"To follow Jesus doesn’t remove us from the stuff of life. It is not resolution. It is tension and journey: First John 2:6 states, ‘Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did’ (NIV). Jesus was in the world, engaged, alive, involved, making a difference. To follow Him, we must do the same. His prayer for us in John 17 is ‘Not that you take them out of the world…’ and ‘As you sent me into the world, I have sent htem into the world’ (verses 15,18 NIV). This is what God has done for us. He has come into our condition. He has come to bring us back. he has come and embraced us. He has come and covered us in Himself. Watch this Christ. Watch as He is accused of being a drunkard, of associating with tax collectors. Watch as He brings healing to the afflicted, love to prostitutes, forgiveness to sinners. Watch as He climbs the hill bearing His destruction on His back. Watch as blood and water flow. Watch as salvation comes to us all. Watch as glory ascends to come again. Watch and fall in love witha God who does not resolve, whose rescue is never-ending. Whose prayer is that you would be that resuce. Who sends you to be that resuce. Be courageous. Even as you stand there hiding in the bushes, shaking to the bottom of your toes, frightened of what’s to follow, what consequences will come of it, know that evil will not prevail. That you are not alone. That you bring the kingdom of God and there is hope. there is hope always. And others will walk out of dark places and see you standing there, arms outstretched, given completely to this hope." (Crowder, Praise Habit, p.154.)
Author: Ken Castor
After thirty years of next-generation ministry, Dr. Ken is balding in his hairline but still bold in his faith. He is the Family and NextGen Pastor at Wooddale Church. He served as the Professor of Youth Ministry at Crown College for over a decade and in nextgen ministry for two decades before that. Ken is the “Blue Letters Editor” of the Award-winning Jesus-Centered Bible, and has authored numerous discipleship resources like Grow Down and Make a Difference. He’s also a nerdy Cubs fan, the founder of NEXT Ministry Conferences, has several Chuck-Taylors, and enjoys living in Minnesota with his brilliantly witty and slightly freezing family.