Following Christ


I am intrigued! I went looking this morning for information about Billy Graham’s health, and wound up finding a wonderful article just written by him for the June “Decision” magazine.

http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/june-2014/call-to-commitment/

The “Call to Commitment” is what I would refer to as both “Followership” (or Discipleship), i.e., what does it really mean to follow Christ; and it is also a great way of “Counting the Cost.” Few enough churches out there these days preach real repentance and what it really means to follow Christ. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer they pedal what is called “Cheap grace.” They tell people nothing about the real Christ and what it means to really follow Him.

I also found another article by Billy Graham posted this week on the Chicago Tribune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/sns-201405060000–tms–bgrahamctnym-a20140528-20140528,0,1267614.story

Billy Graham is still very much alive and active in the faith!  Should we expect any less from a man who has impacted the lives of millions of Christians and tens, if not hundreds of millions of people world-wide?

These articles fit well with the sermon we had at our Hope Chapel Tuesday Night, delivered by Vache Sevajian (https://www.facebook.com/vache.sevajian?fref=ts) who is a recent seminary graduate, and a good friend of Mike Nazarian. Vache preached on Luke 9:57-62:

“57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus[g] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.””

Vache reminded us that the message of Christ is RADICAL! It makes no sense from a humanist or worldly perspective since following Jesus may cost you everything – in this life. But, as it gets us to the real reward that we seek – it is worth it. Those rewards of course are eternal life and peace, first with God, and also with our fellow man. We, in fact, become peacemakers as Jesus points out in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) which our Pastor Zac Nazarian (and others) at Hope Chapel has been preaching on for some time now.

I just thought all this was so timely, as Cheryl and I have been praying for this Tuesday night group for some time now, that it wouldn’t just be about coming and being entertained, but that these young people (College age, 20-35) would “Get it” and catch fire for Christ. The response in general, this past Tuesday night, was good. Many are probably going to sign up for the HCMI course on the Gospel of John, and several signed up to be volunteers with ICAN (partnering with a “Special” person for summer camp). On our Evangelism Team, we have also been praying we can get these young people to step up and take the “Sharing Your Faith – Made Easy” course, as well as our class on Abortion. We will keep praying towards that end.

 

cost_of_discipleship1

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