I once heard a preacher say, "you need a song, a scripture, and a paragraph from a book to sustain your ministry." I thought about this for a while, because the conservative theologian in me said, "what could possible sustain a ministry besides scripture?" But the more I considered this statement, and the true-disciple style of living of the one who made it, I think he could be right. All of these things can shape our God-view, reveal a little about ourselves, and provide some sort of basis for our philosophies of ministry.
So I thought I would share my Song, scripture, and paragraph. Today, the paragraph...
Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the God of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.
Jesus asked for everything, but we try to give Him less.
As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are "lukewarm" are not Christians. The thought of a person calling himself a Christian without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.
For years I gave God leftovers and felt no shame. I simply took my eyes off Scripture and instead compared myself to others. The bones I threw at God had more meat on them then the bones others threw, so I figured I was doing fine.
Hosea 13:6 "When I fed them they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me."
Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God's point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one who matters) they're evil. Lets stop calling it a "busy schedule" or "bills" or "forgetfulness". Its called evil.
I'd rather you not say anything than compliments me out of obligation or guilt. Why would we think god is any different? He is saying that no worship is better than apathetic worship. I wonder how many church doors God wants to shut today?
Tim Kizziar said, "Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be failure but if succeeding at things in life that don't really matter"
From Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Okay, so its more than a paragraph. It is an excerpt. But I am challenged by its content. I enjoy Chan's writing and speaking because he is honest and gutsy. Very much like Jeremiah, he is unashamed of his deep devotion to God, and his true concern for God's people.
For me, it all goes back to how God views my commitment, relationship with Him, and my purpose for ministry. If I fail in any of those areas, I fail in all.
Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned. James 5:12 - JD