keeping it simple

Posted: January 28th, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 6 Comments »

You have to think about what you believe, look at the way you express that and see if they line up. There is always a beginning of simplicity, but it’s so decorated with fancy speech, smart suits and flashy teeth that it becomes something else. Separate the affects from the requirement. Keep it simple-faith and practice-otherwise faith becomes ‘the result of practice’ and practice becomes criteria.

You know this has happened to you, this mix up, if you are telling someone that they have to ‘do‘ something to increase their faith. You know that you have stepped on the sidelines if you have perceivable standard for a believer.

When a person eats food, they must, somehow, put the food in their mouth, chew it up and  swallow it. As a result, the body takes the food, breaks it down, uses what it needs and gets rid of the rest. The only requirement for the person to receive the nutrients is to get the food in their body. If they get that one thing right, the other things require no discussion. They are all a given.

If the criteria is to get the food in your body, then the way you get it in your body is not a requirement. Your body breaks down food on its own. It’s an effect that is completely involuntary by the host. Discussing the requirement of that process as though the host had something to do with it is a waste of time.

We can discuss the methods of chewing and divide ourselves on the proper ways to chew and how many times to chew before we swallow. We can form groups of people who agree that the saliva begins the digestion process. We can even assume that those with the most saliva may have an edge on this whole process so we find ways to increase our saliva.

There are so many ways to separate ourselves over the process and so many levels of understanding that can polarize. Those who know that saliva starts the process feel smarter than those who think stomach acid starts the process.

Arguments about spit and bile. Crossed arms, furrowed brows, split families and polarized towns over a system no person can control.

This is what our ‘churches’ have become. Split apart, segregated, segmented, divided, opposed, offended, polarized and full of pride.

The requirement is belief. Some will say that you must ‘confess with your mouth’ and then ‘believe’ (Rom10:9). People can have a conversation all day long about ‘confessing’ until it turns into an insurmountable argument, but it’s like saying a person must get the food in the body before it can be digested. It’s a given. Take away the requirement for ‘belief’ and you do not have the requirement for salvation.

In the same way, you can no more tell your digestive organs how to do their job than you can tell your spirit how to come alive. You are a ‘new creation’ by no doing of yourself. If you could manage that process you would not need belief and with no belief, you need no object of faith. With no object of faith, you do not need Jesus. Anything other than belief is absolutely moot because it’s either a given or an involuntary response.

moot: |moōt| adjective: subject to debate

If there is only one point that is not open for debate, then that should be the only thing we stand for. The only thing we’d risk our lives, social positions, family alliances, finances and credibility on: Jesus is the Son of God. He died for the sins (past, present, future: ALL) of every single person and if you believe that, it’s yours. Period.

1) When you stand for what you believe, what belief are you standing for?

I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. -1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV

No amount of wisdom in practice or maintenance will ever inspire faith. Going to church does not save you. Refraining from any activity will not earn you ‘eternal life.’ Reading your bible, feeding the hungry, being ‘joyful’, an ‘example’ or any other kinetic energy will not secure your ‘inheritance.’

God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. … He will never give up on you. Never forget that. -1 Corinthians 1:8-9

If nothing else but ‘Christ and him crucified’ can save, then why would you stand for anything else? How do you stand up for the belief that Jesus ended sin as the end all? How do you stand up for your belief that Jesus is the son of God and He came, not to condemn, but to rescue (John3:17)?

When someone falls, do you doubt their salvation or do you thank God with them, over them, before them, after them, that Jesus paid for their failures? Do you stand up for your belief by refusing anything less than perfect effort and remarkable delivery? Or do you stand up for your belief by refusing sin as an end?

God stays beside us, keeping us on track. It’s not by what we do, it’s by Who is beside us. He never gives up on us. If you believe that, then show it.

2) How do you do that?

You don’t stand for what you believe by paying attention to yourself. That is the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing. Stop trying to be something you think you should be and just do this:

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. -Colossians 3:12-14

Wear these things:

  • compassion: tender mercy, tolerance and fellow feeling
  • kindness: warm generosity, selfless concern for others
  • humility: submissiveness, your importance is always second to all
  • quiet strength: stamina that never lets others know the cost
  • discipline: obedience and self control pertaining to these things

Do these things:

  • even-tempered: easy going, laid back, not easily offended or quick to assert yourself
  • content with second place
  • quick to forgive

The way to stand for what you believe is to Love. Be disciplined in Love. Love is all you have to do. The criteria is found in 1 Corinthians 13. You cant’ escape the command to Love. Everything else you do is empty and lost without it. Resolve to do nothing else so that the rest can fall into place.

drwn

weighing down the truth with commands other than belief keep the drowning from the only thing that can save them. if they grab on to the Truth, the other ‘effects’ are involuntary responses.


6 Comments »


6 Comments on “keeping it simple”

  1. 1 Brooke Luby said at 10:02 am on January 28th, 2010:

    Wow. I just want to say how much I love your blog. It is a constant fresh breeze of grace is a world of Christians unable to breathe in stale legalism. The post gives me hope that in such a complex world it is possible to portray the more simple message that is life itself: the true Gospel. Keep writing. I am a young woman who has been wrecked by grace and is constantly attempting to communicate through my words what how amazing it is. I read this blog and I know it's possible. 🙂

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 11:07 am on January 28th, 2010:

    Awesome, Brooke. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. 3 melissa said at 11:59 am on January 28th, 2010:

    There was a time I thought I was doing I Corininthians 13…but while my hands might have performed with compassion and kindness, my heart was not even there. My motives were self-serving. I didn't even realize it. While I could recite it for all hear, it really took me a long time to understand that God works on the inner man first and foremost (Eph 3:16-21). Though I have walked with the Lord for many years, I am now beginning to know what that looks like in my own life. To love like Christ loves, yes…this is something to ascribe to…the love that surpasses knowledge…

    Thank you for this reference…I will be looking at it again and again!

  4. 4 Susan said at 3:23 pm on January 28th, 2010:

    I have always been blessed when I read your thoughts. But this blog can easily become a daily devotional for me. Keep your ears tuned to God's voice, we all reap the benefits. Then He tunes it in to my own life story. Isn't He amazing like that?

  5. 5 April said at 3:32 am on January 29th, 2010:

    My daughter and I memorized Colossians 3:12. We ask each other "have you put on your clothes today, and it's like a little thing between us. So sweet when a 10 yr. old soaks in the Word of God. She took her little bible to school with her and got it out during a free time… wow. Do I have that kind of courage? and she didn't even think of it as courageous. So cool. another child got in trouble for having her bible out, sent to the principals office…

  6. 6 Rachel said at 9:16 am on January 29th, 2010:

    Reminded me of the verse

    Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

    Christianity is about a relationship not a religion – that is what sets is apart from the rest. And it is relationship we are to cultivate and nuture.

    Rachel