David Platt – Follow Me (Highlights part 1)

As I mentioned before I have recently started a personal reading project. The title above is number 2 on my list. I first read this book in my second or third year of university, so it’s another one I’m revisiting. Coming back to it, there were definitely different parts which I needed to hear in this current season of my life, which I probably had taken for granted as a single (unmarried), unemployed person with no children. Rather than do another book summary, I wanted to share some of the things which I felt I needed to be reminded of.

Firstly, a little background, I first came across David Platt (the author) through my teenage years. When I was being really inspired and challenged by the talks and books of Francis Chan. Who, in turn, I found out about through a random facebook post from one of the youth leaders I was encouraged by at my local church’s youth camp. It’s amazing but I remember, after watching this 50 minute talk from the 2007 passion conference, by a chance encounter, deciding that I wanted to preach. (God really does use roundabout ways to reach us!) Anyway, from being immersed in Chan’s resources, I soon discovered the collaborative work that he did with David Platt and eventually got my hands on one of his books.

So what did I need to hear this time reading the book:

  1. Surprised at how rooted this book was in grace.

One of my weaknesses in reading Chan and Platt, especially as a younger Christian was to emphasise the action parts of their communication. I wanted to be challenged to live a holy lifestyle, to ‘live in a way that demands an explanation’. Therefore, I was quick to overlook how much attention they gave to the foundation of God’s grace.

Yes we need to work out our salvation and live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Yes we need to be bold and active in discipleship and sharing our faith. But this all comes from, by and for the demonstration of God’s grace. This is the good news. When I started re-reading this book, I was not expecting Platt to hit upon the theme and importance of grace so consistently and so persistently throughout the book. In every chapter he drives it home, interweaving the message of the free gift of grace with the challenges to live radically for Jesus.

Faith is the anti-work. It’s the realisation that there is nothing you can do but trust in what has been done for you in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Faith is the realisation that God’s pleasure in you will never be based upon your performance for Him. Instead, God’s pleasure will always be based upon Christ’s performance for you.

  1. The Holy Spirit fills us in order to speak.  

At one point Platt, outlines 8 times in the New Testament where people are filled with the Holy Spirit, and the result is that people begin to speak about the good news/Jesus. He uses this as an illustration to demonstrate that yes we are to witness with our lives, but we are actually empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness with our words. I was very challenged by this, because I often make out like my witness at work is because I work hard and diligently, and am a kind person. Actually, there is a responsibility and power in me (by the Spirit) to speak as well.

We have brothers and sisters around the world who are imprisoned, beaten, persecuted, and killed today not because they smile as they serve people. Martyrs from the first century to the twenty-first century die because they speak the gospel. Doesn’t it seem ignorant and even arrogant to say, particularly in areas where we are free to proclaim the gospel, that we will “just witness with out lives”?

  1. How to share the gospel. 

Going on from here, Platt actually helps us know how to speak about the gospel. I was taken aback here, because I went through a phase a year or so ago, where I found that no-one was talking about the practicalities of sharing the gospel. I was frustrated with vague principles and theories about sharing the gospel, diagrams and ideas. But nothing concrete. Furthermore, when I started asking other Christians how they did it, I could find no one with anything remotely satisfying or practical. I tried to tail a few people on outreach activities in and around the city. But it’s totally different talking about the gospel with strangers as to actually doing it with people you work with and have ongoing relationships with.

So Platt talks about the idea of sewing Gospel threads into everyday conversation. But first we need to ‘earn the right to be heard’, by being honest in our work, honouring the people we work alongside and caring for them in ‘poignant ways’. What do these gospel threads look like. 

Every follower of Christ knows who God is, what man’s ultimate problem is, who Jesus is and what He has done, how someone can be saved, and how important it is for people to be saved. So let’s incorporate the character of God, the sinfulness of man, the sufficiency of Christ, thenecessity of faith, and the urgency of eternity into our everyday conversations. And as we thread this Good News into the fabric of every interaction we have with people around us, let’s pray that God will open eyes to see the tapestry of his glory and believer the gospel of His grace. (Pages 185-187 unpack this really well!)

When I read this, I thought how easy it would be to do this, especially because when I’m in the office, I’m often talking about the news headlines. Don’t these themes all tie in so well with everyday reality? Also, we can do this about events in our own lives and the stories that come up. It just takes a bit of boldness and willingness to take a risk.

The fourth point that stood out to me was the importance of the Church in our discipleship with Jesus. But I want to save that for another post because this one is already too long!

One thought on “David Platt – Follow Me (Highlights part 1)

  1. Pingback: David Platt – Follow Me (Highlights part 2) | Pursuit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s