After living in relative obscurity for 30 years, Jesus is baptized and goes out into the desert to be tempted for 40 days. He emerges victorious and gathers some followers and begins to heal people and call them to change their ways. When the large crowds gather, Jesus steps up on the side on a hill and preaches the most important sermon of all time.
He starts by explaining that people who seem like things aren't going well for some people, they are actually blessed people and their reward is coming. And then he starts to explain that the conventional wisdom is wrong. He goes through a number of subjects.
· Murder—Jesus says that just not murdering people is really setting the bar pretty low (obviously), living with unforgiveness is just as toxic.
· Adultery—Jesus says that not committing adultery isn't enough, you need to not want to. Your intention is as important as your actions.
· Revenge—Jesus says that revenge is not a healthy reaction to being wronged. He says when you are treated unjustly, don't react. Let your actions be the opposite of what is expected in the situation.
· Life with enemies—Jesus doesn't ignore the fact that there are people who have set themselves up as your enemies, he says that you need to love your enemies and pray for those who bully you mercilessly.
· Giving—Jesus says that many people give money to help others, but they do it to get a good name. He says you should worry about what God thinks of you, not other people.
· Prayer—Jesus says that most people prayer for others to hear them. He says that your conversation with God should be to move heaven, not so that other people can see how spiritual you are.
What's the point of all of this? What ties it all together? Is this just a laundry list of things that have always borrowed Jesus?
No, there is a thread throughout Jesus' most famous sermon—don't do what they expect you to do. Don't react to everything. Don't be average.
Jesus is saying, "The average person holds a grudge when wronged. The average person is a slave to their sexual impulses. The average person strikes back when struck. The average person hates their bullies—don't be average. Rise above it all and show people what life in the grip of God is really about."
Really, that's the message of the Kingdom. The grace offered to us by the Savior changes how we see the world, how we interact with others and how we think. It changes the way we pray, the way we live, the way we tell our story, the way we serve others and how we give our lives away to the world around us.
As a campus missionary, you need to be better than average. Be different. You'll never change the world around you if you are just part of the system. Really Jesus says it better than anyone ever has since He first spoke the words.
"If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matt%205&version=NLT#fen-NLT-23258t how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" Mathew 5: 46-48.
Pray. Live. Tell. Serve. Give.
As a Campus Missionary, pray for world missionaries. Pray for a country and a missionary each week this month. You can also go one step further and e-mail the missionary and let them know you're praying for them!
Hungary David and Karmi Buckley firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamaica Steve and Kim Puffpaff email@example.com
Kiribati Diane Laws firstname.lastname@example.org
Kosovo Steve and Lisa Frey email@example.com
“I can't tell you enough how many opportunities god has been giving me to minister to my school in the past few months. More than ever, people are asking me what I believe and why I believe it. But to me it's a life, not just a belief. This month, I was elected freshman president at the high school. I can't even begin to think about all of the opportunities god is going to give me in that. Looking at our plans for this summer I keep seeing things that god is setting me up for it seems.” –Nathan, OR
Update your Campus Missionary experience from this past month at campusmissions.com Click on CM Check-In.
Ever wonder how to effectively share your faith with someone who has a totally different beliefs or worldview? What would you do if one of your friends is a Deist? A Deist believes in a God but that He’s not a knowable or personal God. How can you reach out to a Deist? Check out this helpful page from our friends at Dare2Share How to Share Your Faith with Bailey the Deist
Read Past Issues of G5 at http://www.yausa.com/g5
Until next month, keep building other students' hope in Christ one life at a time!
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