Turn To Your Neighbor: Willingness

Turn To Your Neighbor, reimagining evangelism, valuing the thresholds of the journey that lead to a deep encounter with Jesus.

This week, Rosdaly Ramirez shares thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.

Last week Pastor Rich spoke on how we should walk with non believers who are curious about Jesus, and how we should respond to their curiosity. In light of that, this Sunday he further preached on curiosity and the willingness to change.

Curiosity doesn’t always mean willingness to change.  Curiosity for answers doesn’t always mean willingness for change. Willingness goes a step further in that it considers the beauty and horrors of change.
— Pastor Rich

Two key things I loved that Pastor Rich elaborated on were "the horrors of change" and "the beauty of change". If you are a Christian, you've been able to experience both of these.  The reality is that if you were once like me, you had a lot of questions about God, you visited many different churches, spent time with believers yet still those questions you had about Him didn't really mean you wanted to change anything about your lifestyle. In fact, the truth was that I wasn't willing to change because I feared loss and no gain. How could I let go of everything I loved and knew for Jesus? When Jesus asks us to let go of everything and follow Him, that's scary. As believers it’s our responsibility to care for our non believing friends who share the fear that they will lose everything in following Him. The question that most would ask is “ How could I trust that in losing I will gain so much more in Jesus?” This is a question I ask God everyday and everyday I'm asked to lay down something and follow Him. Everyday that decision takes letting go of fear and moving forward in faith.

In Luke 18: 19 - 30 we see a young rich ruler asking Jesus what must he do to inherit eternal life, and Jesus responds "give all that you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and then come follow me" when Jesus said those words the scriptures tell us that the ruler became sad. That sadness is so real. It is the sadness that our non believers face and it is what we once faced also.  Asking them to give up what is most “ valuable” to them for Jesus sounds crazy to them, but our desire is that they would just get it so that they could experience the gain of that loss.

The beauty of losing is that you not only inherit eternal life, you gain Jesus - His grace, love, mercy, sacrifice, justice, and forgiveness.

The challenge is that we would offer those who are willing; hope, comfort, and support. And to those who remain curious, that we would continue to be patient with them and be hopeful that they too would be willing to lay down all they have and follow jesus. The beauty of losing in this case is that you not only inherit eternal life, you gain Jesus - His grace, love, mercy, sacrifice, justice, and forgiveness. All of Him.