In  HOPE

  In HOPE 8.6 

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David Timms  

A Lenten Story

This past, one woman in our e-community shared that for Lent she decided to pray specifically for her husband each day, for the spiritual, family, and work areas of his life. Through that discipline, she has discovered more and more how much God loves her and through that how much she loves her husband.  She writes, "Although I won't ever grasp the magnitude of God's love it has become more real to me and my love for Him has blossomed as well as my heart of gratitude."

Half-a-Lent

Perhaps the idea of a Lenten fast or discipline has intrigued you but you felt like you missed the boat. You're an all-or-nothing kind of person. Well, how about practising a "half Lent" this year ... which means starting now. We are three weeks into Lent and have another three weeks to go. You can experience three weeks of a new discipline (or fast) that helps you lean into the Lord more intentionally.

 Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

 

"To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing." ~ Raymond Williams


Radical Christianity

Conferences and seminars routinely challenge young people to do something radical for Christ. That might mean prayer-walking the cities of South America, rescuing refugees in Africa, or joining inner-city communes or monastic orders to reach the homeless and the hurting.

 

This defines radical Christianity, we're told. The most radical people are those who do the wildest, most unexpected, and most dangerous things.

 

I would not want to diminish these honorable pursuits for a moment. But truly radical Christianity is not defined by geographical locations or external circumstances. Radical Christianity is the complete and utter surrender of our own will to the will of God. Nothing is more radical, extreme ... or rare.

 

Our emerging Western preoccupation with cowboy Christianity needs to be reined in for a moment. Ironically, the pursuit of world-change can be self-serving and self-honoring. In some instances, as wowed audiences applaud our stories of sacrifice, danger, and adventure (for Christ), we plan the next foray much the way that an addict plans his next fix. Spiritual heroism may feed our own need for significance more than reflect lives humbly offered to Christ and lived out of the intense security we have in Him.

 

What constitutes radical Christianity? The genuinely, constantly, and deeply yielded heart.

 

The college student who volunteers at the local nursing home; the teenager who tutors the struggling middle schooler; the mom who serves as a spiritual friend to many who call her; the man who funds mission trips for others. Each of these can express more radical Christianity than many of the glory stories that hit the Christian platforms and publications.

 

The issue is not what is done, but what motivates it. The most extreme acts of service become ordinary in God's sight when they emerge from a self-honoring heart. Conversely, our unnoticed deeds become radical when they reflect deep, selfless obedience to Christ.

 

The word radical originally referred to "that which comes from the roots." We measure it, therefore, not by one's actions, but by one's motives.

 

We model truly radical Christianity when we move beyond the flashy exteriority of our faith and pursue complete yieldedness of the heart.

 

We might prophesy, cast out demons or even perform many miracles in His name but such things do little to impress the Lord. Instead, the gates of heaven swing open for those "who do the will of My Father who is in heaven." (Matt 7.21-22)

 

May each of us grow a little more radical this week-with lives fully surrendered to His leading.

 

In HOPE -

 

David

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2007) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.