Easy does it? Not in Kruckenberg’s Chapel talk

September 20, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

There’s no easy way to act on what Brian Kruckenberg urged in his Chapel talk Monday morning at Grand Canyon University Arena.

His message is in direct contrast to a world that seeks to breathe easy and take it easy, and especially to a culture that tries to map out easy street and worships easy money. It’s a subject that isn’t easy for some to hear and is even harder for many to act on.

Brian Kruckenberg of New City Church addresses Chapel on Monday morning.

Brian Kruckenberg of New City Church addresses Chapel on Monday morning.

“What is God calling you to do?” the pastor of New City Church in Phoenix asked an audience that numbered more than 6,000.

The answer, he warned, isn’t in the comfort zone of many people, including Christians, and it certainly is not on the path of least resistance for a secular world that deems everything OK as long as no one gets hurt.

“If you don’t feel the tension of walking the Christian life,” he said, “maybe you’re not walking it.”

To illustrate his point, Kruckenberg pointed to Biblical references that show how the idea of avoiding suffering is nothing new.

In Acts 20:22-24, Paul told his followers in Ephesus that he must return to Jerusalem even though he knew that suffering and death awaited him there. His disciples urged him to not go, but Paul wouldn’t hear of it. He had to do what he had to do.

In Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus had a stern rebuke when Peter urged Him to bypass the torture and death that He predicted for Himself in Jerusalem: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

“I realize when I read Scripture,” Kruckenberg said, “that we haven’t changed a whole lot in two thousand years. … This idea of suffering, it isn’t an American dilemma, it’s a human dilemma.”

The path to which we are called probably won’t be life-threatening, Kruckenberg said, and the conflicting opinions of family, friends and mentors might make the decision even more confusing. But the heart tug is unmistakable.

He related his own story – he was an attorney in Kansas City, Mo., who one day felt called by God to quit his lucrative job and become a youth pastor … then felt called to move to the Valley … then felt called to move his ministry from Gilbert to downtown Phoenix.

His experience was no different from those of so many people who have taken similar leaps of faith without a safety net. They just did it. They just trusted – even if it seemed crazy at the time.

“God’s word is a lamp unto our feet, not a floodlight into our future,” he said.

God will show us the way, Kruckenberg said, but “you’re first called to a relationship with Jesus Christ. You’re called to seek Him, and when you seek Him and know Him, then ask the next question.”

● For a replay of Kruckenberg’s talk, click here.

● Next Monday at Chapel: Ron Merrell, The Heights Church

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or rick.vacek@gcu.edu.

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