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Monday, March 5, 2018

The Simple Life


I found myself in deep thought on Saturday afternoon as my wife and I travelled along Piney Grove Rawls Road in the midst of the wide expanse of fields being turned in preparation for the planting of tobacco in the weeks to come.  It was another clear and beautiful North Carolina day with the temperatures hovering in the low sixties.  We were on our way into the small town of Fuquay-Varina in the county slightly north of our home to expereince another shopping extravaganza at the Super Walmart.

But at that particular moment I was lost in thought about my faith!  As we drove past a lone brick farmhouse that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, I suddenly turned to Piper and said: “You know… the older I get and the more mature I grow in my faith, I seem to have an increasingly simplistic understanding of God and His Word!” 

After some 35 plus years of hands on experience in the ministry, Bible College and countless seminars and college level classes covering children, youth and music ministry beginning just a few weeks after our marriage in 1975, you’d think that I might have a more intellectual view of the Christian faith.

But the opposite is true!  As I have grown up in the faith and experienced the trials and victories of life… including and especially through the last eleven years of fighting the good fight of faith for my wife’s very life, I am beginning to see many of the do’s and don’ts of the understanding of my religion a lot less black and white… and more within shades of God’s grace.  I am continually learning to simply except God’s Word for what it says… and NOT try to intellectually explain it within the limited reaches of my own understanding.

As I meditated on this subject earlier this morning, I almost immediately found myself going through my Bible search program so as to find the verse where the Apostle Paul boldly and lovingly declared to his readers that “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the POWER of God unto SALVATION to everyone who BELIEVES…” (You can find that verse located in Romans 1:16 MKJV)  I think that this verse perfectly summarizes Paul’s simplistic understanding of the Word and his child-like faith in God.

For him… as well as for me… the entire Word of God can be simmered down to the POWER of God for SALVATION that is available to anyone who simply BELIEVES in Him!  C.I. Scofield defined the Greek word “SALVATION” as referring to “safety, preservation, healing and soundness.”  He also went on to explain that “Salvation is the great inclusive word of the gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes.” According to both Strong’s and Thayer’s this includes the whole man or women, covering all aspects of our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional lives!

So YES… it really is as simple as that!  God loves you and me SO much that like a good father, He wants to bless us not only with eternal life, but also right here and now on this earth.  And sure, we have trials and tribulations in this life, after all, John 12:31 informs us that Satan is the prince of this world… and while we are here we obviously have to deal with him… but glory be to God, our heavenly Father has given us the tools within His Word to fight the good fight of faith… and WIN!

So… while some may think of me as being na├»ve in my life as well as in my faith (I’ve actually been accused of that…), I’ll just keep doing my best to march forth “from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Roman 1:17 MKJV)  I would much rather believe in a God who is filled with love and grace and has the POWER for my daily salvation, than in a world system which seems to be more and more corrupted by man’s limited, intellectual and un-Godly understanding of life.

How about you?  Have a great new week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Who or What am I expecting to BELIEVE in today?”

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