6.26.2018

Are you RADICAL? Am I? I certainly hope so!

Eight years after publication I am finally reading this book. It has been sitting in my queue for a few years, waiting for the Lord to say, "Now! It's time to read it now!" So - I did. In two days. And I loved every page.
What I loved best, however, was that the Lord had me read it after He called us to foster care and/or adoption. Instead of being the catalyst, the truths in this book confirmed the calling. This matters to me because it is easy to read a convicting book (or listen to a sermon) like this and feel compelled to do something radical based on emotion (dare I say guilt?) rather than patiently and prayerfully seeking and listening to the Lord.
Because the Lord has made His calling to orphan care clear for our family, the statements and Scriptures in this book were exciting and encouraging and had me underlining dozens of sentences and writing, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and "Preach it!" all over the margins.
What a refreshing read! And what a revolutionary CHALLENGE!

If you have already read this book, please - tell me your story!
Did you read the Bible in a year? Did you pray for the world? What did you sacrifice? Where did you go? What community did you build?
If you have not read it, I implore you - buy a copy and devour it.
You may be tempted to stop reading, for what the author calls the church to do is indeed - radical.
You will feel uncomfortable. You will see yourself in his scenarios. You will be embarrassed.
But - if you keep going, if you read to the last page, everything he says will be in your brain - in your heart - and the Lord will use it to call you to ACTION. After that, the choice is up to you.
Will you sacrifice so others can gain?
Will you get uncomfortable?
Will you obey?

Thinking out loud here, wondering if anyone would commit to reading this book, discussing it, and then implementing it into our daily lives, our families, our spheres of influence?
It is a book that sparks not only thought but a desire to DISCUSS.

As always, I would have to retype the book in order to share all of my underlines and highlights, but I am going to do my best to capture the statements that gripped me most, leaving my head spinning, thinking, and planning. ENJOY! (in a prepare-to-be-utterly-convicted kind of way)
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You and I can continue to choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or, we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believe Him and really obeyed Him.

...a relationship with Jesus requires total, superior, and exclusive devotion.

The Gospel does not prompt you to mere reflection; the gospel requires a response.

Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator...until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, "No."

While the goal of the American Dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God.

Jesus commands us to go. He has created each of us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and I propose that anything less than radical devotion to this purpose is unbiblical Christianity.

Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell.

...if our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is really in us at all.
We certainly wouldn't ignore our kids while we sang songs and entertained ourselves, but we are content with ignoring other parent's kids.

...our perspective on our possessions radically changes when we open our eyes to the needs of the world around us.
Why not begin operating under the idea that God has given us excess, not so we could have more, but so we could give more?

Clearly, God does not command or expect us to meet every need. But the logic that says, "I can't do everything, so I won't do anything," is straight from hell.

...orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.

The question, therefore, is not "Can we find God's will?" The question is, "Will we obey God's will?"

What would happen if Jesus dominated our affections more than the superficial trivialities that garner our attention?

In our quest for the extraordinary, we often overlook the importance of the ordinary (Scripture reading and prayer), and I'm proposing that a radical lifestyle actually begins with an extraordinary commitment to ordinary practices that have marked Christians who have affected the world throughout history.

Radical obedience to Christ is not easy; it is dangerous. It is not smooth sailing aboard a luxury liner; it is sacrificial duty aboard a troop carrier. It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.

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