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Jan 3

Leonard Sweet’s I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

Thomas, one of Jesus Christ friends, asked him about eternity “How can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! Without me, no one can go to the Father. If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him.”

Sweet invites his readers to consider the implications and benefits of living our Story as Christ’s Story.

Sweet captured the gospel and it’s implications accurately: “To be the humans God made us to be, we need grace.” We need that grace to effectively represent Christ for a dying world.

“The one thing that the church does that no one else can do is point us to the only Source of that grace. The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. The church is called to be in the healing business and the holiness business.”

This the history of abject hypocrisy in our churches and among individual Christians is the worst of our sins; it implies our mission is self-protection and pretension.

I agree with Sweet that, “The holier and healthier we are, the better human beings we become the more we live the vision of the One in whom all truth and beauty and goodness dwell, the more we feel ourselves in need of mercy and the more drunk, possessed, and overcome we are with the loving mercy we receive.”

Our humble dependence on God attract more people to the mercy of God than all our false attempts to look better than we are.

For, “If we are followers of the greatest Lover who ever lived, then we will be great lovers ourselves. If the Spirit of God is in us and we are abiding in Christ, love will spew naturally from us.”

But, as Sweet wrote, “healing and holiness aren’t easy.”

Throughout the book Sweet has included “Interactives”which are suitable for individual reflection and group conversations. For instance, “If you were to create a ‘Pilgrim’s Playlist’ for your iPod, what would be your selection of songs? For the ancient pilgrim, of course, it would include the ‘Song of Ascents’ from the Psalms (Psalms 120-134). Today’s pilgrims might choose ‘Wayfaring Stranger,’ ‘Lonely Stranger’ (Eric Clapton), and ‘The World I Know’ (Collective Soul). What else?”

I enjoyed I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus and recommend that you read it too.

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