If I kept telling you I believe in Chicken Little, than you have ever right to assume I also believe that the sky is falling.
Christians say it all the time "they believe in Jesus". In fact the most over-quoted verse in the Bible is John 3:16 talking about if you believe in Jesus you will not perish. Well what is belief? The Demons believed in Jesus, the Pharisees believed Jesus existed in fact they saw his death, I am sure that some even believed in His resurrection because they seemed to go out of their way to hide it. So they believe in all the things that the church is telling me to believe, but how come we don't consider them 'saved'?
Apparently over half of America believes in Jesus. It seems as if the belief in Jesus isn't the answer because of the lack of Joy in America. On my trip to Africa, the people that claimed a belief in Jesus really seemed to have a real Joy in their lives. I have been really trying to figure out what it means to believe in Jesus. I think believing in Jesus is way beyond changing the music you listen to.
So I read one of my favorite sections of the Bible again, and just like all truth, when you hear it again you can learn something totally new from it:
Matthew 25:31-46. I will sum it up but I suggest you read it for yourself.
Jesus will soon separate the 'goats' from the 'sheep'. He will say, "everyone on this side come with me and inherit the kingdom prepared for you, for I was naked and you clothed me, I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me and I was in prison and you came unto me". The people on the right of said "when did we see you like that, when did we do those things for you?" and Jesus replied, "whatever you did unto the least of these you do unto me". Then he says to the people on the left, "depart from me I never knew you, for you did not do these things unto me" and those people replied, "we never saw you sick, hungry, in prison, thirsty and naked" and Jesus said, "whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me".
I think there are a lot of things that Jesus says that I am not entirely sure what he meant by them when he said them, I am not sure why I haven't been able to curse fig trees and they wither [mark 11:20-22], I haven't personally moved a mountain [Matt 17:20], and even the disciples didn't know what he meant when Jesus said he would destroy the temple and raise it up in 3 days [Matt 26:31]. But there is something that Jesus made the most straight-forward in His entire Gospel, something that makes the most sense and is so much in plain english that we have no excuse if we disobey it:
Love God with all your heart, soul and mind [Love God with everything you've got]
Love People as yourself [Look not unto your own interests but the interests of others]
Maybe I am a little strict, maybe I take things too seriously. If someone says to me, "You are welcome in my house if you wear a red sweater" and I came without a red sweater I think it is fair to say that I didn't believe him when he said that. But if I wore a red sweater, it is logical to assume that I must have believed him.
One time I went to a CD factory that prints millions of CD's a year, when we were driving up and saw the 300 yard long building, I said in awe, "there must be at least six-hundred CD's in there!". I said it for the joke, but really in the end, I was right, saying "at least" means "it's over six-hundred". Saying Bill Gates owns at least twenty bucks is true, he owns more than twenty bucks.
Jesus said, "whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me". Which means there is no human being too low that we shouldn't love. If Jesus said, "whatever you do unto the friendly people you do unto me" then that leaves it up to our interpretation, because it only applies to the people we consider friendly. If Jesus said, "whatever you do unto the shortest of these, you do unto me" then that means you cannot find someone too short to love, because if you think you found the shortest person ever, then you would have to love them.
We will most certainly mess up and fail from time to time, but if we Love God with everything we've got, He will show us how to love. But we have no excuse to not try.
I am not entirely sure how we can wear a "Jesus is my homeboy" shirt and not recognize Him sitting at the street corner asking for a meal, in prison needing a pen-pal, on a journey needing a place to stay while we are using our extra room for storage or a computer room, or to see him cold and having our extra coat sit upstairs.
If we believe Jesus, then we should be taking Matt 25 more seriously, because He seems to take love pretty seriously. Orphanages, prisons, hospitals and homeless shelters should be over-crowded with people that say they are following Jesus.
Saying we "believe in Jesus" should be synonymous with "I take Jesus very seriously when He tells me to love". He is saying the sky is falling, and we say we believe Him but seem to not look up.