My Lord, help me to grow in understanding, and equip me to meet with faith the challenges I face.
Read Hebrews 5:11-6:3
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“It’s not that the Christian faith has been tried and found difficult, but rather it’s been found difficult and left untried” (G.K. Chesterton).
The last few days have given us some challenging readings, and it’s refreshing to read that the writer was aware of this. And I didn’t even touch on Melchizedek, who is tackled in detail in ch. 7. But we all need to be stretched.
N.T. Wright tells of people “who are highly intelligent in other areas, who work in demanding professions, who read serious newspapers and magazines and who would be ashamed not to know what is going on in the world,” but have a “settled prejudice” against making any effort to find out who Jesus really was and how the Gospel can impact their faith. This includes people inside the church. Probably the fact that you are reading these notes indicates that you are not one of these people; perhaps you can act as a catalyst, in your church and beyond, in addressing this critical issue.
Here are a few practical suggestions. Many local churches focus quite rightly on the “elementary teachings,” some of which are listed in 6:1,2 (and some of which are perhaps not so elementary!), but there are some issues that are more challenging. Form a small group of people, not necessarily all from your own church, with whom you can discuss real-life, difficult issues of the Christian faith. Don’t settle for superficial or conventional answers. Find some good theological blogs on the net and get involved, if only by reading them. The best of them will lead you to read books you would not otherwise have come across. Spend as much as you can afford on good Christian books. You can buy several for what it costs to fill up your car with gas. Join a book club. Don’t settle just for reading, watching or listening to things with which you agree.
What other ways of being stretched can you add to the list above? How can we challenge one another to a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ?
Father, I know I enjoy comfort more than challenge. By Your Spirit, move me forward and create in me a desire to stretch beyond my comfort zone.
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