Friday, January 16, 2009

Lukewarm

Here is some irony:
God does not need us, yet loves us deeply.
We are in desperate need of God, but fail to fully love Him.

Jesus constantly called out the Pharisees and other religious leaders for not being authentic.
He said to all who listened: If you follow me, be prepared to walk away from everything you love. (Luke 9:57--).
That was a hard teaching for those people to hear.
It's still hard.

Francis Chan was a speaker at the Nashville Youth Workers Convention that I attended last November. You know, there are some speakers who are powerful because of their communication style, and then there are some who are powerful because of their anointed message.
Francis is the latter.
His keynote sermon about becoming a true follower of Jesus had me covered flat up with conviction!

This morning I was reading his book called Crazy Love.
(sigh)
Convicted again.

Here's some of what Francis says in the chapter entitled "profile of the lukewarm":

***A lukewarm follower attends church. After all, it is an expectation.
***A lukewarm follower gives money to the church. A tenth. Sometimes.
***Lukewarm followers are moved by stories of people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for "extreme" Christians, not the average ones.
***They share their faith easily at Church, but rarely with neighbors, coworkers or friends.
***Lukewarm people say they love Jesus and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. Key word here,..a part. There are other sections where His "control" just wouldn't fit.
***Lukewarm followers are truly thankful for their comforts and luxuries.
***Lukewarm followers do not live by Faith, their lives are structured so they never have to.
***Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from ALL their sin; they want to be saved from the penalty of their sin.
***Lukewarm people think about life on Earth more than they do about eternity in Heaven. Their schedule and "to-do" list is consuming.

The above list is just a small taste of what Francis had in his book, but I love how he fills the pages with scripture. It makes his written thoughts credible.
I'm telling ya,..this isn't a book to relax by,..it's a book to grow by.
(Sometimes I wish I could just pick up a good romance novel or something!)

Lukewarm Christians are the kind that Jesus would "spew out of His mouth".
That's the kind of harsh tone and rhetoric he reserved for the church leaders of the day.

I'm a church leader.
Most of you are too.

My prayer is that I lead by example.
Overwhelming? yep.
Possible? absolutely.
Today?

Luke 9:62 (The Message)
Jesus said: No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put off God's Kingdom until tomorrow. Seize the day!"

1 comment:

Cindy Adams (RN-NLR,ICU) said...

I follow your blog and you certainly keep me inspired and challenged. But this one hit me right square in the eyes. I left a lukewarm church, I left comfort and those that I loved dearly to follow my heart, to do what I thought God was leading me to do. I didn't want to serve in a lukewarm church. But here I sit in a church that is absolutely sold out, on fire for God and I am feeling a little lukewarm myself. I have let my daily Bible study and even prayer time on some days falter. Thanks for hitting me where it hurts and challenging me to heat things up in MY spiritual walk. God bless.