in a few weeks, my church is hosting a simulcast of (secret church), by david platt. before i go to it though, i thought i should read his book, Radical. you've probably heard of it.
tonight i read the first chapter.
would you believe me if i told you it was almost a warning of what it would cost you to follow Christ??
well, believe it. because it was.
one scripture reference he used to talk about the cost of discipleship was Mark 10:17-25(story of rich, young ruler).
Just for a reference, here are the verses:
As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’”
“Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The first thing that stood out to me was how the young came running to Jesus. That immediately makes me think that he truly wanted to become a follower of Christ. It reminds me so much of the times when I get really hungry for Jesus and just go running for his Word and 'alone time' with Him. I am drawn to him, and I believe this young man was too. The only thing wrong is I don't think the young man knew exactly what is was that he wanted to follow.
So, Jesus makes it clear to him by showing what it was that he was missing. Jesus allowed the man to see how he did keep all the commandments, but also how he did not even know the cost of following Christ.
This, again reminds me of myself. There are sometimes when I just come running to Jesus, and don't always expect what I'm going to get. Or, I don't even know of what is that I could get. I am simply not aware.
But I am about to be made aware.
I am about to start reading a book, written by an anointed man of God, and I do believe that God will show me the true cost of following him- the cost I don't even know of.
Before Jesus tells the man of the true cost of following him, my NLT Bible says that Jesus "felt genuine love for him". I think that is because Jesus saw how devoted the man wanted to become. And he loved it. But God does not allow half-and-half Christians. (half-devoted, half-not) He spits out the luke-warm.
So many times, Jesus, instead of jumping at the chance to have someone 'ask him into their hearts', will say something like, "you must pick up your cross and follow me," or, " Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Can He not just say, "Sure! Bow your head, close your eyes, and pray after me."?!?!?!?!
NO! he can't, because then the people are devoting themselves to something that they don't even know about. Jesus knows this. And he knows that someday, later down the road, because those people professed their devotion to Him without knowing of the cost, may choose to not follow him because it is too hard.
luke-warm. he spits them out.
and see, that is the point. because so many of us, myself included, don't even know the true cost, we can't be true Christians. Because we are not serving the radical God. We are serving the comfortable God. The God that does not want us to do crazy things for His glory, because we may get hurt, or bothered, or uncomfortable.
choose you this day, whom you will serve.
but first, you need to know how much it's going to cost you.
I don't even know yet. But I have prayed that God will show me exactly what it means to be completely devoted to him through this book.
Something that really made an impression on me from this book (already!) is this: (it's an excerpt)
"If you are serious about taking this journey, though, I believe a couple of preconditions exist...
First, from the outset, you need to commit to believe whatever Jesus says. As a Christian, it would be a grave mistake to come to Jesus and say, 'Let me hear what you have to say, and then I'll decide whether or not I like it.' If you approach Jesus this way, you will never truly hear what he has to say.
You have to say yes to the words of Jesus before you even hear them.
Then second, you need to commit to obey what you have heard. The gospel does not prompt you to mere reflection; the gospel requires a response. In the process of hearing Jesus, you are compelled to take an honest look at your life, your family, and your church and not just ask, 'What is he saying?' but also ask, 'What shall I do?'"
wow. God spoke so much to me through that, and I am chewing on it tonight.
if you've read Radical, i'd love to hear your thoughts on it, an maybe how God spoke to you through it!
isn't it crazy how i've only read the warning-of-a-first-chapter, and I already feel crazy in-over-my-head?!?
but, in-over-my-head in a good way! not a stressed-out sort of way.
a way that i know will stretch me into being more Christ-like.
and that is my ultimate goal!
so, that's all for tonight! i love you all! :)