Hard Work

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

working outI once read about a father who was sceptical of his teenage son’s newfound determination to body building. One day he followed his son to a store’s weight-lifting department, where they admired a set of weights. “Please, Dad,” pleaded the teen, “I promise I’ll use ’em every day.” “I don’t know, Michael. It’s really a commitment on your part,” the father said. “Please, Dad?” “They’re not cheap either,” the father said. “I’ll use ’em, Dad, I promise. You’ll see.” Finally won over, the father paid for the equipment and headed for the door. After a few steps, he heard his son behind him say, “What! You mean I have to carry them to the car?”

Many of us can identify with this story because the truth is that we often want everything for nothing. We want to be physically fit without having to exercise. We want to be comfortably rich by winning a lottery. Or we simply want to turn the channel without having to do the incredibly hard work of getting out of our chairs. That is the kind of society we live in… a world of instant gratification and if something takes long and involves lots of effort, than we try to avoid doing it.

Now the problem is that things are not a whole lot different in the church. There are thousands of Christians who want to experience meaningful spirituality without having to put the necessary time and effort in to it. Worse yet, there are many in the church who don’t even want to grow spiritually. In fact, they don’t want much of anything but to come the occasional Sunday and have their ears tickled

Clearly, this is not what being a Christian is about. We are not saved by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in order to enjoy a comfortable life resting in our salvation. The point is that following Christ and growing in our faith is hard work.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14

“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” – Luke 13:24

And so a big part of being a Christian is striving to enter through that narrow door. It is about taking the path less travelled that in the end is extremely hard work. Which means that Christianity should never be watered down and taken as a kind of easy belief system because as free as our salvation is, by grace through faith in Christ, we are still called to strive hard at reaching our eternal goal. As the author of Hebrews puts it, let us strive to enter God’s eternal rest.

In his book Discipline of a Godly Man, Kent Hughes explains it this way…

It is an immutable fact that we will never get anywhere in life without discipline – especially in spiritual matters. There are some who have innate athletic or musical advantages. But none of us can claim an innate spiritual advantage. None of us are inherently righteous, none of us naturally seek God or are reflexively good. Therefore, as children of grace, our spiritual discipline is everything.

“By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” – 1 Corinthians 15:10 (ESV)


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