In our church-wide study of Radical by David Platt, he asks, “Do you really believe this Book [the Bible]?” While we usually give mental assent to its truthfulness, do we always demonstrate agreement by our actions? That has been the challenge this week.
It has been interesting to hear the comments and challenges that we are encountering through this study from the Word of God. The comments run the gamut from this being a totally new teaching that is being met with skepticism to the view that “this isn’t ‘radical’… it’s ‘ordinary’ Christianity.” I think the variety of responses speaks to a couple of things.
First, we are all at differing levels of maturity or “completion.” Some need the “milk” of the Word, while others can handle the “meat” of the word (see Hebrews 5:13-14). While some may not be at a point of fully assimilating God’s truth, we must not be content to remain “bottle-fed.” Just as this would be a physical abnormality, it is a spiritual anomaly, too. Paul said:
3:1 Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, 3 because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, HCSB).
Therefore, we need to lovingly acknowledge our different levels of spiritual maturity, but always strive for growth under the Spirit’s tutelage through our exposure to the truths we are learning.
Secondly, a healthy dose of uncertainty/curiosity/skepticism is good. You have heard me say, “Don’t take my word for it, search out the scriptures for yourself.” If you’re not sure what David Platt says is true, check it against the Bible. That’s exactly what the Bereans did:
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea. On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. (Acts 17:10-12, HCSB).
I continue to be excited by what God is doing and pray that you will “hang in there” as we seek to be transformed by a radical focus on God through His Word, enabling us to be seen in a way that looks radical to the world.
“While we usually give mental assent to its truthfulness, do we always demonstrate agreement by our actions?”
In answer to this question I think this study into Radical has opened my eyes and I am sure the eyes of many others. While I think I am not alone in fully understanding everything this study is presenting, the willingness and desire to understand is challenging.
The video from our last meeting “Convicted” me that we can always do more to further our Salvation and bring Glory and Honor to our Father.
I was deeply touched in his remarks regarding the starvation and death of children. How can one stand by and turn a blind eye to that kind of sadness. I am reminded of “Matthew 25:41-46” (NIV)
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
After this study concluded I carried a heavy burden in my heart and took action, however minor to further reach out with Gods love and Grace. We took on our 2nd child through an organization called Compassion. I further wanted to reach out in ways I could and made a post on social media. A friend responded and decided to sponsor a child as well. All Glory to God in the difference each of us can make if we only open our Hearts and minds to Scripture and follow His commandments and Prayer.
Tom, I appreciate your openness to God’s sanctifying process in your life. It is His intent, having once and for all justified us, to continually conform us into the image of Christ. This is that process of saving us daily from the power of sin and selfishness into a life which serves Him more and more, having on our hearts what is on the very heart of God. We love what He loves. As James said, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27, NIV). You are carrying out pure and faultless religion when giving resources to care for orphans through a reputable agency – and from all I have heard about Compassion they are one of those agencies. Praise the Lord for the glory He will receive from such responses from His children!
Amen! Brother Chuck ) It’s hard for me to even accept that upwards of 29,000 children are without us today and tomorrow and the next day….. and what we can all do together to create a mighty wave to help and rescue these children and place an end to this sadness in so many hearts. I am beside myself and feel so unworthy to know that I can go to the pantry and grab a can of soup and not think about how many kids would this be life for. This really bothers me and I hope to be able to do more through all means available.