How would you define devotion?
On Sundays, during the 9:15 Connection, theGATHERING Community has embarked upon the intense evaluation of our hearts and lives. The question we're asking is: "What is Jesus worth?" Using David Platt's Radical (available for purchase here) we started peeling back the layers of our Americanized Christianity with some hard questions based upon Jesus' teachings.
Jesus' litmus test for for being a disciple can be found in Luke 14:25-33. Jesus paints an altogether different picture than is prevalent in most American Evangelical churches today. The context of this passage is extremely telling--there were those that were following Jesus for the popularity contest--what He could do for them in regard to miracles and the big show. What was His message to all:
-if you're a disciple, your love for Christ far surpasses the love of any other relationship, so much so that it could be classified as hate in comparison
-if you're a disciple, you're daily picking up your cross and following Jesus
-if you're a disciple, you're counting the cost.
-If you're a disciple, you're giving up everything for the sake of being a disciple
Contrast this with some of the messages about Jesus today: "Come to Jesus, He'll be your best friend!" or "Come to Jesus and all of your problems will go away!" or the most vile and reprehensible of them all, "Come to Jesus and get your blessing! (where the person assumes that they'll be getting money or fame)"
This is how Jesus defines the devotion of any/every disciple of his. Remember our list of activities--pray, missional living, disciple-making? What is called "Radical" in our churches, is what Jesus calls required or the norm.
We're going to continue with this text and chapter one of Radical on Sunday, but I wanted to allow your mind some time to meditate on some of the following questions:
Do you believe Christ is worth abandoning everything for?
Do you believe Jesus is so good, so satisfying, and so rewarding that you will leave all you have, all you own, and all you are to find your fullness in Him?
Do you believe Him enough to obey Him and to follow Him wherever He leads, even when the crowds in our culture, and maybe in our churches, turn the other way?
The cost of following Christ is great. However, the cost of not following Christ is even greater. The cost of believers not taking Jesus seriously is vast for those who don’t know Christ and devastating for those who are starving and suffering around the world. The cost of not abandoning everything to follow Christ is great for those men and women who miss out on the infinite joy of knowing and experiencing Christ in all His fullness.
As you read the section Puddle of Tears this week, the question that faces us today is, regardless of our life circumstances, will we respond to Jesus like the House Church recognizing that He is worthy of all of our devotion?
He demands it.
Written by @pastorluca - segments of post are from Dr. David Platt's Book "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream."