Radical Read Along – Chapter 1 – Wow…this IS Radical
God has been working on me for sometime to do something with Gabe Taviano. He leads a local group of Christians here called the Digital Disciples. A group of tech enthusiast who also happen to be Christians. I have always wanted to join their monthly gatherings, but with the timing of getting out of work as well as getting from the south side of Columbus to the northwest side in time for a 6 PM gathering, it’s a pretty tall order. Maybe some day I’ll make it. Anyway, that isn’t what this post is about. Gabe posted on Facebook about his wife, Marla, leading a read along of David Platt’s Radical – Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Gabe said there were only three other men participating, at the time, so I prayed about it and felt God saying to do it.
In the last year we had studied in our small group at Church at the low numbers of men in leadership positions in different ministries. In my prayer about this reading, I just felt God saying I want to prepare you for your next step. This is God’s way of helping me prepare for what he has in store for me. I still do not know what that is, but I hope to at least grow through this reading. So, from here on out are my thoughts on Chapter One of Radical.
The chapter starts of with David’s experience of becoming the youngest pastor of a megachurch and through this experience he comes to the revelation that Jesus himself was the youngest pastor of a mini-church.
At the time Jesus was crucified, there were probably only about 120 followers. Think about that. When was there a time in your life that there were only 120 Christians?
I think the biggest thing I got out of this chapter is that here in America, we are so used to Christianity being full of glitz and show. We have computers driving projectors and sound systems that rival some arena sound systems depending on the Church. We all show up to church in a car and all dressed up in our sunday best in some churches. We expect not only to be touched spiritually, but to also be entertained. Does Jesus really want us to be like that? Does he want churches to grow to resemble our local mall or does he want something a bit smaller?
I have long known that he wants us to fellowship, but he also wants a relationship with us. God wants us to talk to him like we’d talk to our friends. He wants us to know him as well as we do our friends. While it is vitally important that we fellowship, where we fellowship doesn’t have to be a huge megachurch. It can be a smaller church or even a tent. Where we worship him isn’t nearly as important as if we are serious about worshiping him and committed to do his will.
Are we willing to submit to his will? Can we leave the life we know as life in America behind?? I think that is what David is asking in this chapter.
I’ll end this post with a quote from our pastor’s sermon this past Sunday:
When you make an absolute surrender to Him, miracles happen. – Lee Tabor.
How many of us can do this? It is so hard to just absolutely submit everything in your life to God. However, if we do, miracles can happen. Miracles we can’t possibly imagine. That is the miracle that I hope to eventually see as my faith in him grows.
Update: I had written most of my post before Marla had the post where I need to post the link to this post. Anyway, she asked Questions and here are my answers and the questions:
1. “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple,” says Jesus. What in the world are we supposed to think about this??
I think it is what it says….if we are to be true disciples of Jesus, we need to get rid of everything that could be a impediment to sharing his message. It’s something I am not sure I could do and something I am really not sure that God wants me to do right now. It’s something I could not do without spending a lot of prayer time and time seeking confirmation from those I care about.
2. How have you been molding Jesus into your image (lately or your whole life)?
In about February of this year, I started just reading the Bible every day. I also pray for my wife and my son and for those in my family who haven’t come to know him. I pray for my close friends and my Church family. When I start to feel frustrated about things, I pray and thank God for the blessings I have. Also, in my prayers I let God know that I can’t keep doing things the way I have been doing them. While I am far from perfect, I feel that God is working in my life and I even see changes in how I would respond to life situations. It is incredibly humbling to me that God wants to hear every prayer.
This book is getting me to think. It’s getting me to think that even though I have improved in my relationship with him, I still have a long way to go.
Update 2: Just realized I didn’t really answer question 2. How have I been molding Jesus into my image…well…I can’t really think of a way except maybe that I don’t like certain Church music?? I usually like Christian contemporary worship music, but when I am confronted with the old style, I tend to concentrate more on the message than the actual style of music. I suppose I do try and mold Jesus to an image, but I tend to not do this as much as some people sometimes. I actually love worshiping him around the campfire or in nature.