Sunday, March 12, 2017

It's included in the price.

A young lass I knew was travelling on a plane and was invited to go from economy class to business class. The Stewards later asked her if she would like a drink, nibbles or something to eat during the flight. Imagining she had to pay for them and as she didn’t have any money, this young girl politely said “no thanks” even though she was extremely hungry and thirsty. What she didn’t know was the fact of merely being in that area meant what was offered was free. She hadn’t paid to go business class but had been permitted to join those already there. In a sense, she was participating in an act of grace. Ignorance of what that also included caused her to miss the treats.

I’ve thought about her experience and how it relates too many in their Christian life. When Jesus paid the price for our salvation included in it was every spiritual blessing and our eternal inheritance. He has invited us into a new realm and wants us to know and enjoy His grace. However, that requires each of us to find out the privileges, responsibilities and limitations of Christ’s realm of grace. This means we must avail ourselves of the ‘flight manual’ – the Scriptures. Being ignorant of what the Bible teaches impoverishes the spirit and prevents us from enjoying the journey.

We have not because we have not asked. We may not receive because we ask for the wrong thing. My young friend could have asked for alcohol but would have been refused, not because the Stewards would be unkind. Refusal would have been because of her age. I imagine that when the Holy Spirit politely refuses our requests it is for reasons of our welfare and protection.

Remember, ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him’ 2 Peter 1:3. We are prone to latch onto the ‘life’ and ignore, or treat lightly the next key word, ‘godliness’. In a sordid world which tries to ‘gate-crash’ my life, your life, and relationships, I find godliness a constant challenge. However, I need not collapse under the sordid weight of impurity ‘thrown’ at me. What is my protection? The power Christ supplies. Trouble is, that power must be allowed to flow. Where do we tap into its flow? In the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. Where do we find that knowledge? In the Bible! But the knowing implies the allowing of it to have free access to and through our mind, heart and actions.

Ignorance of God’s word isn’t bliss, it is bondage. For when we trip-up in our Christian life we don’t understand our need for repentance and restitution and God’s grace. It is also self-destructive to our joy in service, worship and fellowship as our self-nature dominates and not the standard of the Lord. Without a growing appreciation and understanding of our standing with and in Christ Jesus we will be blown around and over by false teachings and emotionalism. Without a devotion to Jesus Christ that is enriched by being taught His word we cannot be blessed.

This is why the Bible is so merciless in its warning to and condemnation of false teachers, false prophets and false pastors. They are robbers of God’s blessing to His people. They muddy the clear spring of the Water of life promised in and with the Holy Spirit. They violate the character and integrity of God by their misrepresentation and inaccurate interpretation of the plain teaching of God’s text. James 3:1 makes this threat: ‘Not many of you should become teachers … for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.’ Jesus goes even further in His warning to those intent on self -adulation and deliberate falsification of God’s word. “I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evil doers.’

May each of us grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!


1 comment:

  1. Amen to that in a world that surrounds us and tugs at us to move in the opposite direction by subtle and convincing argument which we must be careful and diligent to check against the "flight manual".