The more I study and the more I read and listen to podcasts by men like Francis Chan and David Platt the more I realize how I have bought into the American way of doing Christianity. The faith requirement is so low as an American Christian. That somehow "take up my cross" has come to mean "giving your 10% tithe" or "make sure you volunteer in a church ministry at least once a quarter" or "buy a Christmas gift for a child in need". David Platt talks about how Jesus was constantly driving away the masses. He really only had 11 guys that stuck right with Him and a few more that followed and believed. If my Christian walk looks like the rest of the American Christian walks I might be in trouble because those are the people who left when the words of Christ became difficult to hear. Even worse, if my Christian walk looks like the rest of America's normal life (specifically the non-Christian) I need to examine myself quickly.
I'm not writing this post because I have any answers. I have a lot more questions than answers right now but I do believe that we need to read the Bible for ourselves and begin to really live out the things that Christ called us to. Right now I am learning that really loving Christ means actually loving Him more than my daughter. If she is what I live for then I have missed it. If she is my whole world than I am not fulfilling the role Christ gave me and I am doing her a disservice by teaching her things that go against the words of Christ. Now it is easy for me to say, as I sit in my heated and comfy American house, that I do love Christ more than my daughter. There really isn't much of a test for me, is there? Then I listen to stories of men and women across the world that know they are called to share the gospel but that doing so puts their children in harms way. That there are rape and death threats against their daughters. Do I love Christ that much? Do I? Again, my wonderfully comfortable American life has deceived me. My wealth, both financial and circumstantial, has blinded me from the real cost and expectation of following Christ.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-24
I do not want to stand before God at the end of this life and have Him look at me with sadness on His face as He says "Why did you waste what I gave you? My children were dying of starvation, my daughters were being stolen and abused, those that I love were dying without knowing Me first. Why did you waste My money and your time?"
Lord, please show us clearly how we are to follow you in the midst of the abundance we live in. I do not want to be one of the rich that you speak about in Matthew 19:23-24.