I remember being quite the skeptic when I was born again back in 2000. I recall something I said during the first conversations I had with another believer when he asked me what my theology was and how I stood on God. “I believe in God but also believe in evolution. I don’t believe everything in the bible is true but agree it is a solid guide book for people who need guidance in their lives.”
Though born again, I was absolutely clueless.
Looking back I am proud to say I understand the concept of spiritual growth. The process from which a person is born again and starting as a spiritual baby, the same person evolves into a mature Christian. But how do you know when you’ve gone from crawling to walking? From spiritual milk to solid food? How can we gauge how far we’ve grown since being born again?
The answer to those questions resides in the trail we leave behind since accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior. One good look at this trail and you will know where you are versus where you started. The trail of your time, energy, affection and your money. Your “team” defines who you are, where you are.
I am glad to say my team is purpose driven unlike my father’s trail which is littered with greed, deceit and selfishness. Though I continue to share the gospel with my dad I often feel I’m wasting my time. As a Christian, we must know when to say when.
“Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:21-23)
In this verse, Jesus tells His disciple to ignore his father knowing spiritual death was upon him. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to do the same when our own parents won’t hear the good news. Again in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus speaks these words:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:34-37)
While turning away from mother and father may be necessary for some of us, it is pleasing to God that entire families worship and serve Him. But do not be fooled, not everyone who claims to walk in Jesus’ footsteps will inherit a place in the kingdom of God. Quite the contrary. Only a few are headed to heaven. The bible warns us of this “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
With these verses in mind and the fact no one truly knows the exact moment Jesus will return, I invite you to take a good look at the trail you are leaving behind and find out what your team looks like. What occupies most of your time? Where do you spend most of your energy? How do you divide your affection? Finally, where is your money spent?
Answer these questions and find out how ready you are because let’s face it, anyone of us could die tomorrow. What then? I pray God will welcome you with open arms saying “Well done child”.
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)
Strive to leave a trail acceptable to God. Look back each night as you pray and ask the Lord to strengthen you as you continue on your spiritual walk the next day. Remember God loves you and wants a relationship with you but since He has given all of us free will, it is up to us to seek Him. Do so daily and you will reap the eternal rewards promised in His word.
We thank you for your guidance in our lives
And for giving us purpose beyond our own understanding,
We ask you to continue to lead our footsteps
And help us with our sense of direction.
Lord we welcome your mission for our lives
And ask that you strengthen us,
So that we may seek you each day
Building a relationship with you.
God help us be more like you
Help us understand your ways,
And do so each and every day.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre