"My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6-7, The Message).
The way in, is the way on. The same faith and courage, love and surrender, trust and obedience it took for us to take our first fledgling steps in becoming followers of Jesus -- is the same way we continue following Him through all the ups and downs, ins and out, tunnels and hills, detours and blockades, on the byways and highways of this thing called Life.
The Bible assures us that we have been given everything we need to not only go the distance, but to make a meaningful difference along the way. "He by His own power has given to us everything we need to live a truly good life, a life that pleases Him" (see 2 Peter 1:3).
The straight talk about the faith walk comes down to this -- "School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it!"
Reading a manual on sky-diving is not the same as jumping out of the plane. In the same manner, reading and studying the Bible is not the same as living the dynamic life of faith which it celebrates on its pages. "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only," we are told.
When we "get with the program" our lives become the best advertisement for the authenticity of Christ's Message anywhere. And once we see the effects of grace extending through us to others, our lives spill over into thanksgiving -- sometimes like Niagara Falls!
(to be continued)