Saturday, August 20, 2016

Upside-Down & Inside-Out

It's Hard to Explain... 


If you have ever tried to explain your faith to a non-believer, you will surely have realized that there are things that make no sense at all to them.

As if the whole concept of Jesus dying for our sins and being raised from the dead is not enough of a stretch -- the underlying principles are even more counter-intuitive.

To name a few..

  • You lose your life to save it. (Matthew 16:25)
  • The least shall become the greatest. (Mark 10:31; Matthew 19:30)
  • To become great, you must be a servant. (Luke 22:26)
And my personal favorite...
  • To become free, you must surrender your will. (Galatians 5:1; 5:13)

It can be confusing.

The values and filters through which we live our Christian lives are the complete opposite of how the world does things and measures success. Often, though, the world's way must be tested first, before the hollowness of earthly acclaim sinks in. Finally, then, God can get a foothold in our hearts that can forever liberate us from the endless striving for the conditional love that the world dishes up in disappointingly large portions.

God is not impressed with our success and achievement -- apart from Him.


God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 
(1 Corinthians 1:27). 

And He did that for our benefit -- not His. The playing field is level in His Kingdom. We get the full measure of Him, in our dependence on Him -- and our individual giftedness (as compared to others) simply doesn't come into play. In fact, it can work against you because it is tempting to mistake the gift for The Giver. (John 15:5)

It really is upside-down and inside-out.

So, consider this: the "foolish" (humble or broken) person who turns his or her life over to the power of God is -- in important ways -- better off than the high-powered (and seemingly super-smart) person who never humbles himself to anyone, and lives and dies apart from God. Trusting God is not intellectual suicide, but it is intellectual humility.

It is ONLY about Love.

Our Father pursues us with His unfailing love in order to gain our love for Him in return. He doesn't want our outward behavior or success to define us. He alone wants to reign in our hearts, grounded in His unconditional love and steeped in His grace and forgiveness. Our faith is not based on what we can do for God, but what He has already done for us because of His great love.

We are inside-out people who live upside-down lives.

We are free from fear and the unquenchable need for approval. Our motivation is LOVE: for God (who loved us first!), and love for each other. And that is the Gospel in a nutshell. (Luke 10:27)

I have a song for everything.


"Inside Out/With Everything" by Hillsong United (Live from Miami - fabulous concert video with explosive ending!)

"Savior" by Steven Curtis-Chapman


  1. Beautifully worded! Amen! Sharon, that was beautifully stated and so true. Amen my sweet friend.

  2. Wonderful message - thanks for sharing, Sharon! Also, the Hillsong was beautiful. See you tomorrow night!


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