Decades ago, before I had abandoned my cultural Christianity and decided to truly follow Jesus, a pastor challenged me to 30 days of self-examination. He challenged me to read the 24 chapters of Luke, over the next month; a chapter a day (with a few days thrown in to miss a few readings.)
BUT! (And here was his spiritual, secret sauce.)
“Clare, before you begin reading each day, here’s the prayer I want you to pray sincerely; God teach me everything you want me to learn, and give me the courage to live it out!”
God used that prayer to change everything. Everything.
I wasn’t to read the Bible for information. I was to read it as an instruction manual. I had been born and raised in the church, so I knew I had what the Bible “said” I just didn’t trust God enough to live it out. What was missing? Faith. My definition of faith is, “courageous obedience to the teachings of Jesus.” Prior to that, I thought faith was believing the correct doctrine and keeping a lid on my public sins. But faith is believing the correct doctrine with enough conviction to live it out reasonably consistent. “Faith without works is dead.”
Over the last four decades of my life, I’ve presented the 30-day challenge to thousands of people, many of them cultural Christians like I was. And God used that 30 days to open many people’s eyes to what Jesus actually meant when he said, “If anyone wants to be my disciple (a true Christian) they must deny themselves, take up their cross, (pay whatever the price for obedience) and follow me.”
Up for the challenge? How about challenging another man, or if you are a woman, another woman, to take the 30 day challenge together.
Buckle your seat belt. The Holy Spirit is about to change you!
How following Jesus works in real life.
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