Upon reading this chapter, I realize that the previous chapters were mere warm-ups to the real beat-downs Crazy Love has in store for us.
In this chapter, Francis Chan challenges us with descriptions of a "lukewarm" Christian. After reading each example, I found myself saying "Yup, that's me" every time. It's one thing when I know that I'm unworthy, and it's another when someone tells me that, as a lukewarm Christian, I am not even fit for manure. This revealed to me a glimpse of the life that God requires of me and how much I fall short.
One of the biggest things that stuck out at me while reading was the verse Matthew 7:21 which states, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
It's a pretty simple verse, but I think what it made me realize about myself was that I thought my salvation was assured and the Christian life I was living was sufficient just because I did and said what other "good" Christians were doing and saying. As Pastor Francis wrote, as a lukewarm Christian, I live my life comparing it to others' and not what is required of me in the Bible. As Philippians 3:10 states, knowing Christ is not just knowing about his death and resurrection but it's also partaking in his sufferings and becoming like him in his death.
On those rare occasions I do something extra-Christiany like donating to the poor or giving up a day to serve the homeless, I do feel pretty satisfied with myself and believe that God is satisfied, but in reality, it's not even close. God requires us not to just give up more of ourselves, but to give up ALL of ourselves.
I am NOT good soil. I am soil filled with thorns. I agree with Crazy Love in that as American Christians, we do want God, but we also want so many other things in life like money, careers, respect, relationships, etc. I have to admit that no matter how much I say I prioritize God in my life, I cannot honestly declare that I love Him so much that I am willing to give up food or comfort or my career or my family. Of course, these things may not be inherently evil in themselves, but when they take up our time and attention from God, are we able to cut them our of our lives?
In what ways are you a lukewarm Christian?
What verse jumped out the most at you in this chapter?
What changes will you make in your life based off of your reaction to this chapter?
-- written by Jon