"Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach." (Hebrews 13:13)
This world is a campy place, and people gravitate to the camp that suits them. This is true in may ways -- political, religious, economic, recreational, vocational, educational, or ideological. We find our niche and get our name, and learn the secret handshake. We also learn why we are superior to those in other camps.
But Jesus is outside the camp. He is a man with no labels. And the moment you link up with one group or another, and take unto yourself the labels and causes and agendas and issues of this or that group, then it is you cease following Jesus and begin following men. That will lead to pride, division, strife, and trouble.
Men love to build empires and fight enemies. But Jesus has called us to something better and higher. He has called us unto Himself.
We are in this world, but not of this world. Here we have no continuing city; for we seek a city whose builder and maker is God. Therefore, we are pilgrims passing through the many camps we come in contact with; exchanging greetings in the marketplace, dining in the restaurants, sunning on the beach, or playing in the fields -- but only for a while. For this is not our home; this is not our camp.
Jesus calls us onward, upward, and outward.
Onward insures that we will experience progress in our lives; upward insures we will reach our potential; and outward insures we will be misunderstood...and rejected. For the moment you leave the camp and go out to Jesus, the others campers will hold you in reproach -- just like they did to Him.
But while we may be reproached by the world, we are embraced by the Lord. Not such a bad trade off if you ask me!
See you outside the camp?