Monday, May 18, 2009

Imagine yourself sitting in the sanctuary on a Sunday morning. You have just finished singing some songs, you are shuffling your things around, getting your Bible balanced on your legs, thinking about what you have to do as soon as the sermon is know, all those things.

Although a bit preoccupied, you are ready to hear a message. You are wanting something that is going to "speak" to you...something that you will be able to apply to your life. You are wanting the sermon to pull you in, tug at your heartstrings, and hold your attention. But not for too long! Ideally there would be 3 points which are skillfully interwoven among entertaining stories, a few jokes, and perhaps a personal anecdote or two.You are wanting to feel a subtle conviction, but nothing that is going to stir things up or make you feel too bad about yourself. Will the pastor deliver?

He walks up to the pulpit (or music stand) and there is something different about his presence this day. He is contemplative. He looks tired. You think, Hmm. What is going on? What's he about to say? There is an awkward silence and a sense of curiosity fills the room as the pastor surveys the audience thoughtfully, silently. Then, he begins to speak...

"What I am going to propose now is something which ought not to appear unusual or at all impossible of execution. Yet I am aware that it will be regarded by a large number, perhaps, of the members of this church. but in order that we may have a thorough understanding of what we are considering, I will put my proposition very plainly, perhaps bluntly. I want volunteers from [this]church who will pledge themselves, earnestly and honestly for an entire year,not to do anything without first asking the question, "What would Jesus do?"

We have all heard the saying WWJD. Perhaps you have even sported a bracelet or two, but have you ever really let that question dictate the minute by minute actions of your day? In the book In His Steps, by Charles Sheldon, a pastor presents the previous passage to his congregation in the late 1800's. It is regarded by many as a radical challenge.

Radical? Indeed.

John 12:25 &26

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Lord, I want to be radical. I want my "self" to get lost and I don't want to find it. Create in me a desire for things of eternal value. Help me to see this world for what it truly is--fleeting. I want to follow in your steps. In all my ways, for all my days, help me to ask the question, what would Jesus do? And most importantly, when I know the answer, help me do it. Amen

Read In His Steps online.


  1. I'm definitely going to have to add this book to my reading list this summer!

  2. A quick dictionary search of the word "radical" revealed the following definitions:

    - of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.

    - forming a basis or foundation.

    Synonyms: essential, foundational, vital

    I want to be radical, too. Thanks for the thoughts to ponder.

  3. Thanks for those, Rob. I had to go searching too. This one stood out to me:

    -Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions

    While the concept is so very fundamental to Christianity, if applied to our current practices, life conditions and in our institutions--it most certainly would be revolutionary.

    Exciting to think about!

  4. This is one of my most favorite books ever. Thanks for reminding me of its radical and revolutionary message!

  5. Yes, if you have not read this book, I highly reccomend it. I think it should be required reading for all.
    Oh, what do ya know? I just found a site where you can read it online for free. Start today!

  6. This books sounds awesome! I'm no reader, as you know, but I might have to change that and read this. Love this post!