It was one year at bible school when it clicked. It just dawned on me with sudden awe—the message I had professed to believe all these years earlier finally made sense. Ironically, my whole “believing” life, I actually didn’t know what I believed. I don’t think I could have given someone an adequate reason for the hope I had in Christ—my dad told me? That’s what a fellow employee told me when I was fifteen. He said, “you only believe what you believe because your parents raised you that way.” Made sense. Especially sense I had nothing to say back to him. Up until my first year in bible school, I hadn’t yet been smashed with the reality of my sin, the depth of Jesus’ grace, his death on the cross, & Easter for that matter.
I guess I’ve had selective hearing. No hearing maybe? The big picture of it all was greater than my ability to obtain it.
I have observed this is pretty normal for anybody—it attests to the truth that the Lord opens our eyes when he is ready for us to see. After all, darkness never created light. But “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Nonetheless, two decades with limited understanding to the faith I proclaim–the faith that opened my eyes and saved me for eternity–seems a bit embarrassing itself. That’s kinda like the kid who spends 13 years at a Christian school and doesn’t know how to find Jesus in the bible.
There’s a truth here I’ve come to realize. I’ve learned it from myself, the lives of others, and of course the principles of Scripture. The simple (biblical) fact is—Christians were designed to grow. Yes. Simple. Christians grow—and in many aspects of the word. If we live years of our lives not experiencing developments in our faith, character, speech, and knowledge, we are missing something.
If we don’t see even a glimpse of change or increase in these things, there’s a problem. If our faith isn’t being tested and strengthened there’s a problem. If our speech hasn’t changed to glorify God, there’s a problem. If we have had little or no character developments in our lives and influencing those around us, there’s a problem. Basically, if 5 years from now, 10 years from now, we are in the exact same place that we are presently,… you get the idea.
It is all too common for us to get swallowed up in the business of our own planned lives, that we can easily forget the Christian life that God planned for us. It is all to normal for us to go about neglecting all the basic elementary disciplines of scripture and it is evidenced in the way we talk, act, and lead our lives.
I would like to encourage us to be an early Macedonian kind of people that we see in 2 Corinthians 8. Beware, it will seem a bit counter-cultural as we read this passage but it’s time our lives are evidenced by these simple truths.
Let’s break down 2 Corinthians 8:3-10 and see for ourselves a simple reality—the easily overlooked truths & disciplines of a simple Christian.
To maintain that simplicity, we are only identifying simple truths and practical observations as we read them in the text. Don’t rush. Ready carefully. You’re not reading this blog for my words anyway:
But I’ll post Part 2 next Monday… so see ya then. Or you can subscribe at the right and it will arrive in your inbox!
(To be continued…)
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