There is no getting around, it I’m one of those Bible geeks. I love to read it, I love to study it and I love to teach it. I love digging into it and looking for the “deeper meanings” of scripture. I love discussing scripture and hearing others debate a text and I enjoy the challenge.
To clarify, I don’t enjoy dogma, I enjoy discussion. I’ve been lucky enough this past year to find a group of men on the Plateau who enjoy this as much as I do. Although we do discuss other important issues, like what is the best caliber handgun and why, we mostly try to keep it to spiritual conversation.
As we have been having these deep discussion together, I’ve come to a conclusion. I think God is much simpler than we give Him credit. I’m not saying God is simple, I just don’t think God is consumed with the same things we humans are. As a mere human I’m conflicted with pride, ego, prejudices and other issues that muddy up my understanding of scripture. That is, until I come across something so simple it slaps the stupid out of me.
I recently studied and taught on 1 Corinthians 3:1-4. This is the portion of scripture where Paul laments that he is unable to teach the deeper things of the lord to the people because they don’t have the basics down. The imagery he used is he desired to give them solid food but they could only hand the milk of the word because they still had issues with envy, strife and divisions among them.
This got me thinking about my own life. Here I am a pastor, desiring the deeper things of God, and I’ve spent the last year having wonderful discussions with men far wiser than me. I’ve gleaned what I could from their experiences and understanding of the word and I feel like God slapped me in the face and said, “Let’s talk about the things that really matter.”
The conversation went something like this, “Marcus, let’s talk about your attitude toward some of those in leadership above you in my denomination.” I was envious of some of my friends and what they had access to. Then He directed me to look at some of the relationships with in my own church that I pastor and I realized I had strife toward some. Ouch. Then He showed me how some of my own attitudes and actions could cause division within the body I love so dearly.
Here I am, a man desiring the meat of God’s word, I wasn’t taking care of the basic things in my life. Oh, how those basic Christian teachings can be dismissed away and bad attitudes and judgment can creep into us.
I want to encourage you this week focus on the basics and make sure that you’ve got those basic things taken care of so you can receive the deeper things God wants to give you.