Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review: Radical

I just finished Radical by David Platt yesterday afternoon. This book challenged me and stretched me. It does a wonderful job of convicting us where we need it most. What are we seeking after? Here is an excerpt from the last chapter of the book...sums it up pretty well!
"Throughout this book we have explored a variety of bold claims about our purpose in life that are contained in the gospel yet contradicted by the American dream. Claims such as these: Real success is found in radical sacrifice. Ultimate satisfaction is found not in making much of ourselves but in making much of God. The purpose of our lives transcends the country and culture in which we live. Meaning is found in community, not individualism; joy is found in generosity, not materialism; and truth is found in Christ, not universalism. Ultimately, Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience, and enjoy."
If Jesus is the truth, giver of life to the full, and has my best in mind...why don't I always live life loved and trust in Him completely? Why don't I go to any and all lengths to tell everyone about the Savior? I hope you'll read this book...get out of your comfort zone...and get a little more Radical!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Take the I Out of "Selfish" and Become More Like Christ, "Selfless"

Last night at HUB, we talked about our attitude. What is your attitude when you serve? (This question in preparation for our trip to Tuscaloosa). What is your daily attitude with your friends or family? We all know selfish people and selfless people. They stick out. The selfish person can take a room full of optimistic people and with a few complaining remarks and a few selfish desires, turn the entire mood of the group towards negativity. Selfless people can take a room full of apathetic people and with his/her leadership push and challenge the group toward a positive attitude. Selfish people can be toxic. Unfortunately, selfishness is one of the biggest struggles we each face. We are so self-absorbed. I want it my way because it's going to make me happy and comfortable. Talk about our sinful nature coming out. But what about Jesus? What was he like? I mean really if you think about someone who deserves to have things go his way - I would probably nominate the Son of God. Whether it be his divinity, righteousness, or holiness - I would presume he would deserve to have things go his way. And yet like Jesus so often shows us, he is the opposite of this world. Take a look at Philippians 2:1-11...
"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
      he took the humble position of a slave
      and was born as a human being.
   When he appeared in human form,
      he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father."

We should have the same attitude as Jesus. And what was his attitude? Selfless. There was never a more selfless person. He was selfless to the point of completely denying himself and dying on the cross for you and for me. And so if we are to have the same attitude as Jesus, then we are to die to ourself daily. Daily we are to put our needs and desires second to those of others. Don't be "that guy." Don't be that selfish person who ruins the spirit of the group. As we go to Tuscaloosa, we will be serving as one body. I don't want to be that selfish person who brings the group down, rather I hope to have the same selfless attitude as Christ Jesus, putting others' needs before my own. We can't do it on our own though. We have to look to Him.