As pastors, we have spent years telling people about the Bible. We have talked about the Ten Commandments, the Fruit of the Spirit, the awesome stories of the Old Testament, and the Parables in the New Testament. We have disected the spiritual gifts and grieved over the verses about gossip and unforgiveness. We have analyzed every step of Jesus’ life with our congregants and begged them often to live more like Him each day. We have preached the Bible’s principles from cover to cover.
There is nothing deeper or more profound to teach in the pages of the Bible. We are as deep as we can possibly get. We talk about it all, so what’s left on the road to spirtiual maturity?
And here’s the answer…obedience. You see, we often think that spiritual maturity is more profound teaching, but just like many principles in the Bible, that’s our backwards thinking. Jesus didn’t make it deeper. Trust me, never gossiping again and forgiving that person who hurt you the most, is as challenging as it will ever get. He didn’t need to make it more profound because He knew that those people who grabbed ahold of not just listening to His Word, but actually doing it, would be challenged for the rest of their lives.
We have seen people’s lives change dramatically and we have seen other’s walk away from the gospel for a multitude of different reasons. The common denominator – obedience. I have seen many people on a quest for a deeper level of knowledge, but they are usually the same people who are lacking spiritual depth in issues more related to character than knowledge.
So, my challenge to you in 2009 is DO what you learn. Watch God not only change your life in the process, but I guarantee that people around you will be challenged as well. May you be blessed beyond measure in this new year!