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Our Conditions for Seeking God vs. Jesus’ Conditions for Discipleship

“I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk
…or a snooze in the sunshine…
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.”
— Wilbur Rees

I heard this 18 years ago from a sermon by Joe Novenson and it haunted me for the church then. My sense of concern has only grown since then.  But as one of my friends has sad: “Sadly, I think this is the outline for some who are “hunting” for a church today.”   While our hearts are pre-programmed to pursue the Kingdom of self, the church has over the last 30 years conditioned people that this should be their list to look for in a church, rather than to seek to cure by going to an all-in, discipleship-minded church.

I would urge you don’t waste your life on the Kingdom of self….don’t waste your opportunity for discipleship as part of the church by going to a Waste-Your-Life church.  Find one that will help to propel you whole-heartedly towards Christ and that you can join hands with propelling others to this end that alone satisfies the hungers of our hearts (John 6:35).  Whole-hearted discipleship is the only real option for those who truly belong to Christ:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Jesus (Luke 14:26-33)

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