Sunday, July 27, 2008

Everything we need

I remember a local bank advertising that they were "all the bank you'll ever need." It sounds kind of catchy and it seems like a useful thing to have -- all the anything I'll ever need. 2 Peter 1: 3 tells us that "His (Christ's) divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, . . ." I like the sound of that as well, everything I need to have life and to live a godly life has already been provided for me (us) through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I love the Bible because it says what it means -- if it meant most or some it would have said so, instead it says EVERYTHING needed for life and godliness has been provided by Jesus.

How often do we behave as if everything depended on our effort and our effort alone? We translate our responsibilities in the work place and other environments into our spiritual lives and believe that we have to "save ourselves" or transform ourselves. I am coming to realize that the truth is much more interesting and much more bizarre. What I need to become a better Christian is not more straining and effort, what I need is more Jesus. What I need to become more like Jesus (the goal of the Christian life) is not more rules, regulations and rituals, what I need is to make sure I am keeping myself in the full exposure of the Son.

Many years ago I read a theologian who said that we were to be like apples. An apple does not ripen through effort, it doesn't hold its breath, grit its teeth and force itself to grow and ripen. Instead what it does is stay attached to the source of its life (the tree) and it hangs out in the glow of the sun. What a terrific image. I do not become a better Christian by forcing myself to grow and mature, I become a better image of Jesus by "abiding in Christ" (staying attached) and by hanging out in the glow of the Son.

He is all the life you'll ever need.

Dr. Bj.

No comments: