Jesus Manifesto, by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

I’ve read several books written by both authors.  They were good, informative, uplifting even.  Curiously, this collaborative book touched me in ways neither author has in any of their previous works.  This book truly resonated deeply within my soul.  In fact, as I’ve mentioned to several friends, if I could have written a book, this would have been it.  It really captured the heart of what I, as a preacher, have tried to share. Thankfully I don’t need to write what has now already been so eloquently written.  

The church was designed to be the messenger, the vehicle, through which Jesus – His Life, our true Light – is seen and read and experienced. He is the Head of the church, His ‘body’.  Sadly, the church has been running around for centuries with its ‘Head’ cut off.  However even ‘usefully’ active, a ‘headless’ body is always a ‘dead’ body.  The church has gotten the proverbial cart before the horse.  It has ‘used’ Jesus to promote itself.  Yet, apart from Him it is only a secular institution masquerading as His ‘beloved’.  The church, as the authors wrote, seems to like itself more than it likes Jesus.

So, how do we get our Head screwed on right again?  The authors, in this book, lead the way. First acknowledge the problem as real. Second, let Jesus’ life be the core of who you are – not for merely a slice of your life on Sunday, but 24/7.  Third, this does not mean knowing more about Jesus, but knowing Him personally, inwardly.

Need coaching on how to really make this work?  Get their book.  Read their book.  Share this book in groups.  Ask the Lord to give you the courage to take seriously the high calling we have in Christ. 

Don’t get distracted by pseudo-Christianity.  Genuine Christianity is, and will always be, all about Jesus.  Present your whole existence as a living sacrifice to Him. Let Christ be seen through the uniqueness of who you are.

“He died to take Himself out of heaven and deposit Himself in you.” (p. 170).  Let it be so.

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