Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Spiritual Mountain Climbers

I did not get to hear the State of the Union address last night. It will be interesting to see what happens politically in the next couple of years. President Bush is definitely the scapegoat for anything that is not going well right now. It seems that both Democrats and Republicans are doing their best to position themselves away from him. I feel badly for him. I don't agree with every decision he has made, but I don't think he is deserving of the current treatment he is receiving.

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I really appreciated Tozer's remarks in yesterday's daily devotional:

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. --1 Corinthians 9:27

What must our Lord think of us if His work and His witness depend upon the convenience of His people? The truth is that every advance that we make for God and for His cause must be made at our inconvenience. If it does not inconvenience us at all, there is no cross in it! If we have been able to reduce spirituality to a smooth pattern and it costs us nothing--no disturbance, no bother and no element of sacrifice in it--we are not getting anywhere with God. We have stopped and pitched our unworthy tent halfway between the swamp and the peak.

We are mediocre Christians!

Was there ever a cross that was convenient? Was there ever a convenient way to die? I have never heard of any, and judgment is not going to be a matter of convenience, either! Yet we look around for convenience, thinking we can reach the mountain peak conveniently and without trouble or danger to ourselves.

Actually, mountain climbers are always in peril and they are always advancing at their inconvenience. I Talk Back to the Devil, 48.

3 comments:

Jeff said...

I'm not sure about that last sentence but it sounds interesting.

What a sad commentary that we would ever consider anything we do for God an inconvenience. Is the worship service time inconvenient? Is a Bible study time inconvenient? Is a visitation opportunity inconvenient? When I think it is, I certainly hope I will be able to quickly re-examine my priorities.

Josh Ross said...

We are too hesitant to talk about the cost of following Jesus. It might turn people away. The demands might be too great. Bonhoeffer wrote, "If our Christianity has ceased to be serious about discipleship, we have watered down the gospel into emotional uplift which makes no costly demands." Also, "Cheap grace is the most deadly enemy of the church."

I am a guest speaker tonight at First Colony Church of Christ, and I am speaking on this very subject. When Jesus calls His disciples in Luke 5 He says, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be CATCHING people." The word used here for catching is (zogron) which means to capture alive. So, the call of Christ's disciples is not just to produce converts that ignore the demands of discipleship, but rather that we capture people alive.
I believe:
-In an unspoken way, "conversion" has trumped discipleship.
-Conversion without discipleship is most of the time nothing better than catching fish and throwing them back
-Conversion with discipleship is catching people, and teaching them to live differently, love differently, and treat people differently.


On another note, I was impressed with Bush's comments last night on health care, fighting AIDS in Africa, and on education. My only criticism is that poverty and minimum wage were ignored.

Kyle R. said...

So, how are we motivated to get out of base camp and climb?