It is important that we not measure our spiritual health by the people around us, who are pretty much just like us.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. Tozer
On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don’t consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor.
Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually. David Goetz
Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life?
The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the radicals who are unbalanced and who go overboard. Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.
Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living.
Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.
Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sins; they only want to be saved from the penalty of their sins. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; their merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one.
Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for extreme Christian’s not average ones.
Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their friends, neighbors or coworkers. They don’t want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion.
Lukewarm people gauge their morality or goodness by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren’t as hard core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as the guy down the street.
Lukewarm people say they love Jesus and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give him a section of their time, their money and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives.
Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all of their heart, soul and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of devotion is not possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors, missionaries and radicals.
Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money and energy they are willing to give.
Lukewarm people think about time on earth much more than they think about eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today’s to do list, this week’s schedule and next month’s vacation. Rarely if ever do they consider the life to come. Regarding this, CS Lewis writes, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, “Jesus never said money is the root of all evil, only that the love of money is.” Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel called to minister to the rich; very few feel called to minister to the poor.
Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum to be good enough without requiring too much of them.
They ask “How far can I go before it’s considered a sin?” instead of How can I keep my body a temple of the Holy Spirit?
They ask, How much do I have to give? Instead of How much can I give?
Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.
Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens—they have their savings account. They don’t need God to help them—they have their retirement plans in place. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live—they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis—their refrigerators are full and, for the most part they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.
Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that they really aren’t all that different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a Christian without being a devoted follower is absurd.
God’s definition of what matters is pretty straight forward. He measures our lives by how we love.
What are you doing right now that requires faith?
Obsessed: to have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.
People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.
People who are obsessed with Jesus aren’t consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God’s kingdom coming to this earth than their lives being shielded from pain or distress.
People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him.
Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth.
A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the sin of pride is always a battle. Obsessed people know that you can never be humble enough, and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known.
People who are obsessed with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people.
People who are obsessed with God are known as givers not takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world.
A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them.
A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being.
People who are obsessed are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don’t put it on for God; He is their safe place where they can be at peace.
People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by His Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.
A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy does not depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated; a gift that ultimately comes from God.
A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is to be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying “Thank You!” to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as child and friend of God.
I’ve made a commitment to continually put myself in situations that scare me and require God to come through. When I survey my life, I realize that those times are the most meaningful and satisfying of my life. They are times when I truly experienced life and God.
The world needs Christians who do not tolerate the complacency of their own lives.
Daniel Webster once said “The greatest thought that has ever entered my mind is that one day I will have to stand before a holy God and give an account of my life.” He was right.