The Radical Life

The Radical Life
Sunday, March 24, 2019
K. Scott Viel

Have you ever had one of those moments where you know something is about to fall apart? It’s like it has been cursed. You can almost see it happening before it happens, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Then, just as expected… it happens. 

Like a tree blown over in a storm, all we can do is listen to the sounds of the branches hitting nearby trees or other things as the tree falls to the ground- landing with a massive THUD! 

This once-vibrant thing is now lifeless. This happens more than we realize. 

Sometimes, life is taken from us for one reason or another. If we’re fortunate, we get a chance to clean up the mess and start over.

How many of us have experienced that in our lives? How many of us got a chance to start over? Isn’t it a phenomenally wonderful miracle when that happens! 

We are right now bearing witness to one of God’s greatest miracles, yet so often we take it for granted every time it happens. What is it? 

            LIFE!

It is all around us in the world right now. Things that were dead all winter are beginning to change color and grow! Trees are starting to bud. Flowers are pushing up through the ground. And in some places, where life really wants to happen… where life has decided to get radical… 

A giant tree stump, cut down before its time, has a tiny sapling sprouting out of the center. What is the difference between something that stays dead, and something that dies so new life can begin? One accepts its fate and stays dead. Another decides to get a little radical and fight.  Let’s get radical!

I want to look at three scriptures that talk about the basic differences between dying and staying dead, and radically fighting for life. First, the dead part:

Jeremiah 17:5-6
5 The Lord says, “I will put a curse on people who trust in mere human beings, who depend on mere flesh and blood for their strength, and whose hearts have turned away from the Lord. 6 They will be like a shrub in the desert. They will not experience good things even when they happen. in a salt land where no one can live. It will be as though they were growing in the desert.

Psalm 1:1
1 How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers!

Ephesians 2:1-3
1 In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. 2 You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God. 3 Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else. 

Doesn’t it seem like there’s no hope?

We were destined for death, BUT GOD!

Ephesians 2:4-6 
4-5 But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. 6 God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven.

Psalm 1:2-3
2 Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands; he meditates on His commands day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
7 My blessing is on those people who trust in me, who put their confidence in me. 8 They will be like a tree planted near a stream whose roots spread out toward the water. It has nothing to fear when the heat comes. Its leaves are always green. It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought. It does not stop bearing fruit.

Trees need three things to live: water, sunlight, and nutrients. We, too, need three things to live:

            Water: Holy Spirit

            Sunlight: Jesus Christ

            Nutrients: Father God

Story about the office plant at work

When you actively bring all three of these things in your life, you will have life, and life more abundantly.

How do we get Father God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit more abundant in our lives? You already have the answer:

  1. Obey the Lord’s commands. (Psalm 1:2)
  2. Meditate on the Lord’s commands day and night. (Psalm 1:2)
  3. Trust God. (Jeremiah 17:7)
  4. Put your confidence in Him. (Jeremiah 17:7)

Challenge: Put these four things where you will see them every day this week. When you see them, pick one and ask God to show you how you can get better at it.