Heath Hollensbe

Jesus Follower | Neighbor Lover | Blogger

This is the official website of Heath Hollensbe. Heath is a Seattle based follower of Jesus who is learning to love his neighbor as much as he loves himself. And here's where he blogs about it.  

God's Love = Grounded On Nothing

But you haven’t seen the half of it yet, for in the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out.
— John 5:20-23

If I am being honest, I have a love/hate relationship with this verse. In fact, I am not even sure that I want it to be true. Because if it is true, then there is a whole lot of grace and acceptance shown to those that I don't feel deserve that sort of grace, patience, love and acceptance. 

In many regards, I have the older brother mentality from the Prodigal Son Parable. For so long, I have done almost everything right. I should be the one who has a growing career, I should be making more money, I should have the nice house and car and etc.. 

Apparently, having it all together is not a condition for God to accept us. In fact, most Jesus' parable unveil God to be constantly overgenerous in displaying love, and forgiveness and grace. 

This sort of love showcases a God who completely flips our ideals of justice and fairness upside down. It shakes up our long-held views of morality. It agitates the Pharisee in us. 

How are we supposed to deal with a God whose love forgives us rather than lays out a list of consequences for our actions? How are we supposed to take a God seriously who hands out forgiveness without us having to do specific things? Or live a specific way? 

The love of God is not based on anything, and it is because of this that it is never going to fail us. If it were grounded in a certain way we did things, or spoke, or thought…. then we would all be jacked within a very short time. Unfortunately, many of us do not believe this truth… And tragically, we live in such a way that denies this truth. And it spills out into our friendships and relationships and neighborhoods. That is why many people who do not follow Jesus see it as a list of rules and habits that we must keep. 

However, the love of God is exactly the opposite. 

That is what makes the God of Christianity different than all of the rest. It's not about rules… It's about His relentless grace, love and patience pounds on us like driving rain on desert hearts. 

This is so different than the way that we naturally love. I tend to love the things that don't rattle me up. People who don't disagree with me very often. I am prone to be more patient to people who agree with me. However, it is the nature of God to love, so He does it. He cannot limit it or suppress it when He feels like it. It transcends cultures, and colors, and political thoughts and parenting styles, etc….  

Jesus lives for those who have no love. He's kind to those who used to love, but forgot how to anymore. He died so that his accusers and murderers would live. He does not love us to the level that we deserve. If that were true, we would be royally screwed. However, He loves…. Because He is not able to do anything other than that. 

Let's stop trying so hard…... it will never change anything anyway. 

The Daily Agenda Of Jesus

Brennan Manning called Jesus a "Magnetic Force". 

I like that description. A lot. For many reasons. There was something about him.

As I was reading John 1 this morning, a few really interesting things about Jesus jumped out at me in a way that I had never seen them before. Here is the text: 

The next day John was back at his post with two disciples, who were watching. He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb.” The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.” They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day. It was late afternoon when this happened. - John 1:35-39

Let me briefly set the stage.... Jesus arrives on the scene. He has yet to perform any miracles. He was just authenticated as the son of God, and yet people are already talking. The buzz is in the air. Word is getting out. The Son of God is Here. Present. Living. Approachable. 

Two things specifically leap out to me from this text: How approachable and sacrificial Jesus was with his time as well as His personal space. 

While He had an overall intent and purpose to His living, it appears that His day to day agenda was far less structured and orchestrated than we often make ours to be. 

Example... Most of the time my relational encounters are developed and maintained with parameters that I am comfortable with. Unless you completely creep me out, I am happy to give you 60 minutes of my time, on a specifically scheduled day at a specifically scheduled location. Perhaps, if it was beneficial to me, I will opt for another time together in the future. This gives me complete control as to how fast, if at all, I would like the relationship to progress. Self-Serving. However, it would be extremely rare, if ever, that I would spontaneously invite you to just come over and spend the day together with no agenda. 

Jesus didn't play by those rules. He immediately invited people to come and see where He was living, and apparently didn't ask them to leave after they got the tour of the place. His guests were not run out once the meal had ended. He didn't have to get going because He had "so much stuff to get done" that day. He made time to sit and talk and relax and eat and drink.... No agenda other than building relationship. Establishing friendship. The house didn't have to be spotless. He didn't have to schedule it in advance on His calendar. He spontaneously invited and immediately engaged. He was present. Connected. Interested. People were the priority, everything else would wait. 

I don't know about you, but often times my life becomes so busy that if a similar situation would happen in my world, I would not have the freedom to be able to clear out my afternoon and spend quality time with other people. I keep myself too busy. My schedule far too hectic.

I want to follow in the ways of Jesus. What that looks like in this passage is clearing my life so that I have time and energy for the most important thing: others. 

Care to join?