April 30, Sunday

REPOST  Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on May 1, 2016.  Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.). 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“What’s Really Keeping You from Diving Deeper in Your Faith?”

Acts 20:22-24

 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

[Today, I’d like to introduce you to a video put forth by the Bible Project. I suggest you subscribe to their YouTube channel if you haven’t already.] 

In today’s passage, you see that Paul is “compelled” by the Spirit of God. For all of us, this is when our hearts pause to say, “Uh oh…what if one day the Holy Spirit forces me to do something that I really don’t want to do?” 

I can think of one reason that often challenges people from wanting to grow spiritually. “I don’t want God to send me to India for the rest of my life.” There’s an assumption that if you mature spiritually, then God will take away everything you currently have and enjoy, and then, send you out to a needy mission field with nothing but a backpack full of evangelism tracts. 

There’s another reason why people have been challenged to grow spiritually. Barna Group found that the number one challenge to helping people grow spiritually is that most people equate spiritual maturity with trying hard to follow the rules in the Bible (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/264-many-churchgoers-and-faith-leaders-struggle-to-define-spiritual-maturity#.VyO6UvkrLIU). It’s no wonder that many people are not motivated to grow spiritually. Who wants to become a self-righteous rule-follower?

If you hold to either of these ideas, first of all, YES, you are right! Yes, Jesus does invite us to go to all nations preaching the gospel. And yes, following Jesus does involve obedience to His commands. But if that’s what’s really keeping you from diving deeper in your faith, perhaps you may have a short-sighted view of God’s commands and God’s mission to the world. 

Certainly a wise and loving God isn’t merely interested in creating a community of rigid rule-followers, or is He? Or that His mission is only accomplished by “compelling” stubborn people to go to places they don’t really want to travel? 

Hope this video will help in breaking down some assumptions and highlighting God’s love for His children. Enjoy! 

For Reflection: After watching the video, how does that shape your view of Scripture, especially the Law and the Prophets? How do you see Jesus as One who came to fulfil the law? Does that change how you pray to him?

Bible Reading for Today: Amos 2

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