Standard, Not Optional, Features
Have you purchased a new automobile recently?
I have not, but I know what happens. You are offered a wide range of optional equipment available -- items such as rich leather, tinted glass, pin striping, aluminum wheels, an on-board computer, a sunroof, a stereo with four or maybe six speakers; power windows, power locks, power seats, power antennas, and on and on.
Automobile makers are not the only ones who offer a dazzling array of options. Housing developments give us choices of carpeting, tile, wall-coloring, appliances and floor plans; and grocery stores stock several different brands of almost every product, from detergents to green beans. Everyday, we are told that we are free to opt for whatever we want.
Tragically, many Christians carry this over into their relationship with God, treating His holy Word like a restaurant menu from which they select whatever commands that may please them. Many cherry pick what they like and disregard the rest.
Faithfulness in following Christ is optional to them, intended only for pastors
and missionaries -- the "professional Christians."
Of course, God meets us where we are, and there are many times where the Holy Spirit will emphasize certain truths to us and not others, depending on our need and what He wants to do in our lives. But otherwise, such an attitude and behavior are not a good idea and may result in stunted spiritual growth.
That is why discipleship is so important, and why I have always stressed its importance. Good discipleship prevents stunted spiritual growth and helps provide balance to a believer, who may be pulled in several directions.
Sam was very frustrated. He was a new Christian, facing the array of confusing opinions and emphases concerning the Christian life, but he wanted to know and do what was right. I explained to him that the Christian life, like physical life, involves a process of growth. We cannot become spiritually mature overnight.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in more than 50 years of ministry is the joy of bringing new
converts to spiritual maturity. There is something exciting and wonderfully unique about seeing one whom you have discipled grow and mature, lead others to Christ, and then disciple them to win and disciple others, generation after generation.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.