I wonder whose gospel you’re living by these days?
Long before most of us were introduced to the gospel of Jesus, we were indoctrinated into the “gospel of mom.”  The gospel of mom taught us some valuable lessons.  Many of us not only learned those lessons, we are still living by them today.  Their roots have grown into us so deep that we’ve never outgrown them.
Is it possible that some of the gospel of mom has strangled the life out of the gospel of Christ?  I suspect so, and here are a few side-by-side examples for you to think about:
The Gospel of Mom says: The Gospel of Jesus says:
1. “Finish everything on your plate (remember, there are starving kids in Africa).”
1. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him” (Rom 12: 30)
2. “No, you can’t play with Tommy today…he’s sick and you don’t want to catch what he has.”
2. “I was sick and you looked after me” (Mt. 25:36)
3. “Do not leave our yard.”
3. “Go into all the world” (Mk. 16:15)
4. “Family comes first.”
4. “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Mt. 12:50)
5. “Safety first!”
5. “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves” (Mt. 10:16)
6. “Don’t talk to strangers.”
6. “I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Mt. 25:35)
Obviously, mom offered great advice for kids.  What disturbs me is that we have a lot of 30, 40, 50 and 60 year old kids running around!  And what disturbs me even more are those 30 and up clueless kids who think they can please God without ever risking anything for the cause of Christ…as if God is the celestial Mother, perfectly content that you’re enrolled in an in-depth Bible study group, go to church and make your tithes.
Here’s a news flash:  HE’S NOT!
God expects you to get filthy dirty serving Him.  Cleanliness is NOT next to godliness.  He expects dirt under your fingernails.  Your final “inspection” won’t include whether you scrubbed behind your ears.  He will be looking for “the marks.”  What scars have you accumulated in His service?  What have you sacrificed for His name’s sake? What have you risked?  What have you counted as loss for the joy of serving Him?
On Saturday, May 28th, JMI has a team of 11 who will be going to the Amazon of Brazil to manually dig up, fertilize and plant gardens to feed desperately poor people.  They will also be repairing homes for people who can’t even afford a box of nails and teaching the value of composting to reduce the future expense of fertilization.
It will be incredibly hot.  The team will shower with only river water for a week and sleep in hammocks.  Malaria and dengue fever are ever-present concerns.  But the very idea of providing food and a source of income for entire communities that will be perpetuated for decades to come…is that not worth all we can give?
Mom warned us about “stranger danger.”  The stranger danger Jesus worried about was the peril we place our spiritual lives in by not embracing those very different than us!
More on this topic coming!

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