It is true that discipleship is costly and that you will have to give up some things. But the things you give up are nothing compared to the things you gain in Christ. And the things you gain by following Christ can never be taken away from you. The cost of discipleship is so much better than the cost of sin. Sin leads to death. Discipleship leads to eternal life, eternal joy and pleasures forevermore.
–Adapted from Joshua Harris’ Sermon
[vimeo 58997311 w=640&h=325]
Sometimes we are more excited about the idea of following Jesus than actually following Him. Here’s Joshua Harris’ preaching on the cost of discipleship based on Matthew 8:18-22. Watch for his own embarrassing illustration about joining a gym at around 9 minutes into the video.
Joshua Harris on theology:
The idea of studying God often rubs people the wrong way. It sounds cold and theoretical, as if God were a frog carcass to dissect in a lab or a set of ideas that we memorize like math proofs.
But studying God doesn’t have to be like that… Knowledge doesn’t have to be dry and lifeless. And when you think about it, exactly what is our alternative? Ignorance? Falsehood?
We’re either building our lives on the reality of what God is truly like and what he’s about, or we’re basing our lives on our own imagination and misconceptions.
We’re all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true.
Joshua Harris in Dug Down Deep:
There’s a story in the Bible of a young king named Josiah, who lived about 640 years before Christ. Josiah’s generation had lost God’s word. And I don’t mean that figuratively. They literally lost God’s Word. It sounds ridiculous, but they essentially misplaced the Bible.
If you think about it, this was a pretty big deal. We’re not talking about a pair of sunglasses or a set of keys. The Creator of the universe had communicated with mankind through the prophet Moses. He gave His law. He revealed what He was like and what He wanted. He told His people what it meant for them to be His people and how they were to live. All this was dutifully recorded on a scroll. Then this scroll, which was precious beyond measure, was stored in the holy temple. But later it was misplaced. No one knows how. Maybe a clumsy priest dropped it and it rolled into a dark corner.
Continue reading Just a Bunch of Hot Air
For those of us who have been Christians for a while, it becomes easy to think that we’ve pretty much exhausted the possibilities of the Christian life. We can settle into a routine of activities at church and in our small groups and Bible studies, with little expectation of anything new. The familiar becomes the predictable, and everything from here on out will be more of the same. We dip our teaspoon into the vast ocean of the living God. Holding that teaspoon in our hand, we say, ‘This is God.’ we pour it out into our lives, and we say, ‘This is the Christian experience.’
[Raymond Ortlund, via Joshua Harris’ blog]
I recently got my copy of Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris more than a week ago. I didn’t know what the book was all about, I just picked it up from OMF during the Manila International Book Fair simply because I knew the author and the Rumspringa story in the first chapter really caught my attention.
Joshua Harris was the guy behind the I Kissed Dating Goodbye fame. Whereas most people would associate his name with the love and courtship genre, he is actually more than that. The first few chapters of Dug Down Deep would show that he has matured into a well respected pastor and writer with so much to share to the body of Christ.
Harris’ sudden shift to theological stuff was a pleasant surprise for me. Dug Down Deep reads like an introduction to theology minus all the technical words and the formal writing style. In a matter of days, my new Kindle was populated with books Harris mentioned like RC Sproul’s The Holiness of God, Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness, JC Ryle’s Holiness, and Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.