1 Peter 4:11-13 The Message
11 Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
We just had to purchase a new HVAC unit for the house yesterday and along with it came this fancy schmancy new thermostat. This thing has a wireless internet connection, an app, the weather forecast, radar, programming.. I mean.. IT'S A THERMOSTAT!!!
I'm sure you could imagine the user manual that comes with it. It's a big ole book.. but accompanying the book is this real cool, only a few pages with lots of pictures QUICK USER GUIDE.
Let me tell you what I read first!!!
Although all the good stuff is in the manual.. I just wanted enough to get it started and do what I needed.
Wow!! That really got me thinking today. When it comes to life, most of us would rather get the quick study guide, figure it out and move on, but the reality is, there are things in the manual that are very important. Things you won't get in a quick guide and worth your attention. That's why we usually hang on to the manuals.. we end up needing them for reference later.
So much in life can apply to this, however I was thinking about Christianity. I was thinking about today's church. It seems to me that so much of what has been happening at today's church is mainly a quick study guide. Just enough.... or is it? The reality is, not many churches are teaching from the whole manual. Not many churches are encouraging a manual kind of life.
Oh, there's good teaching on the how to's at a lot of places.. how to be a good husband, how to be a good wife, how to be a good parent, how to be a disciple.. the list goes on... but what seems to be missing is an in depth look at and a hunger for the manual.
That is where all the good stuff is! That is the reference. Most new Christians of the day can't even quote a scripture much less say they have invested time in some sort of study.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not some guy beating a religious drum here. I am a guy convicted. Convicted about the truth in a world DYING FOR ANSWERS! A world I live in that appreciates the quick user guide stuff, but could really use the investment from the manual.
1. Do you know the manual?
2. Do you know where to look?
3. Are you assured or ashamed?
There is a huge personal benefit that comes from a manual kind of life vs a quick study kind of life. It is a life that leads to an incredible kind of glory (that's right around the corner).
The corner of what?
The corner of devoted time... Think of it this way... would you prefer a brain surgeon operating on you who studied only the quick guides and quick how to video's or one who spent a ton of time in the manual's? Time invested with an unbridled devotion to truth and experience?
The answer is obvious.. so why would we do any less? Why would we expect less?
I am desiring more of a manual kind of life this year personally. It can be contagious. I hope this will encourage those of you that are seeking a God kind of life to be a bit more hungry for truth. Truth you learn not just from a quick help, but from the original user guide :-)
If you're seeking on how to do that, or looking to develop a new rhythm, I'd be happy to talk to you one on one. Feel free to message or email me and I'll do my best to help!!! Grab that manual, download the app and start digging in.. there is a world counting on you and an incredible glory right around the corner!! And never forget that through it all.... #GodsGotThis