Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 18, 2012

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Mt. 13:44

It was 25 years ago that I first walked into a Starbucks. I had heard of them but they were new to the area so when we went to downtown Chicago for the day after Thanksgiving, we got our chance to try it out. It was love at first sip!

Everything about the place appealed to me. The smell of coffee brewing, the ambiance of coffee lovers congregating and the piping hot fresh cup of their coffee of the day!

A quarter of a century later, I still love it! Millions of others do too and the Starbucks brand is still going strong despite many competitors trying to imitate their success.

The reason for their success is rather obvious to me, in hundreds of visits over 25 years I have never had a bad cup of coffee from Starbucks. It is always piping hot and very smooth. The barristas there are always pleasant, well trained and professional. They love making their products as much as their customer's love getting them. I know that each time I walk into a Starbucks I will get a perfectly prepared cup of coffee.

Despite their amazing record of consistency and excellence it would only take one lukewarm cup of coffee to put a dent in their reputation. But I doubt that will ever happen because not only do I know that, they know it too!

Would to God that we could say the same thing about Christians and about our churches! Would to God that everyone who met a Christian or walked into a church would not find one that is lukewarm. If only followers of Christ would be as committed to excellence as the managers and employees of Starbucks! Oh, if only every Christian and every church service could leave people with a good taste in their mouths! How it would please God if His people had as much crazy love for God as Starbucks has for it's coffee products!

For any employee of any Starbucks in the country, the perfect cup of coffee is their "hidden treasure" or their "pearl of great price" and they are completely committed to making it happen!

That is precisely the point of this parable Jesus tells to His disciples. If you are going to be a part of God's kingdom you must be totally committed to it, just like Jesus was totally committed to us! He gave His all for us! He had crazy love for His Father's Kingdom. And when He gave His all for the Kingdom He got crazy love back from God.

God measures love in terms of commitment! Commitment is expressed in sacrifice. You can't be casual about His kingdom and have crazy love. You can't value comfort above commitment and have crazy love! Starbucks is never casual about their coffee and they are never comfortable until it happens. Lukewarm is unacceptable to them.

Crazy love means all or nothing for the kingdom of God. Lukewarm is unacceptable!