Radical Intimacy

What is the key to a vibrant, dynamic Christian faith?

What is the key to experiencing enthusiasm, expectancy, and excitement when coming together on a Sunday?

What is the key to an exciting and dynamic assembly (worship service) each and every time we gather to honour Jesus as our Lord and Saviour?

What is the key to winning the lost?

What is the key to seeing nations changed and the world transformed?

The answer is found in the Bible
The answer is always the same
The answer is really very simple

The key is to answer the call on every believer’s life to:

Love God powerfully, deeply, intensely, constantly – regardless
Love ourselves because God is extremely in love with us
Love our neighbours (friends, family, fellow-workers) the same way

The key never changes
The plan never changes
The strategy always remains the same

The key to a vibrant, exciting and productive Christian life is RADICAL LOVE

Matthew 22:37-40 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all of the Law and the Prophets.”

The Message Version:
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Not new – was the command of God to His people in the Old Testament
Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18

Jesus is saying:

If you wanted to summarize the whole of the Old Testament – The Law (first 5 books) and the Prophets (24 books plus parts of others)

Simple: Radical Love
Love God – Love yourself – Love your neighbour

Do this and you fulfill and complete every command in the Old Testament (39 books of the Bible) and the basics of the lifestyle asked for in the New Testament

Simple: A powerful God-love working in our lives
Love God – Love yourself – Love your neighbour

Someone once asked Jesus who his neighbour was (Luke 10:29) and Jesus responded – every other person on the face of the planet Earth

That is radical … the believers in Syria
That is radical … the Muslim terrorists in France and Belgium
That is radical … The KGB in Kazakhstan who jail Christian leaders
That is radical … Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama and Justin Beaver
That is radical … the person who offended you and gossiped about you

In painting the big picture of who God is – John, the apostle of love, wrote:

“God is love” 1 John 4:16

So, as we love people we are revealing God to them

We are showing them God’s love and not our human love

And when we do love others – we bear fruit, much fruit, eternal fruit as Jesus told us we must as His followers (John 15:1-17)

I know we will bear fruit because “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

So, THE KEY: Radical Love

However, here’s the kick:

This kind of radical love that bears fruit only flows from a place of RADICAL INTIMACY

What is the key to a vibrant, dynamic Christian faith? – RADICAL INTIMACY

What is the key to experiencing enthusiasm and excitement when coming together on a Sunday? – RADICAL INTIMACY

What is the key to winning the lost? – RADICAL INTIMACY

What is the key to seeing nations changed and the world transformed? – RADICAL INTIMACY

RADICAL INTIMACY …Loving God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength

When you were born into this world:
You were born a part of Adam’s race – the human race
You were born into Adam’s sin and soon had sins of your own
You were born spiritually separated from God and unable to see Him, know Him, touch Him, communicate with Him.
As you committed sins of your own – you reinforced this separation
You walked in the flesh and did what you thought was right following the ways of the world making yourself a greater enemy of God (Romans 8:7 and James 4:4)

Although born into the physical world (alive physically) – you needed to be born again and come alive spiritually…

You were created in God’s image – and He is spirit (John 4:24)

You are a spirit creature with a soul (mind, will, emotions) and a body

Everyone born physically into the world needs to then be reborn (born again) so that their spirit comes alive and can touch, hear, and see God who is Spirit

And then they are able to respond to God’s love found only in Jesus and love Him, love themselves, and love their neighbours as they love themselves

To be born again:

1> Recognize in your heart that your sin separates you from God now and forever – after you die in your sins you go to Hell and are separated from God and His love forever and ever and ever and ever (Isaiah 59:1-2

2> Recognize (know – believe – trust) that Jesus is God born as a man and that He died as a perfect man – died for your sins

Died and descended into Hell so that you would never have to (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

3> Sense (know, feel) conviction – knowing that you have offended God who is holy and are in deep, eternal trouble

This leads to experiencing godly sorrow and repentance (a change of mind and thus life style (2 Corinthians 7:8-10; Proverbs 23:7)
4> You pray and ask God to forgive you of all your sins (confession) because you know deep in your heart that Jesus has paid the penalty for your sins – receive that forgiveness and make Jesus Lord and Saviour (1 John 1:9)

You are now born again – your spirit person is now in touch with God who is Spirit and you can see, hear, and touch Him all the time, everywhere (John 3: 3-7)

You now have a relationship with the living God – the Creator of the entire universe (Romans 6:23b; John 17:3)

How intimate that relationship becomes is entirely up to you

However, we are called to:

Love God powerfully, deeply, passionately, and intensely

So that we can then:
Love ourselves and our then our neighbours (friends, family, fellow-workers) the same way – powerfully, deeply, intensely

RADICAL INTIMACY with God leads to us living with RADICAL LOVE for others and leads us into becoming effective soul winners and labourers in the End-times harvest fields that are now ready

Let’s look at these two things necessary for us to be changed as disciples and for us to change the world…

RADICAL LOVE and RADICAL INTIMACY

POINT ONE: RADICAL INTIMACY

Radical intimacy is when we are passionately in love with Jesus
So much in love that we experience total abandonment
We can be totally open towards Him and totally available to Him

This comes from – is a result of – loving God our Heavenly Father with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (energy, life-force) Matthew 22:37-38

This RADICAL INTIMACY is available to every believer and disciple today

This RADICAL INTIMACY is rooted in and arises out, I believe, four factors that should be seen in the life of every disciple:

1> RADICAL INTIMACY is rooted in the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

We can come to know Him because we have a relationship with Him (we are born again) – John 17:3

We can have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)
We can know the heart of God (Matthew 5:8)
We can know His feelings, His focus, His plans, His purpose

You determine how close to His heart you want to be

Old saying” “If you feel far from God, guess who moved?”

He has given us His Bible so we can know Him – the Author
He sent His Son Jesus who came to reveal the Father to us
He has given us immediate access to His presence (Hebrews 10:19-22) through the cross and what Jesus accomplished for us

2> RADICAL INTIMACY is rooted in GRATITUDE (Ephesians 5:20)

Gratitude for forgiveness – total forgiveness
Gratitude for God’s daily blessings and protection
Gratitude for the Cross and the love expressed on the Cross

3> RADICAL INTIMACY is rooted in the FEAR OF GOD (Colossians 3:22)

Fear as in “fear” as He is God and demands justice and punishes sin
Fear as in “reverence” (tremendous respect) as He is God
Reverence – stand in awe of
Reverence – treat with deep respect
He is God and not just or even “your best friend”
Fear as in “honour” Him for who He is
Honour – Respect Him
Honour – Esteem Him
Honour – Admire Him

4> RADICAL INTIMACY is rooted in SURRENDER to God (Romans 12:1)

Because He loves us unconditionally
Because He accepts us just as we are
Because He forgives us everything each and every time

He is safe and we can totally surrender to Him
Surrender – yield, abandon oneself entirely

To have RADICAL INTIMACY with God we need some basics in our lives:
1> Knowledge of God
2> Gratitude towards God
3> Fear of God
4> Surrender to God

RADICAL INTIMACY means we have placed Him at the very center of our personal life
He is at the very core of who we are
He is what we are all about
He is foundational to how we live
He is the focus of our life

Out of this RADICAL INTIMACY arises a lifestyle that exhibits RADICAL LOVE
Remember – the only reason we can love God and thus love others is that He first loved us

1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”

And the only way to have RADICAL LOVE (His love) for people is to have RADICAL INTIMACY with God
POINT TWO: RADICAL LOVE:

Means loving (unconditionally)
Means accepting (as is – without demanding change first)
Means forgiving (totally)

You have experienced this RADICAL LOVE when you were born again
Jesus loved you
Jesus accepted you just as you were
Jesus forgave you absolutely everything

The Bible states: “Freely you have been given – freely give” (Matthew 10:8)

And you can only do so if you are experiencing RADICAL INTIMACY and walking in RADICAL LOVE

What does RADICAL LOVE look like?

Remember the old saying: Stop, Look, Listen
It means stopping daily for the one in front of you
It means looking in his or her eyes (really looking)
It means listening to their heartbeat (really listening)

Every day – everywhere you go – stop, look, listen
Stop for the one
Look into their soul (eyes are the window)
Listen to their heart

If we do not see and hear “the one” we will never lead anyone to the Lord

People will not even recognize that we are believers – disciples

The Bible states: “By this will all men know that you are My disciples – that you love one another… (John 13:34)

They will not even see that love you say you have if you don’t stop, look, listen

RADICAL LOVE sees and hears the one
Sees and hears the heart of the person – the real person deep inside

RADICAL LOVE means looking into their lives and hearing their heart and seeing Jesus looking back at you

“If you do it to the least of one of these – you have done it unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

As we stop – look – listen we will be showing them love – His love – RADICAL LOVE – and thus earn the person’s trust and respect

The right to be heard

Then you can speak the “message of Love” to that person because you have earned the right to do so… You have loved them – RADICALLY loved them

Once you have earned their respect and trust by stopping, looking, listening…

Once you have seen and heard their heart
And they have come to know your heart – a heart of love
You can share with them God’s heart (for them)

POINT THREE: RADICAL ACTION

God is calling His people
God is changing the hearts of his people
God is challenging His disciples
To buy into His cause

He is raising up a generation of those who are passionate about Him and His cause
He in looking for those who are developing a RADICAL INTIMACY
He is seeking those who are walking in RADICAL LOVE

He is looking for those who are sold out to Him and His cause
He came “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10)
He wants those willing to “go into all the world” (Matthew 28:18-19)

He is looking for those willing to
Love God with their whole heart, soul, mind and all of their strength
Love themselves because they have experienced God’s love for them
Love their neighbours as they love themselves

He wants His people to rise up and take hold of:
The Greatest Commandment – Love God
The Great Commandment – Love yourself and your neighbours
The Great Commission – Go into al the world and make disciples

He is raising up a NEW BREED OF LOVERS

So in love – passionate and intimate – who will walk with Him and finish what He came to do – seeking and saving the lost

He is looking for those who are “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17)

He is looking for those who are growing and overflowing in His love

1 Thessalonians 3:12 “May the Lord make your love to grow and overflow and splash out on each other and on everyone.”

He is looking for those who have a RADICAL LOVE and are so loving that that will run into spiritually dark places without fear to seek and save the lost

A new breed of lovers

Those who live only to pursue a passionate love affair with Jesus

People who are so full of His love – and the presence and power of God – that no matter what they are asked to do – they will say “absolutely – yes! Of course.”

Those who have no “no” left in them
Who told God that because they love Him the answer will always be “yes” regardless of the question
APPLICATION:

God is already at work in you to bring you to the place you will need to be to share RADICAL INTIMACY

He wants you to be part of His life, His family, His Kingdom and what He is doing today

He really wants each and everyone of you to be a part of what He is doing

God has already demonstrated this RADICAL LOVE He wants you to have – In love He sent His Son

He is working right now in your heart, your mind, your life … Drawing you into His plan and His purpose

He is desiring for you to reach the place when you are walking in RADICAL LOVE for all those who do not know Him that you will say “yes” because there is no “no” left in you

And, “that which He has begun He will bring to completion” (Philippians 1:6)

PRAYER:

Be stripped of the complications and concerns that distract

Would yield to His immeasurable, ceaseless, bottomless love

Filled to overflowing with passion for Him

Overflowing with compassion and love for others – flowing our / pouring out on all that you meet

 

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