Last week I got an email from Mary DeMuth inviting me to participate as a member of the launch team for her upcoming book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. Mary’s writing has blessed me countless times and I had the pleasure of meeting her at Relevant (now Allume) last year–she’s the real thing, friends. For the next several weeks, on Monday’s I will share a bit about the book and about what it’s like trying to live with Jesus as my everything.
I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.
I’ve been thinking about when Jesus became my everything. In the past, I’ve wrestled with the lack of drama in my story. There was no parting of the heavens. I never experienced a hardcore transformation like Saul (Paul).
Having grown up in the church, Jesus wasn’t a foreigner to me, in the way that He may be to some. I knew his name, I’d read His book. I’d taken the bread, drank the cup and prayed the prayers since I was six.
I lived for years believing I would go to heaven before I ever realized that following Jesus is less about what you say you believe and more about how you actually live.
Saying you know who He is is one thing. Living as if you know Him is something else. It’s an expensive lifestyle.
“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life…Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
The call for the Christian is both to become and to make disciples. It sounds innocent enough–and yet it’s the hardest,(but most rewarding) thing I’ve ever tried to do.
Looking back, I realized that there was in fact one dramatic event that swung wide the doors, letting Jesus enter in.
When I was fourteen we lost everything we had in Hurricane Andrew. As a result of the storm we packed up what was left and moved to another state.
New school, new friends, new home, new life–in Him.
Sometimes, salvation only comes through the complete stripping away of everything we value most. Job lived this. Many others have as well. When we’re pressed to our knees, there’s only one place left to look. In these barren moments He catches our eye–our heart, and He fills the void, if we’re willing, if we’ll have Him.
It turned out my heart needed the priming of a category 5 hurricane.
In Chapter one of her book, Everything, Mary notes that in order for Jesus to be our everything, our theology must be sound. It’s tough to hold on to the truth in a world that prefers comfort (even if it’s false) over the hard truths found in scripture.
It’s easier to pick and choose our favorite portions of the bible, rather than swallow the whole messy thing. It’s a complicated story, it’s convicting, heartbreaking, violent–and frankly, just difficult to comprehend. Still, we must establish a firm foundation rooted in the truth about God regardless of how we feel about the truth. Finding God’s character difficult to understand, or even frustrating doesn’t change who He is, but it can change who we are. <–Tweet This
Mary examines five undeniable truths about God:
- God creates
- God is other (understanding, or rather accepting that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make up the trinity, and Jesus was fully God and fully man, experiencing life on earth as both a man, and yet He was sinless, as He is also in God the Father)
- God redeems
- God sees
- God Inhabits
The follow up to this discussion centers around the gospel–what it is, how we live it (or don’t) and how we water it down.
The discussion questions at the end of the chapters provide an excellent spring board to further consideration and discussion.
Mary is running a contest for the next couple of days (Aug. 15th is the last day) You can star in the Everything Trailer if your video is selected! Read more about that HERE.
My theology continues to be shaped by the things I read, the bible, books like Mary’s, the people I meet and interact with. God continues to teach me about who He is and who He created me to be. Surviving the hurricane set my life on a completely different course.
I’d heard of Jesus before the storm, but after the storm, I came to know Jesus–He became my everything.
What does your theology look like? How do you live and share the gospel?