Living on Purpose: Loving God is far beyond religious knowledge
By Dr. William Holland
Our regular readers know this column is about the Christian life, but you certainly do not need to be a Christian or even a religious person to at least consider the content as thought-provoking. Everyone has their own philosophies and interpretations about spiritual topics, and this is understandable since we all have a choice to believe whatever we want. Only God knows everything and He is perfect in all His ways. I will add that no theologian or Bible scholar is correct about every doctrine or exegesis of scripture as we are all in a daily process of learning. What’s more important, arguing or evangelizing? Jesus promised, “Seek and you will find.”
Of course, it’s important to accept the truth in our worldviews, but then we open up a huge can of religious arguments about who is correct and which Biblical ideas are better than the rest. We have been a part of several different churches in our ministry, and it’s interesting to discover what people embrace as truth. I’ve thought about this over the years and wondered why all Christians do not believe the same thing since we ask God for understanding and wisdom. You would think that every truth seeker would come up with the same answers, but this is not the case. We determine how close we are to Him, and what’s more important than that?
I heard a long-time pastor say one time that he could not understand how any Christian could not comprehend a certain interpretation of a Biblical doctrine as he thought it was as clear as day. On the other hand, I’ve heard other knowledgeable and respected ministers say the same thing except their view of the subject was completely the opposite. Even some of the commands from God that we always thought were black and white are being argued today as a failure to perceive what they truly mean. It’s surprising how teachers can justify what is correct even if they cannot prove it. The answer? Keep your eyes focused on Christ.
I consider that what Christians believe or refuse to believe about Biblical doctrines is very important but misunderstandings or errors in our thinking will not prevent us from the gift of eternal life. If we are sincerely trying to study and pray to hear God’s voice of absolute truth, what else can we do? We know it’s difficult to not be influenced by what others believe especially if we were taught certain things as a child. Many trust their family, friends, and pastors who are powerful persuasions, but the sobering reality is they can be wrong. Every person is accountable for their own thoughts and actions. If we are truly born again with the blood of Jesus, our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and someday we will know everything we need to know.
Many of you have collected a vast amount of knowledge about God and it’s wonderful to rightly divide the truth. However, this verse found in Second Timothy 2:15 also talks about a workman who should not be ashamed. This thought of being afraid to stand for what we believe appears again in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God to bring salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” I believe the Lord is saying it would be better to live a small amount of truth than to have a storehouse of truth without demonstrating any of it. Whether we are aware or not we choose faith or fear every moment.
The reason why Christians are not passionate about openly revealing their love for Jesus Christ is because they are not “all in” with Him. When people talk about what they love, they will not hesitate to speak about their favorite sports team, their job, hobbies, or whatever they are interested in, but as a child of God, are we not to be overflowing with excitement about Him? Since Jesus gave His life because He wanted to save us, how much more can He give to prove He loves us more than anything? Is knowing why you believe your views and being bolder for Jesus a part of your New Year’s resolution? On a scale of 1 to 100, how much of your heart and your will are you giving to Him today?
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