So...I'm not sure how well this blog post is going to go down following those three amazing, truth-filled, heart-pumping AMEN'S of blog posts which Milla, Meg and Eve have just written. But don't write this off entirely because there is a bit of gold dust at the end.
Yes, ultimately, this may seem shallow. Yes, I will be plugging my new blog Knowing God which I will be hyperlinking about a billion times throughout this post (don't hate me). A brief outline:
It's a hopefully more authentic and focused blog than my last one, with a dedication to sharing the good news of Jesus and all the wonderful discoveries about Him that I just can't keep to myself! (When I read something new, a book or passage, I just have to share it with someone - it's the way these things tend to go: 'my cup overflows' (psalm 23))
So feel free to look around, have a bit of a poke, an explore...be warned though, it's a little dense some of it. To get the gist just scroll through the post and there will be a paragraph written in a bigger font and that will usually sum up that i'm trying to say.
And now for the juicy part. I received this book for Christmas called 'The cost of discipleship' by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and after about an hours reading I'm five pages in and my jaw is on the floor.
Every flipping sentence is pure gold! It's so precious that I just need to share it with you.
His premise is that just because our faith is one of grace (undeserved favour) - as in Jesus took our punishment with his life so no good-work on our behalf could ever get us into heaven, it's only reliance on this sacrifice, belief and trust in Him which can save us - it doesn't mean we carry on in sin and living how we want. He calls this attitude - cheap grace. And it is cheapening grace isn't it? It is not recognising how much it cost God to give up his own son, and how much our lives need to be given up in response to this love. In his own words: 'what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.' (p.5)
He thinks that a faith which says, 'well I don't need to do anything now, I can keep living as sinfully as before, because Jesus has done it all for me and I'm getting to heaven anyway' isn't a real faith at all. His description of real faith, of costly grace, had my mind-blown. I just have to share it:
'Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him...'
'...Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. Such grace is costly because it cost a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'ye were brought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the incarnation of God.'
Aaaaaaahhhh! Doesn't that make your heart go: 'eeeiiiiiiikk!' So true! SO TRUE!
'God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life.'
Bonhoeffer has a brilliant way of putting things and I'm seriously looking forward to reading the rest of this book, even if it takes me years.