Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian struggling to follow Jesus during the Nazi reign, wrote a benchmark book, The Cost of Discipleship. It is a call to forsake our attachments to this temporary world. It is a call to die to self and live for Christ.
The call of Jesus is not that we should expect God to cater to us. It is to abandon self to God. Yet we prefer a Jesus that doesn’t mind materialism and would never ask us to
- empty ourselves for Him and for the advancement of His kingdom;
- to forsake our closest relationships to give Him all our affection;
- not infringe on our comforts; and
- choose to fight against the enemy as that would cause us to be anxious.
Instead we prefer a Jesus created in our image, the giver of comfort and prosperity. In doing so we may be worshipping ourselves, rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
We know in business and other areas of life, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. This is a theme of the Sermon on the Mount, where the Lord promises He is paying attention to our thoughts, our intents and our actions.
Our approach is often we will
- present the gospel to 1 billion that have not heard, if it is not too much trouble;
- provide clean water to 1 billion people if there is no risk, it is low cost;
- Stop human trafficking, slavery if it is not inconvenient; or
- Address the death of thirty thousand children a day that die from preventable diseases and malnutrition if there is no risk, no effort from me. I am too busy.
Jesus gave the parable of the man who saw a treasure in a field, then sold, that is, risked all that he had to buy the field to secure that treasure. We pass up that treasure, we pass up the well-done good an faithful servant for our values that are other than kingdom values.
Nelson Malwitz, Founder - September 2010