Jump Into God’s Love
Experience Transforming Reconciliation through the Freedom of Christ
The African impala has the ability to jump thirteen feet into the air and thirty feet in one direction. Yet this amazing, graceful animal will not jump at all if it cannot first see where his jump will end, and therefore it can be successfully contained within a three-foot wall when in captivity. The inability to live by faith keeps the impala from doing what God created it to do. Are you allowing your spirit to be contained by your inability to live by faith? Efrem Smith’s book, Jump: Into a Life of Further and Higher, encourages believers to jump into the Spirit-filled life of the Beloved. Realizing who they are in Christ enables believers to make a series of jumps that will take them higher and further into an intimate relationship with Christ. Even though we cannot always see the end result of these leaps of faith, in Christ’s strength we can become radical reconcilers for the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth.
The first leap all Christians must make is the leap into Christ’s love. Smith states, “Through this faith jump of believing that He is the Son of God and died on the Cross for me, and rose from the grave, my life is transformed.” Thus begins the life of the beloved self and the understanding that through Christ’s love you have an intimate connection with God. Because God is in the business of using ordinary people to do extraordinary things, as one of His beloved, you can now look forward to a leap of becoming part of the beloved church. There is something powerful about praying for one another, walking with each other in our spiritual growth, and meeting each other’s needs. Through community worship and fellowship, we then become the vehicles God uses to forge the beloved community. God’s people become empowered by the overflow of His love and become able to reconcile the things of the world that separate and divide God’s people. No longer will we be separated by the three-foot walls of legalistic rules and racially divided congregations. We will be able to use our God-given gifts to fulfill God’s great Kingdom purpose for our life, and thus have a transforming effect upon the world around us.
Using examples from his own life-experiences, Smith shares his passion of encouraging believers to look beyond the world’s definition of value and blessing and to use our God-given gifts to express the love that Christ has poured into our own lives. “Peace, justice, truth, love, and transformation really come from God,” states Smith, “yet we are the vessels which God desires to use to bear these Kingdom values out into the world so that lives and communities might be changed.” For instance, God may use you to lead a gang member to Christ or to speak reconciliation into a marriage on the verge of divorce. God can even use you to speak life to someone considering suicide. All of these things become possible as we abide in Christ and understand the reality and depth to which we are reconciled to God through Christ’s sacrificial death and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As we reach out to others, we must be loving, gentle, patient, and, in some cases, very slow. It takes time, too, for others to learn to take the jump of faith and move past the three-foot walls that contain them.
Jump: Into a Life of Further and Higher by Efrem Smith
David C Cook/September 1, 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6457-7/224 pages/trade paperback/$14.99