You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 15, 2010.

The second chapter of Jon Walker‘s Costly Grace is called “Becoming Like Jesus Through His Call.” Walker starts out by stating the objective of Jesus:

To teach us that our obedient trust of Jesus can be treasured by our need to control life. 

Jesus doesn’t call us to follow him so that we can be nice and to help others.  Rather:

His call is a command for you to comprehensively and absolutely walk away from the way you do life now so you can follow him down an exclusive path through the narrow gate that leads to the kingdom of heaven.

Again, it is more than becoming just a good person.  Being a Christian is more than keeping a list of rules.  When rules are more important than a relationship, it leads to a life of legalism.  Following Jesus means that the shed blood of Jesus on the cross paid the cost of our entry into the kingdom of God.  The gate is open but we must enter by God’s grace.  And when we enter, we mus live everything behind.

According to Walker, we follow Jesus with real and tangible steps when we are forever connected to the path of following Jesus.  But such commitment to Christ goes against the norm of following Jesus today.  When a Christian is radically obedient to Jesus, such a person is an “exceptional” Christian. But…

…the truth is their exceptional faith should be the norm and what passes for normal in our congregations is little more than a general focus on Jesus that allows us to remain satisfied at the threshold of Christian maturity without entering in the abundant life that Jesus died to provide.

But as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about decades ago, when we follow Jesus, we are in bondage to him.  This relationship ensures the presence of Jesus in our lives.  The living Christ is the foundation of true discipleship.  True discipleship will erode, however, when following Jesus becomes inconvenient or when the full cost of discipleship becomes too costly.

But it comes down to our decision to focus on Jesus and his demands for our lives.  When Jesus calls us, he graciously calls us to abandon ourselves to him (Luke 9:61-62).  As we exercise our faith in his word, we will obey and as we obey, our faith will grow.  Walker used the example of Peter who obeyed the call of Jesus to step out of the boat.  Peter actually trusted Jesus, but in order to know that Jesus would give him the ability to walk on water, he would have to step out of the boat.  In the same way…

Jesus calls us to step into a new life–a life of faith…When Peter stepped out of the storm-tossed boat and onto the water where the safest place to be?  In the boat or in the arms of Jesus?  The answer, of course, is Jesus, and for a brief time Peter saw that. Right then he got a glimpse of what it is like to intimately trust Jesus and what it is like to operate within the realm of costly grace as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.

Walker wrote that Jesus will intentionally and constantly push us into new situations where it is possible for us to intimately believe of Jesus as God incarnate.

At the end of the chapter, Walker wrote: You must stop seeing as an add on to your life and begin seeing Jesus as the reason for your life.

This was also the first chapter where Walker distinguishes between Fallen Thinking and Kingdom Thinking. For example…

Fallen Example: “I decide for Christ” instead of “I submit to Christ.”

Kingdom Thinking: “I submit to Christ” instead of “I agree with Christ”

October 2010
« Sep   Nov »


Twitter Updates

Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.