Week 2 of my little blog series. This episode feels a little more serious, but stick with it. Next week I'm going to give you a glimpse into my journal which should be fun if you like a nose.
Episode 3 one out next Friday.Show transcription
Well hello and welcome to another exciting addition of my video blog, this is episode 2 which I’ve called something like... diving in the deep end. Last week I introduced a couple of mysteries, the fairly stupid thing that is collecting fluffy in your belly button area, and also the fact that God has asked us to do something and we are going to do it, we are going to move to Exeter and plant a church.
And I guess there are little things God might ask and big things, and on the scale of things that he might ask, moving away from a place we love feels like at the bigger end of things, not life or death I hope, but fairly significant. It’s high risk, we are giving up a fair few things to go and do it, so what is that about? Why is God important enough to us, that we might consider doing that?
I’ve been trying to work out what the best starting point to that might be? It’s a big question so I’m going to use the next few weeks to try and tell some stories and explain it a bit. So I thought I’d dive straight into the deep end, hence the title and start by explaining a bit about my encounter that I’ve had.
So I feel like I’ve had an encounter, an encounter with Jesus and you all would of heard of Jesus I’m sure. But we all carry different views, don’t we, on who he was.
And he once told a story once when he was trying to explain a bit about the Kingdom of God and what is was like, and by that let’s assume he meant, what was it like to be part of His gang, be a follower of Jesus.
And so His story goes something like this...
He said that the kingdom of God is a bit like like treasure hidden in a field. And a man stumbles across this treasure and in his joy goes and sells everything he has so he can buy the field and have that treasure. He said it’s also a bit like a merchant (we don’t really have merchants and more, but, maybe they do exist, anyway a merchant) someone looking for fine pearls. And he discovers this one incredible pearl, so he goes and sells all his other pearls so that he might have this one pearl.
And I really like that story, I think it captures something of my experience. And that is, what I feel I’ve discovered, to me, feels like a treasure. I say that because of the impact it has had on my life, over the last 20 plus years. And so, what do I mean when I say I’ve discovered something?
I guess I mean I’ve discovered that Jesus was more than just a man, that he was the son of God. And by discovering Jesus and following Him, and having a relationship with Him, I’ve discovered God, the creator of the universe. If God is real, if there is a being that has created everything, that has created me, then discovering Him would be pretty incredible, it might be like a treasure.
Now I love the UK, I love England and it’s probably one of the most culturally diverse places in the world actually, and despite the odd tension here or there, it’s a very respectful, tolerant place. It’s a massive melting pot of different beliefs and world views, and cultures and religions, etc. etc. And so, my assumption would be that I’m not going to get a barrage of abuse, or posts saying how dare you say you believe in God. I’m not going to get stoned to death, I would imagine, which is lovely. People are very happy for me to believe in God. And even those that know me, that don’t believe in God would probably hold the view that, Rich, if you’ve discovered God, and that helps you in your life than that is great, we feel really happy for you. But you live your life and I’ll live mine.
But to me, it starts to feel a little uncomfortable if I suggest to other people that there is a God, or that they could encounter God, that some of the stuff I believe they should believe as well. Our culture is very much, you believe what you want and don’t impose anything else on anyone else, obviously I don’t want to impose anything on anyone else. Except that, I do want to communicate something about this discovery. And the reason is linked with this story Jesus told.
What I feel as though I’ve discovered is a treasure. He described it as this amazing treasure that someone might stumble across, and although the cost is high, you have to go and sell everything. The story Jesus tells is about a man going in his joy to sell everything because the treasure is worth so much.
And that, genuinely that has been my experience, that although the cost is high, we’ll have to leave friends and family, in the pursuit of Jesus because that’s where I think he wants us to be. It’s worth it because it has transformed my life and it doesn’t mean my life has been easy, it hasn’t, although I have lived a very privileged life, I’ve not had too many disasters, I’m sure there are some to come. But the life I get to live with Jesus, and with God as part of that, the fulfillment, the love I experience, the way that’s impacted my family has been amazing. And if God is real, if this is real, if this discovery that I feel I’ve made is genuine, then surely, those people that I love and care about, I would want them to make that discovery too because it’s available to anyone and everyone.
And so, however uncomfortable maybe it might feel to suggest to other people maybe, what do you believe? And have that conversation, I think it’s worth making the ask, because of what you might discover.
So that is the end of episode 2, stick with it, I challenge you to stick with it, even if you don’t agree with what I’m saying I think it could be a really helpful way of working out what you believe, so come and grab a coffee. Lets chat about it, if that would interest you. Next week I’m going to reveal some very exciting extracts from my very personal journals so that should be interesting. So I’ll see you next week.