Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just a little step

Recently I saw a friend’s children who I haven’t seen in a while. I couldn’t believe how much they had grown. It was a visible difference. They did not suddenly grow six inches overnight, but the growth was in almost imperceptible increments, day by day, moment by moment. We look back to what has been and we see that there is change.

God’s Word changes us daily, degree by degree, not by head knowledge but by transformation of our hearts. It changes your world view – how you view your world—as you seek to be more like Him. Scripture is not just another book among many. It is the Word of God and its power can’t help but change us.

Another way that the daily reading of God’s Word changes us is in the discipline itself. Indeed, the apostle Paul refers to the discipline of an athlete in several passages. The discipline of daily meeting with God breaks down strongholds in your life brick by brick. That mere act of discipline gives you the courage and strength to tackle those things that ensnare you and tear down those things that have become idols. Do you have the strength and courage to walk away from that one little thing around which your day revolves?– whether it is interaction with a certain person who lures you, a television series to die for, even a daily stop at Starbucks which you know you can’t afford? If you say, “Oh, I could never do that,” it has probably already has you in its web.

We are not talking “legalism” here, but discipline. Legalism means that the action is directly related to your salvation -- which is a performance-based view of life. Your salvation, according to Scripture, is based on grace, the sacrifice of Christ alone, not anything you do or don’t do. Discipline is merely taking on an action to draw you closer in your relationship with God-- or taking out those things in your life which trip you up. This weekend, I was staying at a guest house. There was a large bowl of little Hershey bars on the counter. Behind the bowl hung a sign, “Put the chocolate down, back away slowly and no one gets hurt.” The discipline is the strength to walk away.

And you thought that you were just reading your Bible. It will affect every area of your life, if you let it. Mark my words. And may those who haven’t seen you in a while say,

“What happened to you?”

And let steadfastness have its full effect

that you may be perfect and complete,

lacking in nothing.

James 1.4

Press on!

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