?", but my mind failed to produce anything (my brain does not work well in the mornings!). But, giving it some thought, I've decided to be on the look-out for something different. Something radical. Today I have resolved to be watching for opportunities, not to embarrass someone by making them feel "dumb", but to encourage them and step out of my comfort zone, doing something radical. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not an ultra chic trying using this term to appear "cool" (my mind automatically forms an image of a hippie-type person making a peace sign and saying, "It's totally radical, dude" - and that is not me!). Nor am I implying to be radical in a negative sense. I grabbed a small Webster's dictionary (not the well-loved 1828, but a 1963 version) and found this quick definition: "favoring extreme change". By encouraging myself and you to do something radical today, I am challenging you to step out of your comfort zone and start living as one who has been through an "extreme change", which you have been if you believe that Jesus Christ "died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins." (Luther's Small Catechism, 1943) Your life has been changed, and now you can live in freedom and point to Christ through your radical change. Consider these beautiful verses from 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconcilation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
Truly, I say to you, if you believe in Jesus Christ as your precious Lord and Savior - live it out! Be radical! Can people tell when they observe you at home, at a friend's house, at church, at Wal-mart, at work, or to borrow at term from the ministry I'm involved with: on stage and off stage? You are presenting the radical message of Jesus Christ through your words and deeds, everyday, being an ambassador for Christ. In real life, this radical change means putting to death the desire to blow up at someone when you are annoyed (Phil. 3:8). This means stifling the wrong thoughts which plague your mind and focusing on godly things (Phil. 4:8). This means forgiving that long-held grudge and showing love (Matthew 6:14-15). This means stepping up to the plate and assisting others in a self-sacrificing way (Romans 12:10-13). This means associating perhaps with someone you generally avoid (Romans 12:18). Do something radical! And don't let it stop today. Be radical everyday. Sometimes it may be in smaller ways, or it may be in larger ways, but someone will always notice: you will! It's different to be a radical, and you know, it feels good to be a godly sense.
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2)
Will you read with me today Colossians 3:1-17? Unfortunately, because of time constraints, I cannot type the entire passage, but I strongly urge you to meditate on these words and take them to heart. Here you will find the radical change clearly laid out (oh, how I am convicted every time I read this chapter!). Pray to the Lord to work this radical change in your life (as I do as well), take hold of His strength, mercy and grace, and live it out in the radical life. Do something radical, this day and always. Happy April "Radical" Day! :-D Lacheln! Taylor


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

yankeegospelgirl said...

You know what? I needed to read this today! Thank you. :)

Miss Taylor said...

*Hey YGG!

Oh, I'm so glad to hear someone needed to read this article! :) I kept praying while writing the blog that the Lord would use it in someway for someone - as is my prayer for everything I write.

Thanks for visiting; good to see you over here! ;) (Sorry for not responding sooner; life can be so busy at times, as you probably know!)


yankeegospelgirl said...

I do know, but not nearly as well as you do! :)