Chan on Lukewarm Christians 2

crazy love.jpg

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church … as long as it doesn’t impinge of their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?

1 Chron 21:14

But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

Luke 21:1-4

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”


Chan on Lukewarm Christians 1

crazy love.jpgChapter 4 of Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, is brilliant – yet scary. It is entitled Profile of the lukewarm.

Referring to the parable of the sower Chan repeatedly states, “don’t assume you are good soil”, and then describes lukewarm people as a challenge to rise into hot blooded passion for Jesus Christ.

Over the next few days I am going to share his list of what lukewarm people look like. I will post one a day until we reach the end. It is not an easy read but in the book Chan tells us that the Bible says to test ourselves so it a good thing. Make sure you take time, read the posts thoughtfully and prayerfully, be careful not to miss the challenge and call of the Holy Spirit.

Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.

Isaiah 29:13 (NIV), “The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

Why Memorise Scripture?

Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty keen on memorising (and reading) the Bible. I am not alone in such thinking, in fact many Christians you might have heard of hold the same view.

John Piper quotes Dallas Willard saying,

“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization”

There are many reasons to memorise the Bible. Here are a few that motivate me;

1. It helps me become more like Jesus

1 John 2:6

whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

2 Cor. 3:18

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

2. It helps me resist the temptation to sin

Psalm 119:11 was my first ever memory verse,

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

3. It helps me to resist the devil

Jesus in the wilderness, Matt 4:4,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

4. It helps me tell other people the Gospel

In sharing the Gospel I try to interweave the words of the Bible with experience, questions or testimony. I always think it helps me make sure I am testifying about Jesus not me. Acts 5:42

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

1 Peter 3:15,

in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

5. It helps my words bring life, hope and encouragement

Proverbs 15:23,

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!

6. It helps me to know more of God and his ways

I like to memorise verses which proclaim the greatness of who God is, Isaiah 40:28, 29

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

7. It helps me to live in the promises of God

John 15:7,

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Phil. 4:13,

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

There are lots of books, posts, blogs and papers giving other good reasons for memorising your Bible. What I have given here is a very simple set of reasons that motivate me to do it.

Next time I will talk a little about the practice of memorising, how you do it.

May Chapel Schedule


Be very careful

sharks_circling.jpg…is something I am likely to say to my children when they go and take part in new venture, when I am worried about the company they might keep, when I am concerned for their safety. Most of us have either been on the giving or receiving end of such advice.

God was just as concerned for his people as they entered a new phase of life. Joshua is about to pass on to glory. New leadership, new experiences, new challenges await. Joshua 23:11-13

Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you.

There it is, be very careful to love the Lord your God. In each new situation you have to develop patterns, habits, routines that ensure you love God first. Joshua had led the people into a place of God’s abundance and yet still they had failed to see it, failed to take hold of it. The book of Joshua is full of such instances. This is Joshua 16:10,

However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.

Loving God requires determination to conquer the enemies of our walk with him. Where have you stopped fighting? Are there places unconquered in all God has called you to?