Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Downside of Bible Study

If studying the Bible is meant to bring us closer to God, the downside is the realization of just how far away from Him we are to begin with.

As I begin to prepare materials to share with others about sharing our faith, the questions that comes to mind are: Why is this an issue? and Why aren't professing believers sharing their faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus?

I believe the reality is that we have failed to identify ourselves with Jesus. We say we are Christians but that has just become a word and doesn't really say much about who we are. Actually, it says more about what we are than about who we are. Maybe it's time for us to be more purposeful about becoming more like Jesus.

I was looking back over previous posts. There are several that give insights into the person of "John" and tell about who I am. Here are a few: Who Am I, Who Am I (again), Facebook and Random Things and Ten Honest Things About John. These post all were written within a few months. Maybe I was going through some kind of identity crisis or personal struggle. Maybe I was just having a difficult time finding something interesting to write about.

In any case, these posts make a point. Even though I do identify myself as a Christian, the posts are about me and not about Him -- Jesus.

As self-identified Christians, we have to ask ourselves if we are becoming more like Jesus or if we are content just being ourselves -- even if it's a better version of ourselves. Better versions of our old selves are not going to make great witnesses for Jesus. We may be more likely to make purposeful attempts at sharing our faith, but those attempts are going to be short-lived and mostly unsuccessful.

Why do we make sharing God's love so difficult? Why does it have to be practiced? Why do we need to have programs and classes and methods to tell people about our relationship with Jesus? Could it be that we don't really have a personal relationship with Him?

Could it be that we don't really ... LOVE ... Him?

Yes, I really did just ask that.
Check out these two statements by Jesus:

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Jn 14:15
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." Matt 28:20

Okay, so how are we doing? Are we even making disciples in our neighborhoods?

Could it be that we don't really ... LOVE ... Him?

Have you ever taken a class on how to tell people about your kids? Your spouse? Your friends? Your job? Your hobby? Your favorite restaurant? You get it, right?

We easily and quickly share the things that we like and love with people around us. There are no classes on Sharing Your Favorite Restaurant or Showing Pictures of Your Kids, yet we do these things on a daily basis.
Maybe we just LOVE ourselves and our things more than we love Jesus.

Could it be that we don't really ... LOVE ... Him?

John the Baptist was confronted by his followers about Jesus and his followers teaching and baptizing. John's response was, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Jn 3:30

Paul also wrote that we should be becoming more like Jesus. To the Corinthians he wrote, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2Cor 3:18

If He is not increasing as we decrease; if we are not become more like Him (even a little at a time), well...

Could it be that we don't really ... LOVE ... Him?

Could that be the real reason that we need to have classes on how to share our faith?

I believe that I am called to equip believers to grow in Jesus (Eph 4:11-12), but I also believe that perhaps, our first order of business is to examine our personal relationship with Jesus.

Could it be that we don't really ... LOVE ... Him?

I think it's time for this preacherboy to fade and let real Preacher take control.

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

There's a bit of a conflict that a lot of people have been their beliefs and not wanting to impose them on others. It's a dilemma; and too often this can result in bad responses from others.

Anonymous said...

John, once again your words are inspiring. I find myself talking about my children to anyone that will listen. We need to be much more diligent talking about Jesus to anyone that will listen. We don't think twice when sharing stories or bragging about our kids. We need to show our LOVE for Jesus by telling about His LOVE for us! Thanks for the reminder!