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Counting the Cost by C.S. Lewis

Source: CSLewisDoodle via

BBC Talk 24A, Mere Christianity, Bk. 4, Chapter 9.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to re-build that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He’s doing. He’s getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and which doesn’t seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of…” (C.S. Lewis).

You can find the book here:… (3:51)

“That no keeping but a perfect one will satisfy God, I hold with all my heart and strength; but that there is none else He cares for, is one of the lies of the enemy. What father is not pleased with the first tottering attempt of his little one to walk? What father would be satisfied with anything but the manly step of the full-grown son?” (George MacDonald, ‘The Way’, in ‘A Sermon in Unspoken Sermons, Series II’).

(4:26) “God is very easy to please, but very hard to satisfy. If you will but let Him in, and you have not much to put on the table. You cannot share much of life because you have not got it, He will be so pleased, if it be but a cup of cold water that you can give him. Let it be something genuine, something real” (George MacDonald – from the sermon “The Father’s Appeal”, preached in Westminster Chapel).

(8:11) Check out one of the few rescues made on 9/11 in the documentary ‘One Day In America’ (Season 1, Episode 6 “It’s all gone kid”) by National Geographic as an example of God bringing salvation through anyone He chooses. All the rescuers had been told to leave the 9/11 site due to the tremendous danger, but God then sent in Chuck Sereika. He was a lapsed paramedic and drug addict, depressed, with no desire to help anyone at all that day, and had only dragged himself out of bed and gone to the 9/11 site to look, in order to satisfy his step-sister that he was there helping (but had no intention really). In spite of all this, something amazing took place that day: he went into the rubble and helped rescue one of the last remaining survivors crying out to God. See the full interview in the documentary episode above, but here is a short clip from the interview:…

(8:18) ‘First shall be last’ scripture: “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last” (

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(9:30) “Too eager I must not be to understand. How should the work the Master goes about Fit the vague sketch my compasses have planned? I am His house – for Him to go in and out. He builds me now – and if I cannot see At any time what He is doing with me, ‘Tis that He makes the house for me too grand. The house is not for me – it is for Him. His royal thoughts require many a stair, Many a tower, many an outlook fair, Of which I have no thought, and need no care. Where I am most perplexed, it may be there Thou mak’st a secret chamber, holy-dim, Where thou wilt come to help my deepest prayer.” — George MacDonald

(9:35) The idea that God comes to dwell in the human heart is found in the scripture mentioned in Isaiah 66.2, but also 1 Corinthians 3 “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building”, and 1 Corinthians 6 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”. See also this famous Charles Wesley hymn from Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral: ‘Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven, to earth come down, Fix in us Thy humble dwelling, All Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesu, Thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded love Thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.’

(10:48) The remarkable thing is that Satan bribed man with the idea of “being like God”, and yet God Himself had a kind of divinity planned for us already, the Christ-self, that continually pours out God to others (see comments section below).

The original broadcast had the following words italicised which add to understanding (shown in CAPS): “without getting something MORE I did not want”, “every father is PLEASED at the baby’s first attempt”, “no father would be SATISFIED with anything less than a firm, free, manly walk”, “OF COURSE we never wanted”, “How should WE know what He means us to be like?”, “He means to get us AS FAR AS POSSIBLE before death”, “but why NOW?”, “but He is building a PALACE”, “that CAN obey”, “for we CAN prevent Him” and “which reflects back to God PERFECTLY (though, of course, on a smaller scale)”.