Matters of Faith: Radical Living

Rev. J_Loren RussellRADICAL LIVING!

by Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Acts: 16:25-34 (NKJV)
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

Living a life truly devoted to serving the Lord, a life not determined or prompted by your personal status, your wealth or your poverty, your influence or your anonymity, your circumstance or your situation, but a life truly devoted to serving God is a life committed to living radically. This is the life I invite you to live.
In order to get a comprehensive picture of what it means to live a radical life, I invite you to read the entire text found in Acts 16:16-34. There you will find a woman who headed up a church in a very male-dominated society who was successful in getting her entire family baptized. You will find the story of a young girl who was demon possessed and had that demon exorcised from her to the dismay and displeasure of her masters that led to the incarceration of both Paul and Silas. There you will find that these two men were not only thrown into jail, but were beaten unmercifully until the blood just dripped from their wounds. You will find the details of them being placed in the deepest and the darkest part of the dungeon and chained to rough, rugged and splintered wooden stocks. You will find in those verses that radical living brings hardship.
So, the question arises, “why would I encourage you to live a radical life if it comes with such serious hardship? I encourage it because there is an examples of two men who chose to live radically and did not let adversity stop them. I encourage it because radical living makes followers into leaders. I encourage it because men, women and prisoners are cut loose and set free from their chains. I encourage it because the earth quakes and prison doors open. I encourage it because radical living transforms suicidal people into benefactors. I encourage it because in the midst of hardships, you will find that radical living brings incredible blessings. I encourage it because radical living makes others want more; more prayer, more songs, more love, more life, more Jesus!
Paul and Silas had not spoken a word about the Lord. It was only when the jailer threatened to kill himself that they said, “Do yourself no harm. We are all here!” When the jailer cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” that’s when they began to preach; “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” There it is!
Radical living changes you and it will change others who come into your presence! It changed Paul and Silas. It changed the household of Lydia. It changed the demon possessed girl. It changed the prisoners. It changed the jailer, and it changed the jailer’s household. Radical living brings incredible blessings.
Just one more thing, radical living is always by choice, never by chance! Choose to live radically and watch as you and the world change.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Please be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook.

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