We watched the movie Jesus Revolution Sunday evening. I know there have been different opinions on it, but I really enjoyed it. It makes you reexamine yourself as a Christian and what it means to reach out to people who haven’t found Jesus yet.
I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes from the movie, and a few thoughts I had over all as well.
Where is Truth found? Not stirring up the chaos. Truth is found when we slow down and pay attention and really listen. We think we need to be louder than “the other guy”. But when you have a shouting match, no one hears the words being said. We need to stop yelling and just show people who God really is.
Think about the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13. God was in the gentle whisper. God leads us to the quiet, still places. We just have to learn to shut out the loud lies and listen for His voice.
We try to make following God a complicated process, with rules and conditions. 1 Timothy 1:5-6 says, “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussion.” They were missing the point. Just as we often do when we try to overburden, or over-explain, or over-think. 1 John 3:23 tells us, “And this is His commandment: We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” That’s it. It’s that simple. He goes on to say in verse 24, “Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with Him, and He with them. And we know He lives in us because the Spirit He gave us lives in us.” We don’t have massive checklists to mark off to convince God to love us or want to redeem us. The gospel is simple, so that all may be able to understand and obey.
You ever look at someone who needs God, but you don’t want them in “your church” because of how they look, or what they’ve done (or haven’t done) or where they’ve been? We often try to make people change and be make their lives better before coming to Jesus, and then they think they never can because they aren’t “good enough”. When quite the opposite is true. None of us are “good enough”. Encountering Christ and His Spirit are the only things that can really change us. And there is nothing we can do that is so bad He won’t love us and redeem us back to Himself. He made us. He knows we are going to mess up. And He is there waiting with open arms, just like the father in Luke 15:20. Look at people who were sinners or imperfect that He used. Rahab, who was a prostitute but protected the spies in Jericho. David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, but committed adultery and murder. Paul, who started out persecuting the church but became one of it’s biggest frontrunners. Peter, who was one of Jesus’s most faithful, but had weak moments in denying Christ and later denying fellowship with the Gentile believers (Galatians 2:11-13). Mary Magdalene, who was possessed by demons, but became one of Jesus’s most devout followers, and the one who first brought news of His resurrection. The list could go on. It doesn’t matter what kind or how bad our mistakes are – it doesn’t make us failures as people. God still loves us and can use us for His work.
So many treat church like a country club for Christians, when instead it’s more of a hospital for sinners. Another way I heard it said was it’s a transformation station for souls. You aren’t transformed and then become part of the church. You are transformed by God when you decide to become part of His family. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s often not a one-time permanent transformation. It’s a process with baby steps and set backs, but God is always working on us.
What kind of effort are we willing to make to reach the people in our community who are in need of this transformation? What kind of action could we be taking to make Jesus sweep across the country like some of the false propaganda and agendas are today? Or even just through our neighborhood? To open our doors and our arms and our hearts and invite the hurting and lost souls around us to come to know the Christ and receive blessings from the Spirit of God. To teach them the simple Truth. To show them how to find the quiet voice of God in the middle of the chaos the world brings. To help them find the ways God can use them as He does us, in spite of and often through our weaknesses and flaws. One of the definitions Merriam-Webster gives for “revolution” is “a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something.” Maybe we each need to start with a “Jesus revolution” in our own hearts.