Weekly Thought – January 5, 2016
Fred spent New Year’s Day reviewing and evaluating the preceding year. He looked at his relations: to money, business, family, friends, church, personal development, and God. Each year he carefully considered these areas and then did a personal audit.
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Straight and Crooked – Conclusion
It is very commonly accepted to talk about mankind as “sons of God.” Certainly we are all creatures of Him, but only in the new birth through Christ do we become sons and daughters. If we are automatically children, there is no need for the divine adoption. And without that the coming of Christ is a waste.
People who point to Christ as a “perfect example” are badly over-engineering the product. I have a high-precision German sports car. If I could find a highway with no speed limit, my car would perform perfectly. I sometimes feel it resents the governing I must do… it longs to run! It is manufactured to cruise at 100mph. When I am forced to hold it to 55mph, it doesn’t operate right. The bottom line is I have spent a lot of money for wasted precision.
Similarly, if God meant Christ to be simply a perfect example, the Son was way over-engineered. Any human being who is better than I am is a good enough example for me. I already have Mother Theresa when I need a model of selflessness, goodness, and faithfulness. She is by far a finer example of Godly living if that is all it would take. I could just become the disciple of someone who is 15% better than I am. If Christ is only an example it would be truly depressing for such a standard is unachievable.
I didn’t need an example; I needed a Savior. I needed someone whose sacrifice was acceptable enough to reconcile me to God (something that even Mother Theresa could never do!).
Intellectual integrity must be alive and well in our study of God. It is tempting to allow the study to overshadow the practice of worship. Sadly, I have met men who had a great mind for God but little heart. I once asked a Jewish philosopher, “Why aren’t all great theologians saints?” He said, “It’s simple.” Too often, theological studies involve one-upmanship. It views itself as the top of the intellectual ladder. If a theologian says to me, “What do you do?” and I say “I am a scientist,” he will say, “I am the one who studies the One who made what you study.”
I am convinced He has called us to humility for it is still the surest way to genuine intellectual integrity.
This week think about: 1) Where do I struggle the most with humility? 2) Who is Jesus in my life? 3) How can I make intellectual integrity part of 2016?
Words of Wisdom: “Sadly, I have met men who had a great mind for God but little heart.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The righteous person behaves in integrity; blessed are his children after him.” (Proverbs 20:7 NET Bible)