It’s amazing to me how so many Christians think that Jesus wants us to live a safe life with enough money to live comfortably and take a yearly vacation while living in a nice little suburban home. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matt. 16:24).” He also said, “Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matt. 10:28).”

My question to you is: Do you know what the cross represents? Our view of the cross will determine how we follow Christ. It’s scary really. The cross represents torture, pain, death… Three things we want to avoid at all costs in America, especially the American church. Francis Chan hit the nail on the head saying the greatest prayer of “safe” Christians is “God, I’d love to die in my sleep and not even feel it.”

I’d dare say, at the risk of making some Christians very angry, you are NOT a follower of Jesus if you aren’t living radically. Ask yourself how much different your life looks now compared to before you “got saved.” Being born again means so much more than “I’m not gonna party anymore” or “I’m going to listen to Christian music more than my other music.” It means more than just “I’m not going to cuss anymore” or posting statuses about Jesus. Being born again means your heart is made new and your heart will no longer desire the things of this world (Gal 5:24). It means you will long more to see people know the Truth of the Gospel than to spend time playing video games or watching the newest reality show.

We are called to take up our cross and follow Jesus. He doesn’t call us to a life of safety. Faith has no place in safety. Our safety is found in faith. “Jesus said, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him (Matt. 4:19-20).” Immediately. That means they didn’t take time to weigh their options. They didn’t wonder what people would think about them. They didn’t even worry about what their family would think. They IMMEDIATELY dropped their jobs, their livelihood, to follow Jesus.

“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God (Luke 9:57-60).” We are called to total, selfless abandon.

Am I saying that you need to quit school or your job to go spread the Gospel? No, unless that’s what God’s calling you to do. Am I saying skip out on the funeral of a family member to spread the Gospel? No, spread the Gospel at the funeral. What I am saying is be willing to live dangerously for the Kingdom. Don’t be afraid to offend people. Jesus offended people. Don’t worry about having money because God will take care of that. Think spiritually and God will take care of the physical. You will never grow spiritually if you don’t step out in faith. Be willing to be hated. Be willing to speak the Truth. Be willing to be persecuted for His name, the name of Jesus Christ. Be willing to be uncomfortable.

Be blessed!

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.'”   John 15:18-25

If you connected with these words and are interested in sowing into my ministry as I travel and preach the Gospel, please click HERE.
If you’re interested in me speaking at your church, email me at ryanrhodesbooking@gmail.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Be blessed!

To God Be All The Glory!

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Comments
  1. With the funeral case go to the funeral, raise the dead person to life and take the microphone and start sharing Jesus and have a call for salvation. 😀

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Teresa Lieh (Lai), Ryan M. Rhodes. Ryan M. Rhodes said: Comfortable Christianity: The Ultimate Oxymoron : http://t.co/jAy0gGe […]

  3. Eric J. says:

    Wow! This definitely convicts me and helps me regain focus. This is excellent! You have such passion and are willing to obey God and that is awesome! You are one of those people who you can just sense greatness on; God’s presence truly is resting on you. I am glad to have you as a friend because you challenge me to better and encourage me in more ways than one. Keep writing! Blessings!

  4. mary t says:

    Beautiful,, just beautiful… it is also not fair for me to live in a nice apartment, albeit a small simple one, meanwhile our brothers and sisters in other lands are living in jail, having their houses burnt, for giving Bible to people, and witnessing. how can we serve them? what can we do?

    • ryanmrhodes says:

      Thank you so much! It may not be fair but we can use the resources God blessed us with to glorify Him. Also, we must follow Matthew 5:44 “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” So pray for the people persecuting and pray for courage for those being persecuted. Also, we should pray that God uses us in such a way that our lives provoke persecution because of the Truth we present. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10. A wise man said this to me today: “If it’s no longer offensive, it’s no longer the Gospel.” Present the Truth and present it with power through the Holy Spirit. Please share this blog. 🙂

  5. KPhillips says:

    Wow! This is right on! Living for Jesus is not only an adventure, but a life of faith-filled risk! If He says it, we believe it and then do it! There is no room for question. Blessings to you my brother, let us all get this and move forward with radical obedience and pray only what the Father prays, say only what the Father says and do only what the Father does! Welcome to the new normal!

  6. Gina Alves says:

    Ryan,
    This is soooo true!! Lord, help me to be all you have called me to be.

  7. Wow! Powerful article! So glad I read this. I remember when I first really started to develop and grow in Christ and one of my aunts said to me, “It’s not easy being a Christian”. Those words stand so firm. I think mainly the reason we see it as difficult is because we’re doing God’s will oppose to our own and sometimes try to combine them. People want to take a little bit of what they want and then do a little of what God says. But as you mentioned, we need to take up the cross, follow Him, and leave everything knowing that He will provide.

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