How to PARTY like Jesus

How to PARTY like Jesus

Water into wine! Jesus sounds like the best person to have at a party – but how can we honour him at one?

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Ben Artis

Ben Artis

Ben Artis is a strong spiritual leader of many, wandering through life allowing God to guide his step. Ben read philosophy, politics and economics at the University of East Anglia and has since used his skills to teach children and young people at a church in Norwich. Ben has been a key part of the Bridge team since its foundation and we've got a lot of time for what he has to say. Check out this guys stuff, and enjoy the wisdom that seeps forth. 

Streams

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How to PARTY like Jesus

I’ve known Christians who will hit up a party, and a short while into the evening you realise they are getting a little bit tipsy… A short while after that you realise they are absolutely trolleyed. Drunk as a skunk. Maybe people at the party know that your mate who’s battered is a Christian. Maybe he gets into some ‘deep’ drunken chat and he starts trying to defend Christianity. It can be kind of embarrassing.

On the other side of the coin you’ve got a friend who absolutely will not go to social events with any booze, or drugs, or anything that might not be completely sound. They won’t really chat to people who aren’t at church at all, and when they do they are pretty scathing about anything going on that they ‘don’t agree with’. It’s also a tad embarrassing.

They are two examples that are complete opposites when it comes to witnessing to Jesus. But Jesus was constantly chilling with dubious folk who did dubious stuff. He was at the parties, but He never once got it wrong. A massive question for us: how do we have friends who don’t love Jesus, chill with them and have a laugh – get involved with their lives, but also represent Jesus. The bible uses this phrase “being above reproach” It means being someone who people can’t justifiably challenge on behaviour, who people can’t rightly disapprove of or be disappointed in. Both Christians and none, and it’s those who aren’t who have the really important opinion.

God takes witness so seriously, honestly, he really, genuinely cares about how we act. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says this.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

We are Jesus’ ambassadors. We represent Him. And he is our Lord. He has all authority in heaven and on earth, he sits on the throne, supreme over all He has created. He also, as it says in the verse after, became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God. That’s pretty heavy to get our heads round. But hear this, God who is our Lord, cares about His name. He cares about what people say about Him. If the British ambassador goes to another country and does something seriously stupid, or worse, it makes Britain look bad. Same goes for us and God.  There are times throughout the bible where God becomes furious because of how his people are acting. He says in Ezekiel 36:22 - “you not just making yourself look bad, but you are making my name a disgrace!” It was because they had treated His awesome name, and his commands, like dirt.

Basically, it looked pretty bad on God, he did not like it one bit, and he showed it with some really serious emotion, and promises… Promises! Because of how they were treating Him, He promised to make them clean, to put a new heart, and a new spirit within them, to save them and to make them right with him. So that: they would be moved to follow his commands, to live as he wanted them to. And he did that in Jesus, in taking out sin and giving us his righteousness. He then gives us his Holy Spirit, so that we actually WANT to honour him. And this is what God says about this promise and his actions in Jesus - it was not primarily for our sake, but for his Holy Name. Yes he is our saviour, but he is also our LORD. He is God, he is King, and he is Master. He really does care about his Name.

So firstly, let’s take really seriously how we represent him in social situations, in our families, at school, at work. Mainly I want to think about difficult situations, like parties.

We’re thinking booze. We’re thinking drugs. We’re thinking sex. All that jazz. The main thing is that before we want to do anything, we want to make sure that we care about how we make Jesus look. Both examples I gave at the beginning are, you might have noticed, pretty bad way’s to represent Jesus. I’m guessing your thinking – “there’s got to be a middle ground?!” And I think there is. Jesus, he was at the parties, he even turned gallons of water into wine, for everyone to drink. He chilled and enjoyed good food and fine things, his actions speak volumes, ‘my creation is absolutely banging, let’s enjoy it!’. But he’s also clear on the dangers of too much, and of approaching his creation with the wrong attitude. He looked at the rich young ruler who was dependant on his stuff rather than God, and he told him to sell everything he had. He wants us to enjoy stuff, but rightly. So I reckon the first question to ask is not “how much can I drink/have/do” but instead “how can I most glorify God in this”. Glorify him by enjoying his creation, but not by doing what he’s asked you not to – getting drunk, or whatever it might be. Glorify him by having fun, but use the conscience he has given you and the instruction we find in his word to work out what isn’t fun in his eyes.

I love it when someone turns to me and says something that basically means “I didn’t know Christians actually enjoyed material things” and I can say, “Yeah – God actually created them for us to enjoy, he loves it!” I can open them up to a new perspective on who my glorious Lord and Saviour really is. Equally there have been moments in my life where I know I have done something that God doesn’t desire for me. And it is just a bit too public for comfort in my own desire to witness to who Jesus is. We can never let God down, because we don’t hold him up, but He cares how we represent him, and that is enough. Let’s use our heads and our hearts to work out how to do that, our logic and our gut instinct.

Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this fantastic world that God has made for us, and all that’s in it – just think about how he wants us to enjoy it, before you do.

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