The Word became flesh--and then through theologians it became words again.
Kierkagaard in "And I looked around and nobody was laughing" says this,
"I went into church and sat on the velvet pew. I watched as the sun came shining
through the stained glass windows. The minister dressed in a velvet robe opened the golden
gilded Bible, marked it with a silk bookmark and said, "If any man will be my
disciple, said Jesus, let him deny himself, take up his cross, sell what he has, give it
to the poor, and follow me."
Clarence Jordan, author of the "Cotton Patch" New Testament translation and
founder of the interracial Koinonia farm in Americus, Georgia, was getting a red-carpet
tour of another minister's church. With pride the minister pointed to the rich, imported
pews and luxurious decoration. As they stepped outside, darkness was falling, and a
spotlight shone on a huge cross atop the steeple. "That cross alone cost us ten
thousand dollars," the minister said with a satisfied smile. "You got
cheated," said Jordan. "Times were when Christians could get them for
A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.
It is better to train ten people than to do the work of ten people. But it is harder.
Statistics and Stuff
At the close of life, the question will not be,
"How much have you gotten?" but "How much have you given?"
Not "How much have you won?" but "How much have you done?"
Not "How much have you saved?" but "How much have you sacrificed?"
It will be "How much have you loved and served," not "How much were you
Nathan C. Schaeffer.
G.C. Morgan wrote concerning the special three: "There can be no doubt that these
men, Peter, James, and John, were the most remarkable in the apostolate. Peter loved Him;
John He loved; James was the first to seal his testimony with his blood. Even their
blunders proved their strength. They were the men of enterprise; men who wanted thrones
and places of power...Mistaken ideas, all of them, and yet proving capacity for holding
the keys and occupying the throne. What men from among that first group reign today as
On four special occasions, Jesus admitted them to experiences from which they leanred
precious lessons. On the occasion of the raising of Jairus's daughter (Luke 8:51), they
were granted a preview of their Lord's mastery over death ... On the mount of
transfiguration (Matt 17:1), they gained clearer insight into the importance of His
impending death ... On the Mount of Olives (Mark 13:3), they marveled at His prophetic
discernment ... In the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:37), they glimpsed in the sufferings
of the Savior something of the cost of their salvation..."
J.O. Sanders, Enjoying
Intimacy with God, Moody, p. 19.
Relationship building is a process which takes time; when that time is invested, trust
and vulnerability grow. We offer these questions as part of this building process, knowing
that when used in love and wisdom they will help men open their hearts to each other.
1. Have I been with a woman in the past week that could be viewed as compromising?
2. Have all my financial dealings been filled with integrity?
3. Have I viewed sexually explicit material?
4. Have I spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have I spent quality time and given priority to my family?
6. Have I fulfilled the mandates of my calling?
7. Have I just lied to you?
In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help
develop accountability and invite feedback. If we desire to grow, we should submit our
selves to a spiritual mentor and answer these questions honestly.
1. How is your relationship with God right now?
2. What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
3. What has God said to you in this reading?
4. Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
5. What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself?
7. What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
8. What habits intimidate you?
9. What have you read in the secular press this week?
10. What general reading are you doing?
11. What have you done to play?
12. How are you doing with your spouse? Kids?
13. If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of
energy level, what would the response be?
14. Are you sensing spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
15. If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how
might he do it?
16. What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies?
17. Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great
18. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
19. When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
20. What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this month?
21. What challenges do you think you're going to face in the coming week? Month?
22. What would you say are your fears at this present time?
23. Are you sleeping well?
24. What three things are you most thankful for?
25. Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
26. What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way,
Navpress, 1989, pp. 171-172.