Are You a Good Christian? Is Your Faith an Adventure?? Do You Even Want That???

Are you a GOOD Christian?

Do you personally feel good about your faith, about your life, about your discipleship?

How long have you been a follower of Christ?

All your life? Or are you a new Christian… still learning the basics about following Jesus?

In the wee hours of the night when it’s just you and Jesus, do you feel you are truly and meaningfully committed to following Jesus and living a life that reflects it?

Or do you see room for growth?

…or…

Or, when you really get honest about it, are you ready to confess that even with a life-long membership in the church, you actually have betrayed Jesus just like Judas, Peter, and all the rest – and continue to do so practically every day?

Hmmm…

Is your faith – your walk with Jesus, your prayer life, your church involvement, your life’s dedications – more like a day at the mall shopping (seeking to satisfy all your whims and desires) or more like an adventure full of risk and anything but SAFE? Which would you say? …in the wee hours when it’s just you and Jesus?

Let me ask you this:

If Jesus commanded you to pick up a cross and follow him or else you couldn’t be his disciple (Matt. 10:38), would you be ready to go?

Hmmm…

You do realize that taking up a real cross and really following Jesus means really dying a shameful, painful, and fearful death. Right?

Hmmm…

Still claim to be his disciple in good standing?

Starting to feel a little worried about that yet?

Yeah. It’s right about here that you are hoping the pastor’s harsh words of conviction will suddenly open the doors of grace to you. Right?

Yes. You have been fed a steady diet of that kind of preaching and best-selling Christian living books for the last 30 – 40 years!  And the really good ones ratchet up the tension to the point where it just becomes unbearable, and then the curtain is pulled back to reveal that you need do NOTHING. Jesus pays the price for you! In fact if you try to work this out for yourself, you are a “legalist” screwing up your very salvation.

No. You need to sit back and relax! Jesus got this for you! (Now just drop $30 for your own lucky-rabbit’s-foot copy of this book or put a tithe in the collection basket and we are all even steven!)

Sound familiar?

It does.

And just look at your life since swallowing that diet.

No. Seriously, look at your bank record and see where all your money is spent. Pornography, alcohol and drugs, extramarital affairs, alimony, child support, more porn, bar hopping, a second marriage, then a third. I am just totally bypassing all the menial selfish things like sports games you attended instead of worship, like all the fine dinners at high end restaurants instead of almsgiving, like the payments on that new truck and the Harley to match, like that man cave and she shed.

My God! Somebody actually invented the idea that you needed a “man cave” and suddenly when the Jones’s got one, you had to keep up with them!  And then when the man got one, the She had to get a shed!

Did ANY of THAT CRAP serve Jesus? EVER???

And that’s just your checkbook.

What about your mouth???

What about your time?

Hmmm???

Scared to get out that day planner and show me all that discipleship and cross carrying you do about now?

Good.

Then maybe – MAYBE – maybe we can talk.

Maybe.

Probably not, but maybe.

If your faith is marked by every new novelty and comfort they sell at the shopping mall or Amazon and not so much by the adventure that goes with LOVING God, and IF you are ready to admit that to yourself and to me, then MAYBE you are ready to talk seriously for a moment.

Here’s the thing:

Unless you take up a cross and follow Jesus, you can’t be his disciple.

(Take it up with him, not me; he said it, not me.)

And I am thinking that if I called you out on it right now, you probably are NOT so ready to lay down your life for Jesus as your membership card down at that social club you’ve been calling a “church” would suggest. And let’s face it; laying down your life is pretty heavy stuff. Believe me. I heard about a few churches getting shot up with the worshippers inside getting killed in recent years, and now we got new legislation arming the sheepfolds with lethal weaponry.

It’s in the news these days!

And that lethal weaponry ain’t crosses, ya’ll! And if it ain’t crosses, it ain’t discipleship.

(Again, take it up with him, not me.)

So, let’s get back to the milk of the word and start off like the babies we are. We are not able to handle the meat yet. We have been bluffing about discipleship, and our bluff has been called.  And I am not about to draw back the curtain of grace and just let you off so easy so we can go right back to that same diet we been on. No.

Let me ask you this:

If a gunman were about to burst in on your place of worship and take lives, would you rather be one who offers your life in the place of the hostages (like Jesus) or would you rather be one who shoots back?

Oh… I’m sorry, that’s not the answer Jesus is looking for.

Well, if you aren’t ready to lay down your life for Jesus yet, maybe you would consider something a little more laid back. How about open your church (or better yet your home) to some homeless bums – the least of these brothers – and throw them a party?

Sound strange?

Well, Jesus tells us to do this too (Luke 14:13-14).

Yes, do this and begin deepening your life in faith today. You gotta start somewhere, and this is a great place to start!

And look at the bright side: You get to party! Yes, that is the command! Throw the party!!!

I don’t know about you, but I find a LOT of GRACE in that. Grace you can grow in. And maybe, just maybe, your faith will actually do that – grow.

Think about it.

But then act on it.

One comment

  1. T. F. Thompson · July 5, 2019

    Reblogged this on Hard Times Ministries and commented:
    You can count us out

    Liked by 1 person

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