Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Scritpural Reflection

So often for those who are firm believers in Christ we tend to think that 'once saved - always saved'. I guess this viewpoint widely depends on your own personal growth and foundation in the Lord as well as individual knowledge of the bible.

Many times over, I have encountered my own dilemma in regard to salvation, and have often questioned the theology of such a belief system. What I have learned is that it is impossible for me to judge what anyone believes. It is also impossible to force what I believe upon anyone who has their own belief system by which they live out their lives.

What concerns me on a grander scale is the current state of the body of the church, as we already are aware of the seasons and signs of the times that the end is being plotted and it won't be long before we see a great unleashing of scriptural manifestation to that end. A number of scriptures come to mind, and I would like to share a few in my journal entry with you today.

Matthew 7:13-14 says "Enter through the narrow gate; For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Yes the Lord is all-loving, and gracious and desires that none fall away, but that all come to know Him as their personal savior. However, reading this scripture tells me slightly more than the obvious facts. We have a free will, freedom to choose which gate we will walk through, which road we will navigate life on, and what kind of numbers will be involved within the decision we make. Before I came to know Christ as my savior, I can honestly say that I entered the broad gate, and many were traveling that road, filled with lust, deception and depravity. It was a very easy road to journey on. But at the age of 16 when I gave my life to the Lord, I embarked on a mission of finding the small gate, and the narrow path, with few traveling thereon. I haven't always walked that road but with maturity came an opportunity to decide how much further I would want to desire to be on that narrow road. Has it always been easy? NO! Do I walk it daily? NO! Is it my heart's intent and desire to walk it? YES! It concerns me almost with a grave sense of expedience to populate this narrow road with people that are in my life, by way of family, friendships and relationships. There are moments deep in my soul that I am beset with a deep sense of urgency to go out there within my sphere and circle of influence and latch onto hearts and bring them into that journey which will lead to eternal life in Christ.

The question has been asked through the ages; "how do you eat an elephant?" The answer is easy - "one bite at a time". Will we save the world? Nope. Will we reach everyone effectively in our circle of influence? Maybe not. Should we stop trying in fear of failure? Certainly not! That leaves us with the elephant solution, one bite at a time = one soul at a time.

I will probably draw criticism for this next portion of thought provoking scripture...

Luke 12:42-48 says "The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

When I came across this portion of scripture I saw a couple of different facets, and parallels that I want to share with you.

The Lord requires us to be watchful. Especially in the times we are living, there is a greater sense of responsibility upon us to not only shine as lights for the Lord but also to walk according to the blueprint He has given us through His word. We sometimes lose direction and thank the Lord that His word always sets us back on solid ground. The Lord is the master in the opening verse. The faithful and wise manager, are those in ministry and leadership, and the servants are in essence the sheep. And so as we see two forms of reference taking place. The wise manager who does what the master required of him, and the other who does not fulfill what the master required of him. What really popped out at me was verse 47 & 48. We read that the servant who knows his master's (the Lord) will, and doesn't do it, will be rewarded with many blows. And the one who does not know and does things deserving of punishment will receive few blows. This should concern the church. This is not a time to sit under a shady tree in the spring air with a gentle breeze wafting b, while we sing "Kum Ba Yah". We should ready ourselves, and be girded up ready to do battle, ready to do what He has called us to do, and in so doing when He returns and we face the judgment seat the blows won't be as severe but the reward will be worthwhile.

Finally the Lord says to whom much has been given, much will be required, and so those who are faithful and wise managers, stewards of the gospel, and servants of the master, a time of heartfelt examination should be requisite as we journey on this narrow path.

Do you know anyone who is searching and currently walking that broad road? Are they perhaps standing at the entry to the wide gate? If there was ever a time to reach out to those that the Lord impresses on our hearts it would be such a time as this. Let us be encouraged to be counted as wise and faithful managers of the life that the Lord has entrusted to us. Let's not shrink back thinking we have no abilities, no etiquette, to simply say something that will ignite a spark of enthusiasm in a lost soul.

One thing I am fully at peace and aware of is that the Lord doesn't require for us to do everything all of the time. We plant a seed, someone will come along and water it, and Christ will give the increase and cause growth. His method of farming and crop rotation cannot be perfected, it is a proven system that has worked since Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.

I love the freedom of journaling the thoughts I have in my heart, and hope that the Lord will provoke you, draw you closer and deeper into a relationship with Him, especially now as we near His glorious return.

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