Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life? This is the question that Michael Wittmer asks and, I believe, persuasively answers in his excellent book, "Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life?".
If we're honest, this is probably a question that many of us have wondered privately, but never articulated publicly. Perhaps we think it's blasphemous to wonder if following Jesus will really lead us into the best that life has to offer? And yet if we don't really wrestle with this question we may go through life with the damaging, and often imperceptible, assumption that following Jesus means we miss out on the good things in life. For this reason and more, I believe "Becoming Worldly Saints" is worthy of your time and attention. So, in the hope that you may be sufficiently intrigued (or provoked) to go out & read it, let me share some of my favourite quotes from the book:
The truth of eternity doesn’t obliterate our earthly experiences; it infuses them with heavenly significance.
The gospel is more expansive and exhilarating than most Christians realize. It is not merely about the salvation of your soul but the resurrection of your body too. Jesus came to rescue all of you. And not just you, but also your family, society, and the earth itself.
You’re not a second- or third-class Christian if you seldom appear onstage in your church. Do what you enjoy doing, do what you’re good at doing, and do what the world needs doing.
Scripture ends with the plea, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). Christians don’t pray for God to take them away but for the Lord to come!
God is the one who put us here, so why shouldn’t we think he wants us to settle down and enjoy it?
God cares deeply that we read our Bible, pray, worship, and support our local church. He also cares how we talk to our family, what we do for fun, and how we perform our jobs.
We become worldly when we fail to love God more than the world, and we become worldly when we fail to serve the world on God’s behalf and live as those who don’t know God.
What wholesome thing would you like to do today? Go do it, and feel God’s pleasure as you take pleasure in this world he prepared for you.
God needs pastors, but he also needs florists, bus drivers, and middle managers. What is God calling you to do? It may be radical or it might be normal. But whatever it is, it’s definitely spiritual.
I don’t know whether the Brandenburg Concertos or the Sistine Chapel will make it through to the new earth. It doesn’t matter. I expect both Bach and Michelangelo to be there, with nothing but time to create even better works. Imagine what our geniuses will produce when they have forever to experiment and explore without the handicap of sin. Imagine what you will be able to write, build, and play. If you enjoy being human and you enjoy being here, you are going to love the new earth.
Grace and peace,