Purity of Faith Can’t Be Sterile!
Devotional Thought of the Day:
6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. 7 You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. 8 He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you. 9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Colossians 1:6-10 (NLT2)
1 Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love. With your apostolic life wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred. And light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart.
The most insane and inane fight in God’s church that I have seen in my life is the battle between those who are concerned with keeping the doctrine of the church pure, and those are claiming to be more missional, more evangelistic.
It is insane because someone who is faithful to the teaching of God will care about the making sure His salvation, and those whose mission to save the world cannot but hope to do so by any other means than revealing God’s love for mankind in all of its purity.
It can’t be an either or, any more than you can have an ocean without a sky above it. It is not a sense of competing, as if one was evil and the other good, or one to be the light, and other the darkness.
The more you become aware of God’s love, revealed in His word, and in the sacraments, the more you want others to know it, and the more you want to share it. Doctrine after all, is not just what is written in books for study, but it is what we believe and what we teach and what we confess is the basis of our hope.
The more our doctrine is clear, the more it will have been shared, It can’t be sterile, it can’t be kept apart from the world it was given to save. It has to meet people in the midst of their brokenness, their sin, and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, cut out their cold dead hearts and replace them with the heart of Jesus. (Ezekiel 36:25ff)
It is as simple as the old praise song, which speaks of a spark that turns into a fire that warms everyone. That is what the basic teachings of Christianity do, they create in us a warmth that can’t help affect others around us. FOr to know God loves us, enbales and causes us to love others, And that love will burn up that which isn’t of God.
True revival does both, it purifies and multiples, if gives people the joy of knowing they are loved, and that love results in a peace, because they can count on God’s presence, they can count on His promises, they can revel in the mercy that causes us to be found holy, pure, righteous.
And yet the church, no matter which denomination, gets into these battles, putting purity of doctrine against mission.
It has to stop, for the sake of the world,
For our sake as well, for a sterile, pure faith that isn’t involved in God’s work of reconciling and redeeming the world, is dead.
Lord, help us stop these petty battles, and instead find the joy of You saving us, find the joy that comes from knowing You love us. AMEN
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 171-174). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.