Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Week 4 - Profiles of the Lukewarm

This week in Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love” we studied Chan’s profile of a lukewarm person. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but we think it certainly is a good start at describing the lukewarm person. In the introduction to the chapter Chan says this,

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.”

Question 1: The quote above puts the spotlight of lukewarmness squarely on the shoulders of the church in America. What do you see in America and in the church today that substantiates or lends supports this statement?

Question 2: I would argue that if you are doing this study of “Crazy Love” your life does not exhibit all or even most of the characteristics of lukewarmness. However, if you are like me, you were able to find yourself in more of these characteristics than you would care to admit. Share honestly which of these characteristics of lukewarmness hit you squarely between the eyes and why.

Question 3: What changes do you plan to make or have you already made based on this week’s chapter on lukewarmness?


Challenge: “Do not assume you are good soil!! Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Do not assume you are good soil!!

Leah, Spence, and Channy

7 comments:

Faye said...

LEAH,BEAUTIFUL POST!PLEASE PRAY FOR MY DAUGHTERS AUTISM CONF.TODAY! BLESSUNGS, FAYE

Yolanda said...

First I want to tell you all that I absolutey ate up this chapter, my copy is so hi-lighted and I'm probably going to re-read this chapter.

1. I think part of the problem is we water down the gospel. Church leaders will say that parts of God's Word are no longer relevant. Even mainstream denominations. Such as gay lifestyles, etc. Same Sex Marriages...lets get real GOD IS HOLY AND WE ARE NOT KEEPING HIM HOLY.

2. I don't have my book with me today, so I'll get back with you. Because I also wrote all over this chapter.

3. To stir to flame my FIRST LOVE!!!

The challenge is what spoke to me over and over...I want to be more aware every day of living for Eternity. I do some days, but not EVERY DAY.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Leah said...

Question 1: Lack of respect and awe for God and the things of God, i.e.all the hoopla over the Ten Commandments, homosexual marriage, abortion, pornography...we are truly living in Sodom and Gomorrah.

Even in the local church many pastors do not preach strong biblical messages because they are afraid they will offend someone. Good heavens, Jesus was not afraid of offending. There is just way too much feel good in the church and not enough TRUTH. When was the last time you heard a message on Hell? It just isn't preached today.

Question 2: Oh my gosh, this chapter just ate my lunch!! There are several of these characteristics that I have written "OUCH" beside. 'Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected..." Been there, 'nuf said. How about this one? "Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor." Well that one got me looking at how I can reach out to the poor. I've now sponsored a beautiful little girl in Tanzania via Compassion International. I am also actively looking for ways to help the poor on a local level. This next one got two "ouches". ' Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to.' Oh, my aching toes. That just has my name written all over it. I do not want to be so comfortable that I do not have to trust God and walk by faith. No, I do not!!

Question 3: See Question 2 answer.

Lord, Jesus, I so want to be 'good soil'. Show me where the soil is rotten in my heart and life. Please help me love you with a Crazy Love.

Leah

Janice said...

Question 1: I think in America we've had our "consciences seared with a hot iron." As time goes by, more and more things that used to be considered immoral are not considered, by most people, as immoral anymore. Little by little, homosexuality, abortion, same sex marriage, and a host of other SINS are accepted by even church-going people and are welcomed into some churches. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON AMERICA!!!! Our pastor just preached a sermon a couple of Sunday nights ago on the "prosperity gospel" and how it is simply NOT TRUE!!!! I thank God that he is not afraid to preach the TRUTH whether or not it steps on someone's toes. No wonder some of the megachurches we see on TV and even some close by have multitudes of people attending them - they are getting their ears tickled and they LOVE it!!! That way they can feel good about themselves no matter how they are living their lives. The Bible teaches that there will be a "falling away" and I believe we are living in that time right now!

Question 2: The characteristic of lukewarmness that hit me most was: ...the ones who rarely share their faith with neighbors, etc. I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable, etc... I knew I should have put my steel-toed boots on for this one! I think I have done something big when I ask someone where they go to church and then give them a brochure on our church and invite them to come. I need to take it a step further and tell them about JESUS.

Question 3: The Bible tells us that God would rather us be hot or cold - if we are lukewarm, He spues us (vomits us) out of His mouth! I don't want to be vomited out of God's mouth - do you? Dear God, help me to desire to be HOT for You - I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian. I want to be good soil that produces fruit!

Channy said...

Question 1. The church today values membership more than discipleship. I think in many ways we have become modern day Pharisees with too much value on doing all the right things, following the rules. If we look good, it’s good enough. We want to feel like we have done what it takes to be “good Christians”--feel good about ourselves. How would we really look if we were taking Jesus at his word? It’s hard to be hardcore in an affluent society like ours. We are so coddled, so comfortable with innumerable possessions and activities vying for our loyalty and attention. Christ is given second billing to the “American Dream”. Wouldn’t it be easier to devote ourselves to Jesus if we lived humbly?

Question 2. We don’t live by faith because our lives are structured so we don’t have to. Though many of the profiles stabbed at me, this one haunts me. God has kept me from living too comfortably. He has kept me for sometime from having the cushion of savings and retirement that makes Americans from having to be truly reliant on God. However, I WANT TO HAVE THOSE THINGS. I know that God wants me to live by faith and rely on Him and in many ways He keeps me in that position. However, I don’t have the heart change that keeps me from longing for and being envious of those who do have those (albeit false) securities. This eats my lunch! The war between my flesh and my spirit is constant torment. I know what Jesus wants from me, but the world’s ways are still so attractive to me.

Question 3. I find myself in constant evaluation of my motives. I wonder what earthly time line I am trying to fit God into. Daily I waver from earthly saturation with little time devoted to God. Other days I spend my day in constant communication with my heavenly father. How can I be so fickle? I have committed myself to send my head knowledge to my heart by walking with Jesus rather than set Him aside while I run my errands and then invite Him to join me when I can carve out time for him.

April said...

Question 1: I heard Ravi Zacharias say once that it is not the absence of pain that makes life meaningless. It is the abundance of pleasure that makes life meaningless. I had to think about his comment for awhile. America is saturated with people leading meaningless lives because of our pleasure. We love pleasure more than anything else. We often find the true meaning during and through the pain.

Question #2 - I cannot choose just one! What struck me most is the admonition to not consider yourself to be good soil! Channy, I so hear you on this one. I have often said that God is our retirement plan, but wished He'd put more in the bank to back that up. Right now He has blessed us, but I was afraid as the blessings came of what would happen next! How's that for faith?! I'm also afraid of my own self with those blessings, and I pray that I have learned my lessons well and will make wise choices as He directs.

Question #3 - To ask God to not let me assume that I am good soil - especially not that I am better soil than others.

Mandy said...

1. I see an overwhelming sense of entitlement and an attitude of apathy in America that I think have a lot to do with the lukewarmness of many people – not just in their spiritual lives, but in their lives in general. I also feel like people are not held responsible for their actions. If it feels good, then do it. If it sounds good, say it. If it looks good, buy it. And if you make a mistake it is someone else’s fault.

2. One of the characteristics of “lukewarmness” that made me stop and think was the one that talked about some people who do not openly share their faith with others because they are afraid of feeling rejected or offending another person. I am a dental hygienist and I have somewhere around 7 – 10 patients a day. That gives me 7 to 10 opportunities to talk about God. I do, on most occasions. Many of my patients and I share our faith. But sometimes, I hold back because I do not want to upset or offend. One particular patient tends to stick out in my mind. She is an online college professor and she specializes in religious studies and philosophy. She knows my beliefs because I have told them to her, but I find that because of her adamant belief that no God exists, I don’t talk as much about God to her as I would to another patient. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so hesitant.

3. I continue to look for other places in my life where I can share my faith outside of the office. You’d be surprised about the people who you can find to talk to – and where you will find them!