There have been two similar books published in the recent past that were pretty much about the same thing: this one is better. In my opinion, which really doesn’t matter, I know. I loved Platt’s book: all except the familiarity of the stories he told through out the book. I’ve heard him preach on several occasions – and I’ve heard them. So, I could skip over them.
He is very practical and honest in his book: which I love. He just doesn’t give lofty ideas of how to let go of American Christianity – but he actually gives you ways to do it.
If you are ready for a gut-check (as my cousin calls it) – read it. If not, keep it on its shelf and pick it up when you are ready.
“Wake up and realize that there are infinitely more important things in your life than football and a 401(k). Wake up and realize there are real battles to be fought, so different from the superficial, meaningless “battles” you focus on. Wake up to the countless multitudes who are currently destined for a Christless eternity.” – p 15. This hits home because what do we normally talk about in our chuches: this superficial stuff.
“As long as we achieve our desires in our own power, we will always attribute it to our own glory.” – p 46. Do we dream big dreams? I want to start dreaming big and praying big, so when things happen – God gets all the glory. How big do you dream? Do you dream for attainable things in your own power or do you pray for God sized dreams? Ephesians 3:19-21.
We’ve been hearing a lot about this in our ed staff meetings at our church:
“The church I lead could have the least gifted people, the least talented people, the fewest leaders, and the least money, and this church under the power of the Holy Spirit could still shake the nations for His glory. The reality is that the church I lead can accomplish more during the next month in the power of God’s Spirit than we can in the next hundred years apart from His provision. His power is so superior to ours. Why do we not desperately seek it?” – p 54
I need this especially for the work I am doing right now, because it is so often overwhelming to me: “Our great need is to fall before an Almighty Father day and night and to plead for Him to show His radical power in and through us, enabling us to accomplish for His glory what we could never imagine in our own strength. And when we do this, we will discover that we were created for a purpose much greater than ourselves the kind of purpose that can only be accomplished in the power of His Spirit.” p 60
Do you really believe this for yourself? “God has created us to accomplish a radically global, supremely God-exalting purpose with our lives.” – p 83. I don’t think I do. I again ask petty things that I want. But, I know one prayer I always pray that hasn’t come true yet. But, I still pray it.
We are starting Backyard Bible Clubs this summer at our church. I thought this quote went very well with the reason we are doing it: “Disciple making is not a call for others to come to us to hear the gospel but a comman for us to go to others to share the gospel. A command for us to be gospel-living, gospel-speaking people at every moment and in every contest where we find ourselves.” -p 94
Who do I go to first when I need advice? “Jesus never intended us to be one voice among, many counseling us on how to lead our lives and use our money. He always intends to be the voice that guides whatever decisions we make in our lives and with our money.” – p 121
Here is his one year experiment and ways that I intened to take him up on it:
1. Pray for the entire world. I haven’t decided yet how I am going to do this, but Operation World is a good start (that he mentions).
2. Read the entire Bible. Again, the plan isn’t in place, but it will be done.
3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose: I’m partnering this year with PSSWF because its close, the gospel, and tangible.
4. Spend your time in another context. Every month my church works with two low-income/homeless ministries here in Raleigh: feeing the homeless in Moore Square and With Love From Jesus. Once a month I will partner with these. This definitely takes me out of my upper-white neighborhood.
5. Commit your life to a multiplying community. Pray dot org. Done.
How will you live the experiment? For one year. This is a new year beginning, start now.