Wednesday, April 23, 2014

more and more, not less and less

Sometimes we think of the Christian life as being like an airline flight.  At the beginning you really need a big boost of power and acceleration to get off the ground.  But at some point you reach a set altitude (ceiling) and then settle in at a cruising speed.  




Which is fine... if your destination is someplace in this world.  But our destination is not of this world.  Our goal is not to level out at a safe cruising speed, but rather to obtain the fullest possible transformation into the likeness and character of Jesus that we can in this life.  

The Christian life should be about "more and more", not "less and less." There is no red line on the tachometer of the Christian.  There is no ceiling, no set altitude, no cruising speed.  This really stood out to me in Paul's first letter to the Thessalonian believers... 


"...may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you."  (1 Thessalonians 3:12 ESV)
"...we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more."  (4:1)
"...you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,  for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more..." (4:9-10)
"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  (5:23)

Which means, as we walk with the Lord, and grow in him, there should be more faith (not less), more love (not less), and more obedience (not less). 

Also the longer we walk with the Lord the greater is the temptation to feel that we no longer have need of those disciplines that "got us off the ground." So we cut back on dedicated times of prayer, on the study of Scripture (reading and memorization, too), and on intentional outreach to the people around us.  We may feel like we no longer need some of the accountability that church, small groups, and mentoring gives us.  We've been there, done that.

But the Christian life is about more and more, not less and less.  

Rather than an airline flight, we should think of the Christian life as being like Secretariat, the three-year-old Thoroughbred winner of the 1973 Triple Crown. 

In the Kentucky Derby Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were 25.2, 24.0, 23.8, 23.4, and 23.0 seconds.  This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race.  Down the stretch Secretariat was running 49 mph. (From Secretariat.com)



In the last of the three races, the Belmont Stakes (above, the longest of the triple crown races, being a mile and a half in length) Secretariat opened a 1/16 mile lead on the rest of the field, but at the finish won by 31 lengths.   He ran the fastest 1.5 miles on dirt in history with a average speed of 37.5 mph for his entire performance.  

Now there's an example of "more and more" for us to follow!

Where do you need to ramp it up in your walk with God??

"...we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more."  (4:1)


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