Jun 5, 2015 - Faith, Spiritual Growth    2 Comments

PLAYING IT SAFE

Last week I left you with what it takes to become a deep end Christian.  Things like – Determination … Risk … Bravery … Hope … Hard Work … Persistence … Fearlessness … Effort … These are what it will take to venture out into the deep water with God.  This week I want to continue on the topic of Shallow End Christians.  I want to look at why Christians might choose to remain is the shallow end instead of swimming and enjoying the deeper things of the word of God.

NON-SWIMMER REMAIN IN THE SHOLLOW END

Stay where it’s safe is where we all like to be.  The fear of the unknown has held a lot of us captive, myself included.  I believe that so many of us Christians have adapted to playing it safe for so long that we forgotten what’s it like to challenge ourselves.

Only the individuals know why they have no desire to exceed the boundaries of the shallow end. Allow me to share with you what I know based on my own experience.  Most often it not what you know but what you believe about what know that can make all the difference.  Truth is, your belief system can keep you in the shallow end of your faith and relationship with Jesus or it can catapult you into the deeper things of God.  I believe that fear is the main culprit behind being content with remaining in the shallow end of the word of God. Things that builds and strengthen our relatioship with Jesus are ingnored for playing it safe.

PLAYING IT SAFE

I’m sure that most Christians have heard the story of the five talents.  It’s a story about stewardship and the state of readiness (watching).images  But I also see it as an illustration of a servants foolish attempt at playing it safe.  For those of us who don’t know the story, it is the kingdom of God being compared to a man going on a journey.   He called his servants together and entrusted some of his wealth to each of them.  The man expected his servants to manage his wealth in ways that would bring about a profit.  This man not only gave each of them huge sums of monies, he also invested in their lives.  In this parable, the man is none other than Jesus, the returning King Of Kings.

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May 20, 2015 - Faith, Spiritual Growth    4 Comments

SHALLOW END CHRISTIANS

I was talking to a friend the other day and this topic kept resurfacing during our dialogue … Christians who are only willing to go so far into the word of God. Why is it that some Christians become content and don’t desire to go deeper into the word of God?  I thought, perhaps, it is for some of the same reasons that people stay in the shallow end of a swimming pool with no desire to ever learn to swim in the deep end.

I WANT TO SWIM IN THE DEEP END 

When I shared this with my wife, Amy, she reminded me of our younger daughter Ella’s determination to pass the deep end test last summer at our town pool.  At the start of the summer, Ella started begging us to let her take the deep end test.  We didn’t think she was quite ready and we tried to counsel her to wait a bit.  We told her that if you try to take the test before you’re ready and fail the life guard will watch you all the more closely the next time.  And, it will be harder and harder to pass each time you have to take it.

imageWe thought we had persuaded Ella to wait; until one hot afternoon when Amy and I decided to take the girls down to the town pool for a swim.  We thought we would have a relaxing afternoon in the sun fellowshipping while we watched our daughters swim.  Emma Grace, then nine, played a little in the shallow end with her little sister until she befriended some girls more her age who were swimming in the deep end.  Well, it didn’t take long before Ella came out of the pool saying, “I want to take the deep end test!”

How can you say no to such a determined spirit.  When we said, OK, Ella’s face lit up, she couldn’t have been more excited.  Her teeth were chattering and her zero body fat body was shaking as we walked her over to the lifeguard’s chair to take the test.

PUTTING WHAT YOU’VE LEARDED TO THE TEST

Ella was instructed to go into the shallow end of the pool and swim on her stomach to the deep end swimming underneath the pool’s safety floating line.  Then, she needed to swim on her back to the safety line and finally tread water for 60 seconds.   Mom and I walked the length of the pool encouraging her as she swam.  While still in the deep end the lifeguard told Ella to now tread water for sixty seconds.  This was the hardest part for her.  Because she has zero body fat, her little body wants to sink like an anchor.  Well, our little Miss Ella was determined.  It looked like she would rather drown before not passing that deep in test.

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May 10, 2015 - Faith, Leadership    2 Comments

FACING A GIANT

Sharing your faith with others can be like facing a giant.  So what is the name of the giant that prevents you from sharing your faith in Jesus with others?  This is a question that every single child of God needs to ask.  I, myself, find it very interesting that people are willing to share so many things with total strangers.  Where you’re from … What you do for a living … Things about our children.  But when it comes to sharing their relationship with Jesus, for many of us, that’s a whole different story.  Especially, when it comes to our loved ones.  I know this to be true from my own personal experiences.  For along time the name of my Giant was “DO NOT OFFEND.”

This giant, named “DO NOT OFFEND,” would cause me to start imagewhispering whenever I was talking about Jesus and someone was approaching.  In the back of my mind I was thinking, I don’t know if this person is a believer and I don’t want to offend them.

I was reading the story of David and Goliath.  A story many are familiar with but this time I began looking at the “giants” in our lives that keep us from being bold about what we believe.  Bold enough to share our faith.

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