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September 03, 2009

stop and read the books.

What does it take to be a person who makes something of the world? Who changes things? Who gets things done?

Pretend your life is a room. I feel like Christians today feel so satisfied with rearranging the "furniture" of life (if you will) and maintaining the clutter that we do nothing to actually change anything about the room. We don't do anything drastic, like repaint the walls or lay down new carpet. We are satisfied with doing the very least just to get by in life. We are so busy putting the books in alphabetical order and don't take the time to read them. Maybe we should stop focusing so much on not doing the wrong things, and focus on doing more things right.

One verse I read a couple days ago sparked this train of thought.

"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8:16-17 (emphasis mine)

Provided is the word that got me. Some versions say "if" or "if so be that". Does this mean that if I don't suffer, I am not an heir of God? It seems that Paul has emphasized that in order to share in God's glory, we must suffer in this life. I am still learning what this means, and it may take a lifetime and beyond for me to understand this. As Cody puts it, "If everything is going right, there must be something wrong." But I think that statement is too simple. It is okay for things to go right. Success is not wrong. But the great thing about Christianity is that neither is failure. Failure, the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23), hard times, depression, call it what you will, is a sign that you are trying. You can't fail if you haven't taken the risk of failure. And those risks, all that stretching we do, that bending over backwards in life, that suffering for Christ, will all be worth it when we reach the comfort the end brings. But if you don't feel the need to suffer for Christ like He did for you, the challenge is: What business do you have calling yourself a Christian? Are you a Christian only because of what God has done for you? What about the reason He came-to free us from the fact that we could never repay Him?

We need to be stepping up as Christians and taking the risk. We need to be uncomfortable because we realize we aren't doing enough, because God's mercy is too infinite for us to ever repay him. So paint the rooms of your life. Gut the whole frickin' house. Don't just organize your bookshelf-read the books.

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