Discipleship · Fear · Growth · Hard

echoes… of easter thoughts…

The heart… of Easter thoughts… echoed today… in my reading… and my radio…

What does it mean… to be a true follower… to be Church…? How do you know… if you’re really… still in the dark…?

My morning treadmill read…

I want this to come across as more of a challenge than a criticism, but I’m afraid we’ve turned church into a spectator sport. Too many of us are content with letting a spiritual leader seek God for us. Like the Israelites, we want Moses to climb the mountain for us. After all, it is much easier to let someone else pray for us or study for us. So the church unintentionally fosters a subtle form of spiritual codependency. …

But do you really think God’s ultimate dream for your life is to see you sit in a pew for ninety minutes every week listening to a message and singing a few songs? Is that the barometer of spiritual maturity? No way!

—Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase
And if he says this about those who come most Sundays… What about those who just come Easter…? 
Then later… from the car radio…

It is the common experience of men and women all across this land to go to church regularly every Sunday, and for all intents and purposes, the Book of the Law might as well be lost for they never open it…

—David Jeremiah, Turning Point, 4/2/2013, “Courage to Say No” 
These thoughts from others… echoing mine… usually come… as confirmation… of what I’ve heard… From years of listening…things in threes… they catch my attention… 
I’m reminded of a sticky note… kept on my desk… for months… years… I can’t really remember how long… its faded words… from a book… a question… that struck a cord… one that has stirred my heart… caused holy discontent… on more than one occasion…

And how in the world do you begin to show people who already consider themselves Christians what it really means to follow Christ?

—Jim Walker, Dirty Word

It strikes a cord… because… I WAS ONE… who believed I was… when I wasn’t… 
Only I was above the religious… believing without church attendance… without opening the Word… and rarely praying…
I know… now that I know… that I wasn’t… and the thought it strikes fear in my heart that… if before I was… I had to face Him… I would certainly have heard…
The fear… it is for others too… who deceive themselves…

So… it may be time… to listen anew… stir things up… in church… 

Always… a dangerous… risky… business…
Just ask… Jesus
“…Remember the words I spoke to you:
 ‘No servant is greater than his master.’
 If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. 
If they obeyed my teaching they will obey yours also. …”
—Jesus
John 15:20
A thought… that tightens my chest… with twinges of fear… especially… considering… past experience… and the timing… of this message…
Then [Jesus] called the crowd to him along with his disciples
 and said: “If anyone would come after me, 
he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, 
but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. …”
Mark 8:34-35
But the final commission… given by Him… to His disciples… was … make more disciples… not spectators… and the business… of making disciples… out of church-goers… can be risky…
Lord… I’m willing… just make it clear… each step You want me to take… I want no part of this to be me… only You…

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