I love it when I meet or read about authentic Christians — Christians who live out what they say.
That is what I want to be.
This week I get to share about two such people. One person we have met in recent days. Our kids were able to play in an Upward Basketball program, and it just so happened that Tony Dungy’s kids were playing in the same program that we did. It was neat to see a husband and wife that have resources to hire nannies and babysitters, yet they chose to be there every week for practice and games. Here is a couple that have adopted 7 children (I believe) when they could be sitting back and taking it easy. I would watch them take care of 3 children under the age of 5 with amazement. Tony Dungy has told us he is a Christian, that he is pro-life, and that family is what is most-important; but it was inspiring to see it in action.
Tony is the video speaker for today’s video in Ziglar family’s 7-Day Family Challenge. It’s a free challenge, and you can still see the videos for the previous 4 days. I really enjoyed yesterday’s video from Dr. Axe. Just sign up for emails HERE, and you’ll get the videos sent to your inbox. I know family is very important to all of you who read these Thursday posts, so go get some free advice and help from experts such as Gary Chapman, Michael Hyatt, Dr. Axe, Tony Dungy, Dave Ramsey, and more!
The other authentic Christian I read up on today was William MacDonald.
William MacDonald has written my favorite one volume commentary, Believers Bible Commentary. I may not totally follow everything he has written, but he lived what he taught. Today, I was reading his notes on Mark 8:34-38 where it says,
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
William MacDonald says about this passage:
Then Jesus said to them in effect, ‘I am going to suffer and die so that men might be saved. If you desire to come after Me, you must deny every selfish impulse, deliberately choose a pathway of reproach, suffering and death, and follow Me. You may have to forsake personal comforts, social enjoyments, earthly ties, grand ambitions, material riches, and even life itself.’
Words like these make us wonder how we can really believe that it is all right for us to live in luxury and ease. How can we justify the materialism, selfishness, and coldness of our hearts? His words call us to lives of self-denial, surrender, suffering, and sacrifice.
There is always the temptation to save our life — to live comfortably, to provide for the future, to make one’s own choices, even with self as the center of everything. There is no surer way of losing one’s life. Christ calls us to pour out our lives for His sake and the gospel’s, dedicating ourselves to Him spirit, soul, and body.
After reading this, I wondered, “Did MacDonald live what he wrote?” Surely, his commentaries and books made a lot of money. What did he do with this wealth? So I went on a hunt to figure out more about the man himself. Here are some facts I uncovered:
- He lived in the same one bedroom apartment for 35 years, refused personal gain from royalties but poured everything over and above his basic necessities into the work of the Lord giving widely to missions, evangelistic ministries, assembly-planting efforts, and hundreds of individual workers. He established a translation fund (administered by CMML) for the work of translating and printing his Believers Bible Commentary into foreign languages so the church could benefit from the decades of his study of the Word of God. (Source)
- He left little of earthly value. Even though he was a successful investment analyst before he was called by God into ministry, he had no stock portfolio, no property, no investments of any kind on this earth. Everything he received beyond what was necessary for his basic needs, he gave away. (Source)
He believed these were the seven principles of Christian discipleship and he demonstrated them in his daily life:
- A supreme love for Jesus Christ.
- A denial of self.
- A deliberate choosing of the cross.
- A life spent in following Christ.
- A fervent love for all who belong to Christ.
- An unswerving continuance in His Word.
- A forsaking of all to follow Him.
Here are a couple of quotes from him:
God pours out his choicest blessings on those who are anxious that nothing shall stick to their hands. Individuals who value the rainy day above the present agony of the world will get no blessing from God.
― William MacDonald,
I know I live a comfortable life, and I think that is okay. God has blessed us abundantly. However, let’s be authentic Christians. Let’s live a life that glorifies God and is real!
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