Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best sermon of 2011

I confess the best talk that I listened to this year was one that I had very low expectations of. We took a crowd to see Jesus Culture at the Hammersmith Apollo. I am unsure at the best of times about the idea of a touring worship band and assumed the talk might be a little bit of a 'me-centred' bless up. Anyway, with my Charismaniac-omter fully cranked to high I set out for a jolly and, so I thought, fairly unchallenging night out. How wrong I was. How very wrong. The talk given by Banning Leibscher entitled 'Bikes, bartering and baking cookies' was one of the most challenging things I have heard in a long while and the young people sitting all around me were left dumb struck. It might just have been a word for me (a far from young person) and the place I was in but I think it may be more than that hence I share it with you.

In summary, because I know many of you won't be able to hear it- Christ wants all of you and me and you need to submit fully and give him your all. This was his word to the assembled young people, "He calls you come and die" he told us "totally and utterly. This talk and the fourth chapter of Crazy love about the lukewarm have been the two wrecking balls for my plans for a nice comfortable gospel and nice comfortable life (which of course I am still desperately trying to hold on to like a drowning man grabbing onto a buoy as the tide goes out). I know preaching is a dish best served live so it might not translate on DVD but it's good stuff. I think the only way you can listen to the talk is to buy the album Awakenings but there you go. It's stunning.

"Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust in God if the unexpected happens-they have their savings account. They don't need God to help them-they have their retirement plan in place. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live-they have life figured and mapped out. They don't depend on God on a daily basis-their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God."


Francis Chan, Crazy love

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