Elisabeth Elliot once wrote, "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman."
I think the same truth can be applied in this way: The fact that you are a teenager does not make you a different kind of Christian, but the fact that you are a Christian makes you a different kind of teenager.
I live in a strong Christian home and have grown up under solid Biblical teaching all my life. But I will be honest, there are times when I read articles or books on living for Christ and they fall flat because I have heard it all before.
It is especially easy for teenagers raised in a Christian home to grow apathetic about their faith. The gospel becomes commonplace - I don't like admitting it, but it's true - and we grow comfortable. We get stuck in our habits. We go through the motions.
Whatever happened to a fire for Christ so bright and passionate that people couldn't help but notice its glow?
"When Jesus ascended into heaven and commissioned all believers to go out and make disciples, the number of Christ followers was small. Acts 1:15 says that 'the number of names was about a hundred and twenty.'
One hundred and twenty.
I don't know if there were more people who followed Christ and would go out and preach the gospel, but the Bible follows the story of this one hundred and twenty. And that's all that was needed to begin building the church. It makes me wonder, if there were only one hundred and twenty Christians left in the world today, would the gospel spread and flourish as it did then? Or would it die out?"
- Sara Barratt
There comes a point in every teenager's life where we must decide whether to coast on our parent's faith and eventually burn out, or take up our cross and follow Jesus.
Sara's passion and love for Jesus practically glows on every page of her book. I walked away from each chapter eager to dig deeper into God's Word and inspired to quit giving "lip service" to my faith and start living it instead. It left me hungry for a closer relationship with Jesus. Love Riot reminded me that the gospel isn't just words on a page or knowing John 3:16 by heart. It is something living, alive, and absolutely incredible.
Yet despite the incredible joy and passion that jumps off the pages, Love Riot is no comfortable read. It is a battle cry against apathy and complacency - an impassioned plea for the next generation of Christians to be one that follows Christ without reserve. Being a Christian means sacrificing, giving of ourselves, and living counterculturally. Following Christ means counting the costs.
Have you counted the costs? I know I probably haven't, but I am tired of complacency.
I'm ready for a Love Riot.
"God has not given up on our generation. On the contrary, I believe He has more in store for us than we can imagine. I believe the power which rose Jesus Christ from the dead can raise up the spiritually dying remains of this generation and spark a passion in our souls for His name. In a culture announcing that teenagers are leaving the church, I know God can flip the paradigm and bring us back. Can you imagine a society filled with teens on fire for Jesus Christ? Can you imagine churches packed with teens devoted to God? Can you imagined communities overflowing with teens committed to following Christ and working to bring His kingdom to glory in the years to come?