Pastor Chan is pretty hard on us in Chapter 4. He describes “lukewarm” Christians in great detail but today, let’s flip it over and describe a person who is “hot for God.”
First of all, when there is something going on at church the “hot for God” person [hfG] will be there. We all know the sporadic attenders who come as an afterthought. We all know the special holiday attenders. The hfG person comes to meetings, fun groups, VBS work days, United Methodist Men events etc. etc. When the church door is open, they are there.
The hfG person gives of their money. They may give until it hurts. They know that God will care for them no matter what, but they like to share what God has given them with others. They recognize the needs of others. They are not into luxuries and realize that luxury is not a requirement for life.
Popularity is not their concern. When there is a tough issue, they let God guide their decision-making process. They are not worried about what others think of them. Their number one concern is doing the right thing in God’s eyes. Worldly popularity may diminish but they are not concerned.
The hfG person wants to be cleansed of their sin. They realize they have done wrong and desire to repent. They don’t just want to avoid punishment; they want the sin to stop.
When a hfG person hears an inspiring story, they act on it and they change. The work of others leads them to do better. They are not afraid to take a chance for God. They will work outside their comfort zone. They are not content to do the bare minimum.
The hfG person is not afraid to share their faith with others. They share often and feel called to do so. They believe the Holy Spirit helps them in this process.
Comparing themselves to others is not on the hfG person’s list of things to do. They realize that the world’s standards are not good enough. They follow God’s standards as much as possible. They love Jesus as completely as they can. They don’t put Jesus into a small compartment that they use as needed. He is the main theme of the hfG person’s life. They love God with all their heart, soul and strength. In fact, the hfG person loves God so much that love of self is not high up on their list. Love of others is.
If God asks a hfG person to serve, they will, no matter what God asks.
A hfG person thinks about heaven a lot and they realize that time on earth is short and we need to make the most out of it. They have something special about them. They are “set apart” in their behavior. Living by faith causes them to seem different from the usual Christian.
Why have I done this “flip” of Chapter 4?
I would rather give us all something to aspire to than make us feel guilty as we see ourselves as “lukewarm.”
That’s exactly what will happen as we read the inventory of the lukewarm Christian.
Pastor Chan wants us to take stock of our belief in God. He says as much in the lines, “We are all messed-up human beings. And no one is totally immune to the behaviors [of the lukewarm Christian]. However there is a difference between a life that is characterized by these sorts of mentalities and habits and a life that is in the process of being radically transformed…now is the time to take a serious self-inventory.”
Lukewarm or hfG?
What type of Christian do you want to be?