I have two of my friends that approach life in Christ quite differently. My one friend has an insatiable thirst for Christ in his life. He spends a lot of time listening to sermons and diligently reading and memorizing the Scriptures. He loves the book of Romans and always finds a way to talk to people about Jesus. He is a church elder and often preaches. I sincerely enjoy and respect him. I am blessed to have him as a friend.
My other friend has focused on Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12). He deeply understands the Scriptures, but he rarely quotes a verse exactly when we chat. Still, for the past forty-five years, he has hosted individuals and families in his home for extended lengths of time and consistently seeks out people to share the Gospel and demonstrate genuine love, no matter what it cost him. I sincerely enjoy and respect him. I am blessed to have him as a friend.
I began contemplating how does Jesus want me to live? For the first 1,500 years of Christianity, most Christians never possessed a Bible; many churches didn’t have one. So, Christians certainly didn’t read through the Bible each year, and they never had the opportunity to use a cross-reference, concordance, or commentary. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit was active in them, so lives were changed, and Christians thrived; massive numbers of people around the world turned their lives over to Jesus. That same Holy Spirit is still actively working today.
So, should I be like the saints of old and not possess a Bible? No! God has given us His Word for our spiritual health and our ministry to others. Why did God not allow Mr. Guttenberg to be born 1,500 years earlier? I have no idea. What I do know is that throughout history, God has continually broadened people’s opportunities to hear the Good News and repent.
Head and Feet
Relief from condemnation and true inner peace is what everyone longs for, but only those who receive God’s salvation acquire them. From the Bible, we learn how we can live with childlike inquisitiveness and how to discipline our bodies like athletes. Is one of my friends more right than the other? No!
19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.1 Corinthians 12:19-21
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
The keys to life in Jesus are faith and obedience. We are not faced with a contradiction between striving to live as an athlete for Jesus or living inquisitively as citizens in God’s kingdom. Whatever we do, we must do it in faith and without selfishness. The athlete must not judge the inquisitive citizen, and the inquisitive citizen must not judge the athlete. If we do as Jesus desires, then all of us will receive the “light burden” He promised, and we will know how we are to live our lives for Him.
Image by Hai Nguyen Tien from Pixabay
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