Through the Thorns…

Back to Basics – by Samuel

Having been a Christian for awhile, there have been times when, upon coming to certain passages of Scripture, I have found myself saying something to the effect of, “I don’t need to read this.”, or, “I’ve heard this all before.”, or, “That’s for new believers.”, or some other such rot.  Doesn’t that sound terrible?  I mean, what a positively arrogant stance to take; as if I had it all figured out already!  Yeesh…

I came to this realization while I was trying to decide which book of the Bible I would read through next, and upon coming to the book of “Matthew”,  I found myself skipping over it without much thought.  I said to myself, “I’ve read it a hundred times before.  Why don’t I read something more challenging?”  Then I stopped to think about what I was saying.  Something was definitely wrong with this thought process.  I mean, if you’ve ever read Matthew chapter 5, then you know just how asinine what I was thinking was!

Just because I had become familiar with this book, did that mean it had lost any of its weight?  Was it no longer effective for my growth?  Did it no longer offer to me a challenge for my life?  Of course not!  If the words of Scripture are the very words of the unchanging and living God, then each and every idea presented should be precious to my very soul; as an enduring vein of the purest gold, never to be tapped out no matter how far into the rock we dig.  But instead of recognizing this truth, I often find myself seeking the “higher things”, while discounting many of the simple messages found in the pages of Scripture, as if I have somehow outgrown them.

It is when we get to this place that we are so easily thrown off balance.  As we put aside the “simple” things in favor of heavier fare, our theological foundations become vulnerable to the crashing waves of all the vacillating philosophies, teachings, and wisdom of men.  Seeking the higher things is a good and noble pursuit, but only if we can take them in through the lens of strong foundational beliefs.  By doing so, these “higher” things that make it through our foundational filters then serve to reinforce our faith and to make it even stronger, rather then causing us to sink into the morass of heady intellectualism, which can be so deceiving.

Think of the amount of time that has elapsed between when you last earnestly and intentionally read about God’s love and now, and think of all of the experience, insight, and wisdom you are now able to bring to bear upon that “simple” idea that you did not have at your disposal before.  This constant reexamining of our foundation is as important for me as it is for you.  I need to hear these truths over and over again.  In doing so, I am able to process what it is that I really believe; And as I do so, I am met afresh with all of the beauty, grace, love, and weight that is the Gospel of Jesus, which never grows cold.

So do yourself a favor.  Crack that Bible (or open that app), and rediscover the truths you already know from a fresh and new perspective.  Join me in this.  Go back to basics; Back to the Gospel; Back to the heart of God.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

– 2 Timothy 4:3,4

-SEB

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