Becoming a master at following the Master
13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:13-18
A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of the dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Broni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the shepherd... "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?" The shepherd looked at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looked at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answered "sure".
The yuppie parked his car, whipped out his IBM ThinkPad and connected it to a cell phone, then he surfed to a NASA page on the internet where he called up a GPS satellite navigation system, scanned the area, and then opened up a database and an Excel spreadsheet with complex formulas. He sent an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, received a response. Finally, he prints out a 130-page report on his miniaturized printer then turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1586 sheep. "That is correct; take one of the sheep." said the shepherd. He watches the young man select one of the animals and bundle it into his car.
Then the shepherd says: "If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my animal?", "OK, why not." answered the young man. "Clearly, you are a consultant." said the shepherd. "That's correct." says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?" "No guessing required." answers the shepherd. "You turned up here although nobody called you. You want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked, and you don't know anything about my business...... Now give me back my dog."
We live in a world full of experts. We used to have a saying that an expert was nothing more than has been who was a drip under pressure.
But there are really experts in the world, people who have mastered their crafts to the point where they are recognized by peers and other people and organizations as knowing the most about a particular subject.
If a violinists works 3 hours a day on their craft it will take them 9 years to be called a master musician.
So a person who studies the word of God 5 minutes a day will take how long? Anyone want to guess? 36 years. It only gets worse when some folks rarely if ever open their Bible.
In other words we become better Christians when we work at it. It requires on-going, consistent effort on our part.
Paul said he continually strives to obtain. Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Christianity is a journey and our spiritual growth is contingent on our daily study of His word and communication with God.
I tell people before they are baptized that this isn’t the ending it is the beginning. Now it’s time to serve and walk and grow and be a part of the faith community.