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Christ Following

Fear of the Deep End

October 10, 2017 • By

I remember when I was just a grade-school boy. One of my favorite summertime activities was swimming. If I had a chance to be in the water, I would take it, even if it wasn’t terribly hot outside.

There was a community pool in our city, called Anderson Pool. For just 25 cents, you could spend the entire day there. I still remember the smell of the chlorine, the pre-swim shower that felt like needles against my sunburned shoulders, the stubbed toes, and the lifeguards continually telling me to WALK!

There were 3 pools at Anderson Pool. A shallow pool for small children, a 3 to 5 foot deep pool for kids like me, and deeper pool that you could jump off the diving board into.

I remember one summer when I really wanted to jump off the diving boards. I was still pretty small and swimming in the deeper pool required little guys like me to pass a swim test. I was with several friends but only a couple of us were brave enough to take the plunge (literally).

The lifeguard told us that we had to be able to swim from one end of the deep pool to the other. I had already attempted this the summer before, and failed, but this time I wasn’t going to give up. It felt like everyone was watching, and I wanted to look strong. When the lifeguard yelled GO, I jumped in and doggie paddled as hard as I could. I swam to the other end of the pool, and back again! I was exhausted but I passed the test. I was now able to jump off the diving boards!

I discovered that summer that the diving boards were the most fun thing at the pool! I never wanted to go back to the less deep pools ever again! I loved the feeling of plunging into the water, and that brief moment of weightlessness as tiny air bubbles surrounded me. I would spend hours jumping, diving, and flipping into the deep end.

Unfortunately, some of my friends wouldn’t take the test. They were afraid, or they just didn’t want to do it. No matter how many times I encouraged them, or told them how amazing it was in the deep end, they just wouldn’t do it. They were content with splashing around in 3 feet of water, or just sitting at the edge of the pool dipping their feet in while they worked on their tan.

I find following Jesus a lot like that. There is a deep end, and it’s amazing!

In the deep end is peace. In the deep end is purpose. In the deep end is revelation, intimacy, joy, wisdom, and adventure!

The deep end requires of us. It requires time in prayer, time in God’s word, silence, fasting, sacrifice. But, just like I never regretted taking that swim test, I’ve never regretted paying any price to go deeper in my faith.

Yet, there are some who are content in the shallows. They don’t really know what they’re missing, and they don’t feel like finding out. Just like I wish I could have gotten my friends to take the swim test, I wish I could get all believers to take the plunge into deeper, more meaningful experiences with God.

How about you? Are you still splashing around in the shallows? What’s keeping you there? Do you lack motivation? Are you afraid?

Push past those things, jump in, and discover the awesome adventure that is the deep end.

You won’t regret it!


Christ Following

One Truth About God That Can Change Your Life Forever

June 27, 2017 • By

Today’s post is a guest post by Christian writer and blogger Charles L. Stanley. Charles is a seasoned Christ-follower who writes weekly devotions that encourage people to deepen their knowledge, passion, and experience of God.

Charles wrote a 7 day devotional eBook that he’d love to give you for free. You can grab it by clicking here.

Enjoy!

Exodus 34

The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” …

10 And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you…

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

We are more secure as believers in Jesus Christ than we know. At the core of that security is the core of God’s name, “steadfast love and faithfulness.”

This is the same steadfast love and faithfulness that existed between the Father and the Son when the Father promised that the Son would be King forever. Psalm 61:6-7.

God is 100% for you

Steadfast love is a translation of the Hebrew word, Hesed. Edmund Clowney, former President of Westminster Seminary, translated it “covenant devotion.” We can easily understand the devotion between the Father and the Son. Did you realize that this Trinitarian God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is devoted to you? He is completely for you!

God’s eternal character

This has always been God’s character from before the beginning. In John’s Gospel, we see that Jesus Christ brought “grace and truth,” the New Testament equivalent of “steadfast love and faithfulness.” Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” At his core, he has always been and will always be, ”steadfast love and faithfulness” or “grace and truth.” Remember, we have one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one Bible, both Old, and New Testaments. He is the same, always and everywhere.

The cure for your anxieties

This truth about God has had a profound effect on me. It has largely erased my fears, worries, and anxieties about the future. The New Covenant in Christ is God’s covenant that includes me in Christ. God’s character is such that I have no worries. My Almighty Savior is trustworthy to perform all he has promised, both in this life and in the next on the New Earth.

Take a moment to think about the fact that God in Christ is fully devoted to you. Is that a new thought to you? Does it impact how you think about yourself and your life? Your family? Does it help you to think more in eternal terms?

“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” ~Psalm 63:3

Please take a moment to share the thoughts you have about this truth from God’s word. How has it affected your life? This is our chance to minister to one another as fellow readers and members of the Body of Christ. Thank you for participating.