Links Daily Devotional

Time for a Check-up?

I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:17-18, NLT)

I always get a kick out of the so-called experts who speculate on the greatness that lies ahead for the oft-decorated collegiate players who win the U.S. Amateur Championship every August. That is why it is really fun to see these golf writers speculate on what will happen in the future for the No. 776th-ranked amateur, Gunn Yang, who pulled off the big win two Sundays ago at Atlanta Athletic Club.

First of all, congratulations Gunn! Let’s just let him enjoy this accomplishment and the opportunities it will provide, because for every Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson, there are a handful of others who don’t continue to excel on the same trajectory. And it’s not because they necessarily get worse; they just may not get much better. Unlike many sports, it is almost impossible to predict the professional success that lies ahead of a great amateur golfer, because most of them don’t grow in talent.

Many Christians make a similar mistake in their faith. After a person receives the victory over death that is promised when one puts their faith in Jesus Christ and claims his righteousness for salvation, the trajectory of the Christian faith can range from shallow to steep. Many never take off or grow, and frankly, they don’t look any different down the road of life than they did when they first said yes to Jesus.

It’s a lot like the story of the little boy who fell out of bed. When his mom asked him what happened, he answered, “I don’t know. I guess I stayed too close to where I got in.”

It’s tempting to do this in our faith. Why? Because God’s promise of salvation and future glory for our belief in him is so good that sometimes we don’t realize we still need to grow. It’s tempting just to stay where we got in and never move.

So how does your prayer life today compare with those first days with Jesus? How about your generosity, your interest in the teachings of Scripture, your compassion for the hurting, your desire to reach the lost? Can you tell you’ve grown? Can others around you see a difference?

Peter wrote to those who shared his faith in Jesus, telling them that “you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” if you don’t want to be carried away by the world. If a child ceased to develop, the parents would be concerned and doctors would be called and tests would be run. If you’re the same Christian you were a few months ago, and especially years ago, be careful! You might be wise to get a check-up, not on your body, but on your heart. Not a physical… no, let’s just say you might be due for a “spiritual!”

Josh Nelson
August 25, 2014
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