Thursday, November 29, 2012
Deep and Abiding
First, seek to make your seminary studies devotional. Pray for God’s help before class and during, before studying and during
, before writing a paper, or taking a test, and during. Continually consecrate your studies to Jesus, and ask him to freshly meet you in it, keep your spiritual blood flowing, and keep you soft to his grace.
And keep in mind that having a daily “quiet time” or “devotions,” without communing with Jesus, won’t keep your soul alive. Mere reading and studying won’t do it. By itself, new information about God—glorious as it is—won’t keep our hearts soft and our souls breathing. We need the person of Jesus himself whom we find in and through the Scriptures. Our souls long for a living connection with the living God-man. We were made for this.
We can never afford to settle for anything less than the words of the Bible, but extreme as it may seem, our souls need more than words, more than facts, more than studies and new head knowledge. We need the Word himself. Our souls need Jesus to survive. And for now, the devotional imbibing of the Scriptures is an essential place to find him.Being a Christian is a many faceted thing. It is not a matter of mastering scripture, or even prayer for that matter. It is not a "lifestyle." It is not a case of identifying with a particular group. It is not confessing a specific creed. It is not a result of a specific ecstatic experience. All of these things happen to Christians, but none of them are what defines a Christian.
So what does define a Christian? I have known a lot of people that "majored" in one of those things. It seems like the answer to my question would be in what they all held in common.
I am left with two things that define someone as a Christian - confession and fruit.
Confession - I do not mean a creedal confession, I mean a "I'm a sinner and usually wrong" confession. This means that people that claim to have an exclusive path to Christian maturity can typically be eliminated. If Christ has truly taken a hold of your life, one will come to understand how little they know, not how much.
Fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When we are Christ's He marks us. These things just listed serve as His "brand." Of course, being sinners, we will not be all that good at them, but they will peek out of us in some way that does not seem "normal."
I grow weary of people that tell me they know the way, when the only way they know is the way that maximizes their reward.
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