Scandalously Simple

Reading through Joe Barnard’s The Way Forward has been painful in a good sort of way. Written for the spiritual growth of men in the 21st Century, the first third is a diagnosis of the problem, of what keeps us from maturing in Christ as we should. The following quotation is from that section of the book, and hopefully it will nudge you toward reading the whole thing.

Recently, I was asked what verse Christian men need to hear more than any other. My answer was Luke 10:42, ‘One thing is needed.’ Repeatedly, Jesus’ perspective on life is scandalously simple. There is no bucket-list. There is no call for rabid multitasking. There is one thing. In fact, Jesus promises that if our chief objective is earnestly pursued then God will supply our other needs. In the Sermon on the Mount, He says, ‘Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”… But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you’ (Matt. 6:31, 33). Christian discipleship might be challenging, but it is not complicated. The objectives of life are reduced to a bare minimum, one. Our calling is to follow Christ…

Spiritual growth will forever suffer among men until they are convinced of their need to simplify. To attempt everything is to accomplish nothing. In fact, even Jesus did not attempt to do more than the Father had asked of Him. In His high priestly prayer, He confessed that there were limitations on His calling. ‘I have brought you glory by finishing the work you gave me to do’ (John 17:4 NIV). Jesus did not do everything. He limited Himself to the work God had given Him to accomplish. Men today are dangerously naive if they believe that they can do more than Jesus, the Son of God, did. In fact, they are worse than naive. They are proud, and pride only ever leads to one thing, a fall (Prov. 16:18).

pp. 53-55

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