I have an aversion to art created solely for promotion. When I heard Lucado wrote Outlive Your Life with World Vision in mind and 100% of his royalty was being donated to projects, I lost interest in the book even before opening it. But, to not read it would break my streak–Having read every Lucado, I just had to. I’m glad I did.
This book is not about World Vision per se; it’s about living the Gospel Commission with fervor. And that excites me. Very much. Except for illustrations from World Vision’s work around the globe, the book is entirely a persuasive appeal to every Christian, every church, to get back to the model of the early Christian Church.
My opinion is that over the past several years, self-centeredness has made a slow, subtle creep into the Christian market. Under the guise of spiritual formation, today’s hot topics center on self–working on your personal relationship with God, developing a personal Bible study plan, setting personal goals for a better lifestyle. No doubt, intimacy with God is absolutely essential and is the cornerstone of a solid Christian life. But there’s something wrong when our need to get more of God has cleverly taken priority over our responsibility to give more to God.
Lucado, of course, is not tactless as I am. Couched in diplomacy and biblical examples, he urges the reader to take a long, hard look at the church in the Acts of the Apostles. He tells you why through inspiring stories. He paints an almost-like-heaven picture of a world where every Christian lives like the early church. And he calls you to imagine the what if’s–“What if we rocked the world with hope?”
Over and over again, Lucado points out how–in theory–living an active Christian life is easy. Statistically, we have the wherewithal to do this. He gives this example: There 145 million orphans in the world and 236 million professing Christians in the United States. Technically this should be an equation that equals zero orphans in the world! Something to think about, huh? Read the book; there’s so much more.