• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: John Stott, Wisdom Wednesday

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    Another prominent mark of a Radical Disciple is that they are balanced.

    There are many Christians that we might know (perhaps we are one of them!) that are high and low.  They are strong in one area and weak in six other areas.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to be that person.  Instead, I want to have a life that is balanced in my work, social, family, health, education, and spiritual facets to my life.  I want to be a man who is characterized as not only even in temperament, but balanced in my schedule.  Theologian John Stott wrote that the the marks of a well-balanced Christian can be found in one of Peter’s letters:

    Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
    4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
    “See, I lay a stone in Zion,
       a chosen and precious cornerstone,
    and the one who trusts in him
       will never be put to shame.”
    7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
    “The stone the builders rejected
       has become the cornerstone,”
    8 and,
    “A stone that causes people to stumble
       and a rock that makes them fall.”
    They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
    9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
    11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
    13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

    Stott using I Peter 2:1-17 extrapolates that we are called to embody a portrait with six major themes.  We are called

    • As newborn babieswe are called to growth

    • As living stoneswe are called to fellowship

    • As holy priestswe are called to worship

    • As God’s own peoplewe are called to witness

    • As aliens and strangerswe are called to holiness

    • As servants of Godwe are called to citizenship

    These six roles are not separate though, they are strongly connected.  As a follower of Jesus, we are called both to individual discipleship and to corporate fellowship.  We have individual identities and yet are also a part of something bigger than our own particular story.  We are called to both worship and work, praising God and pointing others to him.  We are called to be pilgrims in this world and also to be good citizens in the course of our lives.  

    As a Radical Disciple, we are called to a life that is more than just one dimensional, instead we are called to be a well balanced follower of Jesus.  We are called to follow Jesus in every aspect of our life, truly making him Lord of all.

    Photo: Bruce via Compfight