Reminders to live radically

Radical_Together_by_David_PlattWe can fill our lives and our churches with good things requiring our resources and good activities demanding our attention that are not ultimately best for the enjoyment of the gospel in our churches and the spread of the gospel in our communities.

We must be willing to sacrifice good things in the church in order to experience the great things of God.
   ~ DAVID PLATT, Radical Together

Sometimes you know something, but you need to hear it said anyway.

Yesterday I heard what I knew. But I needed to hear it anyway.

Tom was speaking to our church about what we were about to do: pass the plate to collect money and to collect blue cards.

You know what collecting money is. Your church probably does it too, in some form or fashion.

But collecting blue cards is the way our church gets a written record of our attendance and any prayer requests we have. Maybe your church too.blue-card

Tom held up money in one hand, blue cards in another.
Which is more important?

In the 17 years he’d been with our church, he said the blue cards have always been more important.

Because they’re directly about people and God.

I need those reminders that that’s what counts among us.

I was also reminded of what I know in Radical Together by David Platt, his follow-up book to Radical. He has a serious goal in it, the goal of the church.

He asks,

“How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?”

He offers six chapters to help answer that question.

  1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church.
  2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.
  3. The Word does the work.
  4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people.
  5. We are living—and longing—for the end of the world.
  6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God.

Anything new? Not particularly.
But anything I need to hear anyway? Definitely. 

The last thing you and I want to do is waste our lives on religious activity that is devoid of spiritual productivity—being active in the church but not advancing the kingdom of God.

Each church has to figure that out for themselves.

For my church, one way we choose to advance the kingdom is by joining with hearts behind the prayer requests written on the blue cards each Sunday morning.

  • Who has needs we can fill for the glory of God?
  • Who is reminding us of good things God has already done?
  • Who needs our prayer support as they do the work of God in the coming week?

The way to be radical together isn’t only to love each other. That’s good. And it’s something we should do. (And it’s something we often need to collect money to do.)

But the great thing is to do that for the glory of God. Because we love him, we live to honor him. We show this by loving others, inside and outside our church walls. 

I’m glad to be reminded of that by my brother Tom at Central.
And by author David Platt in his writings.

And by Jesus in his life and words.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:39

* * *

Read an excerpt here of Radical Together. (Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review copy.)

Watch some radical things in the church pastored by David Platt (and mentioned in the book). I’m particularly astounded that his congregation is meeting incredible needs as foster families in their county.

9 comments:

peggy aplSEEDS said...

indeed, we always need to be reminded. thanks for the reminder!
peggy

tcsoko said...

I like the blue card idea! I have a copy pf David Platt's book waiting to read -I'll move it to the top of the pile now!

Barbara H. said...

I benefit from timely reminders of what I already knew from Scripture as well as learning new things, too.

I know it's a struggle for churches -- and individuals -- to discern what works and helps and what hinders and takes up time. Some program that was a big help at one time may have outlived its usefulness and become a consumer of time, resources, and energy. I know at times I've wrestled with, "Am I just being weary in well-doing (Gal. 6:9) or is it really time to put this aside?" Love this quote especially: "The last thing you and I want to do is waste our lives on religious activity that is devoid of spiritual productivity—being active in the church but not advancing the kingdom of God."

Kelli said...

I love the Radical book and the Radical Together! I am travleing this weekend and am very excited to attend David Platt's church with my brother! It is inspiring to turn our complacency into biblical obedience!:)

Rebecca said...

I want to read Radical. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

Your post reminded me not to settle for good when God wants something better for me...something that is the best.

kendal said...

somehow i missed that david platt has a second book! finished unbroken tonight (after a day at school with my nose stuck in it as i walked around campus....) i called my husband from the parking lot where i awaited our son to finish soccer - "he was saved at a billy graham crusade!!!!" i felt like i KNEW then man and was so excited about his salvation! one of the best books i have read in a while.

bekahcubed said...

I love the point of that second chapter: "The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work."

Thank God that we were saved from dead works--but not so that we could sit on our hands. Rather we were saved to participate with God in living works which He prepared in advance for us to do!

e-Mom said...

Some excellent exhortations here, Lisa. Good to be reminded.

This line seems a little odd however, and I would love your explanation of the author's intent.

"6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God."

A self-centered God? I don't agree at all. Just, yes. Perfect, yes. Deserving of all honor, glory, and praise, yes. The beginning and the end, yes. But "self-centered." NO!

Your thoughts?

Blessings, e-Mom

Lisa notes... said...

e-Mom,
Good question. On the surface, statement #6 does sound odd. The terminology itself stirs up something within us because self-centeredness is definitely a sinful trait for us.

Here is how David Platt explains it:

“God exalts God. If this rubs us wrong in any way, we should ask, “Who else would we have him exalt?” For at the very moment God exalts anyone or anything else, he is no longer the God who is worthy of all exaltation. Everything God does, even the salvation of his people, ultimately centers around God, for he is worthy of all praise from all peoples.” p 104

I also think of it like this: God doesn’t need us or anything we can offer. He is the originator of everything we have. He desires our worship, but he doesn’t have to have it to exist. He is enough within himself. We revolve around him, not him revolving around us.

Hope that makes it a little clearer. David Platt also explains this in his first book (Radical).

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