Anyone who does not take up his cross
and follow me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake
will find it. Matthew 10:38b, 39.
I've just returned from the ACU lectures. I attended a few sessions on spiritual formation led by Randy Harris and a number of sessions of the Restoration Forum, which was a part of the lectureship this year. The Forum was a demonstration in Grace. I have been encouraged on many fronts. Today and tomorrow I will attend the Teacher of Missions workshop in Arlington, Texas. How blessed I am.
I'm close to completing three books, The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus, Revolution by George Barna and Red Moon Rising by Peter Grieg and Dave Roberts. Red Moon Rising is a book about how lives have been transformed by 24/7 prayer vigils, Revolution is a report about the millions of believers who have found alternatives to the established church. The Barbarian Way is a call to revolution against 'civilized' Christianity. I want to share an excerpt with you from this book, pages 48 and 49.
The original call of Jesus was so simple, so clean, so clear: "Follow Me." He wants us to surrender our lives in Him and follow Him into the unknown. And if it means a life of suffering, hardship, and disappointment, it will be worth it because following Jesus Christ is more powerful and more fulfilling than living with everything in the world minus Him. Have we forgotten this? Have we become so refined and so civilized that the benefits of our faith have become more precious and more valuable to us than the Benefactor of our faith?
I wonder how many of us are in that place of John the Baptist, at that crucible where God is asking, "Are you willing to lose everything on My Behalf to gain everything I desire for you? Rather than living a long life, are you willing to live a live worth living?
I feel after reading these books the same way I felt when I finished reading Camp's Mere Christianity:. Have I ever been a Christian? Thank God for His grace. These are good books - not too long - and worth your time.
I pray all of you are feeling God's urging to keep Him first, to demonstrate that belief through raw faith as you pray for His wisdom and His strength to keep on keeping on. May God bless you in your walk with Him, whereever that takes you.