Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I am going to be migrating my blog to a new server. It will be hosted through Toby's server! So, over the next couple days I will be moving all blogs over and you can start watching for www.thejiggybishop.com to be the new blog location!
If you go digging into the New Testament, you will find Jesus having some pretty intense conversations with people at various times. Sometimes those conversations center on basic and easy things to understand. But, periodically, you find Him laying the smack down in such a way that people decide they just don't want to follow Him any more. Have you ever been there? Jesus confronts you with a truth that requires you to either choose to change your outlook and behavior or to choose to just not follow Him completely any more. I mean, let's be honest. If we pick and choose what parts we will obey and what parts we will ignore, aren't we really just being disobedient across the board? It begs the question, "How much disobedience does it take to be labeled 'disobedient?'" When Jesus says things like, "You can not be my disciple if you don't hate your own life," or "If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, take up his cross every day, and follow me." it brings us to a point of choosing. Either we will obey, or we won't. It's simple, really, if we're being honest about it.
This semester at "The Porch," we are going to be digging into these hard sayings of Jesus while taking an honest look at what it means to be His disciple. Our "theme" for the Spring is "We Do Hard Things." Will you join us in this journey towards obedience?
While reading this morning, two thoughts really impacted me. Since I know the way many of you think, I thought you'd find them provoking as well.
"...this is exactly what I see: a lot of people who have added Jesus to their lives. People who have, in a sense, asked Him to join THEM on their journey, to follow THEM wherever THEY feel THEY should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded. The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep in as we did before." ("Forgotten God," Francis Chan, p. 122)
"What if you could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and He asked you to literally give EVERYTHING you owned? What if He asked you to sell ALL your possessions and give the money to the poor? Could you do it? Before you start explaining why He would never ask that of you, take a moment and answer the question honestly. It's not out of His character to ask for everything." ("Forgotten God," Francis Chan, p. 126)
In a recent ongoing dialogue with an old childhood friend, we've been chewing on the state of the Western Church, and perhaps this hits close to what we've talked about. Feel free to let the discussion begin!