What does it mean to follow Jesus?

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33
Consider the cost when Christians ignore Jesus’ commands to sell their possessions and give to the poor and instead choose to spend their resources on better comforts, larger homes, nicer cars, and more stuff. Consider the cost when these Christians gather in churches and choose to spend millions of dollars on nice buildings to drive up to, cushioned chairs to sit in, and endless programs to enjoy for themselves. Consider the cost for the starving multitudes who sit outside the gates of contemporary Christian affluence.
David Platt, “Radical” Taking back your faith from the American Dream
I started reading this book last night, and all other books immediately went on hold. In the first Chapter we get an eye-opening glimpse into the underground church in Asia, where believers are indeed losing all for the sake of following Christ. In this book, David Platt raises a challenge to the American church today. He asks: “Do you and I 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?”
This book has already driven me back, with a prayerful heart, to the words of Jesus, and what it really means to “pick up my cross” and follow Him. I have a feeling this will be an interesting journey and maybe a troubling one as well…..

6 thoughts on “What does it mean to follow Jesus?

  1. It's becoming harder to reach the youth (our future generation). Asia has poverty, communism, and poverty does tend to bring people to God. We are a wealthy nation in spite of our economy. I think it's harder to reach the unsaved in this country. They have everything. Why do they need God? Jim Elliot, the missionary to Ecuador, made this point:

    “Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it – while these never heard of such a thing as writing.”

    It's a fine line to walk, but what happens in those comfortably padded chairs and fancy buildings are people who wander in attracted by the outward element and find sometimes God waiting for them with open arms. Of course, I'm the first to look at a mega church in skepticism. How can so large a church reach that seeking individual? Americans like their little bubble and sometimes rarely reach outside that bubble to befriend someone, not just sell Jesus.

    Although, I do like David Platt's quote there, “Do you and I 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?”

    Great blog! I'll be coming back to see how this book you're reading turns out.

  2. Thank you! I will be interested to see how it turns out as well, any book that gets us to look at ourselves and our faith, and most of all getting us to open our hearts to what Jesus really meant is good! Lori

  3. Hi Lori, this sounds like the kind of book that keeps us up at night. There are so many different ways to pick up that cross each day. But, we are told time and time again in Scripture to take care of our poor. The church is going in a very interesting direction, we need to keep praying.

  4. Scripture also says do not judge. In, I think, I Thessalonians it also talks about entitlement. There's poor and then there's career poor. We are so intent on serving the poor that, I think, we forget the other needs. It feels good to help the 'poor,' but it takes alot of courage to help the others like the poor in spirit. This means befriending a person whose personality clashes with your own and reaching out beyond your comfort zone.

    When we bash one of those rich churches are we judging them? Are we deciding for God who is doing His work and who is creating programs for entertainment value only?

    Again, I'll be back to hear more about this book.

  5. I would agree with you, it is easy to pounce on the mega-churches, they are such an easy big target. I was a member of one such mega-church for years, one I dearly loved. So I think we have to be a bit careful pointing fingers and grouping them all together. I can definitely see where some of them put their money by looking around. I can judge their “fruit” by what I hear coming out of the pulpit on Sundays. Having said that, this book has ministered to me much more on a personal level. It is causing me to re-evaluate some things that I have heard myself, some things from a young age, and look back at Scripture to see if those statements line up with what Jesus said. It is an interesting journey so far! Thanks for your comments. Lori

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