Monday, May 29, 2017

COLUMN | More or less

By Rev. Tim Throckmorton
Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio

He heads confidently toward my easy chair with a little bowl cupped in his little two-year-old hands. The bowl, which had only minutes before contained a nice sampling of Cheerios and Cheez-It’s now appears empty.

For as you know, cartoon watching does require an abundant supply of snacks! So here comes little Spencer heading my way with an expectant look in his little blue eyes and these words on his lips… MORE! More Papaw, more, please! As you can imagine, my quick and generous response is something like… Yes sir little buddy-buddy, let’s fill er up again! I’d give him the box if grandma wasn’t lookin’!

The point is that early on we learn to ask for more. We carry that instinct into life and more often than not we are inclined to seek more than less of everything life has to offer… except for God. Many times my weekly writing reflect where I have been recently in the sermons I have preached. This is one of those columns which asks the question, Does God have more for my life? Of course, the answer is YES, YES and YES… but what’s that look like?

Well, let me quickly suggest a few areas. First, God has more thrill and excitement! It doesn’t matter how long you’ve followed Christ, the journey with Jesus calls us to a moment where we choose to go in all the way or settle for boring Christianity.

Actually that’s not possible true Christianity cannot be boring! Satan doesn’t care about bored Christians, but a true disciple is dangerous to Hell! There is more of God’s Word for us to explore and live out! Many ask, just how relevant is this book? Some may say, I get it, you like your Bible but what’s that got to do with me? Many believe it’s a book full of fairy tales… it’s fake and full of superstitions. Columnist Chelsen Vicari wrote… “Popular liberal evangelical writers and preachers tell young evangelicals that if they accept abortion and same-sex marriage, then the media, academia and Hollywood will finally accept Christians.

Out of fear of being falsely dubbed "intolerant" or "uncompassionate," many young Christians are buying into theological falsehoods. Instead of standing up as a voice for the innocent unborn or marriage as God intended, many consequently are forgoing the authority of Scripture and embracing a couch potato, cafeteria-style Christianity all in the name of tolerance. This contemporary mindset is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian whose Christian convictions put him at odds with the Nazis and cost him his life, called "cheap grace." In his book The Cost of Discipleship Bonhoeffer wrote: "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

If we never talk about abortion in church, how can we expect the rising evangelical girl to calmly explain the option of adoption to her frightened best friend who just admitted she is pregnant? In order to safeguard the trajectory of young evangelicals, we must uphold the authoritative Word of God.

It is imperative that those in a position to influence millennials have transparent and honest discussions about the culture wars evangelical youth are already engaging. Otherwise they will be silent and accepting in the face of persecution and false doctrine.” The Psalmist penned, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments.”

God’s Word speaks to every component of our lives… Hear it, Read it, Study it, Memorize it and Meditate on it!

Lastly, there is more of an impact for us to make! John describes for us the first disciples who are called to follow Jesus and in doing so introduces us to Andrew who immediately, upon discovering the Messiah, finds his brother… Listen in to John’s account… “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”

I’ve missed this before but did you ever stop to think that the very first act of outreach produced an Apostle Peter! Who is awaiting your invitation? What impact can be made through us if we just tell others about Jesus?  Everyone reading this knows someone who is hurting, who is journeying through a season of transition or someone who simply has questions about life. What impact can we make? What impact must we make?

There is a question here as we close that only you can answer. The question is not does God has more excitement for my life, nor is it does God have more power for my life? It is not, is there more of God’s word for me to explore or is there more of an impact for me to make? You see, the question is not whether or not God has more for your life. The question is, what do you want… More or Less?

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