I recently read and appreciated Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. It connects well with our current series at Trinity CRC where we’re working through the Gospel of Mark.
One of my favorite parts of the book is where the author writes about 1 Corinthians 1:18…
“For the message of the cross is foolishness —
to those who are perishing, —
but to us who are being saved —
it is the power of God.” —
One version puts it this way: “The message of the cross doesn’t make sense…” (CEV). Dying to yourself doesn’t make sense for the fan [that is, those who like to keep a safe distance from Jesus], but the follower [of Jesus] understands that dying is the secret to really living. That’s why we sing about the wonderful cross.
— The cross that represented defeat –
— — for a follower it is an image of victory.
— The cross that represented guilt –
— — for a follower it is an image of grace.
— The cross that represented condemnation –
— — for a follower it is an image of freedom.
— The cross represented pain and suffering –
— — for a follower it is an image of healing and hope.
— The cross that represented death –
— — for a follower it is an image of life.
— The cross may not be attractive,
— — but for a follower it is beautiful.
Taking up a cross and dying to myself sounds like torture. We think that such a decision would make us miserable. Is that what it means to follow Jesus? We wake up every morning and commit to misery. But when we die to ourselves and completely surrender to Him, there is a surprising side effect to dying; we discover true life. In a twist of irony, we find that giving up our lives gives us the life we so desperately wanted all along. (pp. 170-171)
I enjoyed this book as well.
[…] –I also quoted Not a Fan a couple years ago here.– […]