The steep cost of following Jesus

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:66) There has to be a willingness to enter in. There has to be a willingness to follow NOT for my own convenience, or because I understand everything fully. I need to follow BECAUSE HE IS LIFE. I trust him,Continue reading “The steep cost of following Jesus”

The chilling effect of the power of the gospel

I have taught, preached, and led in a way over the past decade or so that has tried to prepare me and my church for the cultural shifts and the challenges of living out a gospel that will sometimes have consequences. I never taught it in a way where someone just doesn’t say, “Merry Christmas”Continue reading “The chilling effect of the power of the gospel”

Jesus and crowds

The interesting picture in John 6 with Jesus and crowds is that Jesus knew they were following him because of the signs and the food. He then worked to thin it down. If they didn’t understand the full ramifications of the Kingdom, he wanted them to quit hanging around. He is working on them to getContinue reading “Jesus and crowds”

Jesus may NOT “want you”

I have been walking through Luke 9 the past few days. It is a roller coaster ride of the disciples “getting it,” then NOT “getting it.” They can’t transfer the power of one day to the next. They wake up and it’s like their minds are erased! I am not trying to be too hardContinue reading “Jesus may NOT “want you””

The Call of Discipleship is the Call of Care-Free Living

From Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship on Matthew 6:25-34 — Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce moreContinue reading “The Call of Discipleship is the Call of Care-Free Living”

Salt and Subversiveness

The call of Jesus is to be the salt of the earth. Bonhoeffer has some insightful thoughts on salt in Discipleship. They are some good reminders for us. Too often, as conservative evangelicals (my “tribe”, so to speak), the focus has been on heaven. Basically it’s an attitude of “Just get me out of here!”Continue reading “Salt and Subversiveness”

Following Jesus… Let the Negotiations Begin!

In Discipleship by Bonhoeffer, the focus is on obedience. Jesus calls… respond. We hear the call of Jesus and we want him to get in touch with our legal department. One classic parable on the call to obedience and the human desire to negotiate is the parable of the rich young ruler. He wants toContinue reading “Following Jesus… Let the Negotiations Begin!”

Christless Christianity — Bonhoeffer

Christianity isn’t about adhering to a set of doctrinal beliefs as much as it is simply following Christ. “Discipleship is commitment to Christ, because Christ exists, he must be followed.” Bonhoeffer saw a Christless Christianity in his day. He came to recognize that following Christ was the very root of true Christianity “…a Christianity withoutContinue reading “Christless Christianity — Bonhoeffer”

Bonhoeffer — The Cost of Discipleship

Having worked my way through Dallas Willard’s book (again), The Divine Conspiracy, the next book I need to tackle (again) is Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship. (It was renamed Cost of Discipleship later.) Some opening (and painful) thoughts: Costly grace is the hidden treasure in the field, for the sake of which people go and sell with joy everythingContinue reading “Bonhoeffer — The Cost of Discipleship”