Thursday, February 9, 2012

Treasure Worth the Effort

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Being born height-challenged helped me become a person that does things with great diligence. I was taught to never be satisfied with anything less than the best of what you are striving to achieve. This strengthened me in menial things such as crossword puzzles and mowing grass. It also enabled me to break the barriers of my physical limitations to attain the things that were out of reach for me, such as the cookie jar on the highest shelf in the cupboard or the soda pop that was placed on the top shelf in the refrigerator. Giving up without victory was never an option.

Jesus explained to His disciples the importance of diligence when it came to understanding Him and the cause of His presence in their lives. He wanted them to know that the light He came to deliver deserved their deepest interest and demanded their diligence to understand. If they were half-hearted seekers they would be left ignorant to the depth of His teaching. When He taught in parables the lessons He offered could only be grasped with a diligent desire to know: “Jesus answered them, ‘To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted’” (Matthew 13:11). Some people do not have the desire to know.

Our application is the same now as it was then. If we want to know the depth of Jesus and the truth He delivered to the world we must be willing to be diligent in our effort to understand His teachings. Any other effort will leave us with only a partial understanding of His truth and will leave us vulnerable to the deceit of the Deceiver. And we live in a world that has been easily led astray because they lack diligence in their effort to know Jesus. Although God did not come to confuse the world, there are many things He teaches that just a little effort to learn will leave us empty. Peter, when speaking of Paul’s letters, said, “…as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:11). Peter’s point was that the world is full of false teachers that do not understand the Scriptures because they are too full of themselves to be filled with God’s truth and they mislead others also.

In an effort to use as little diligence as possible, some will let the “untaught and unstable” teach them what God’s word says about salvation. Unfortunately, like Peter said, it will only lead them “to their own destruction.” They live by the false pretense that ignorance is bliss. In other words, there are many that believe the less they know, the less they will be held accountable for. But Paul reminds us how far off this logic truly is: "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). Further in that same passage, Paul shows that God has appointed His Son to come again to judge the world for their lack of diligence in efforts to know Him and His truth that can set them free.

We have been given the opportunity to be “more noble minded” like the Bereans and “search the Scriptures daily to see whether these things” are so (Acts 17:11). In Jesus prayer for unity, He reminds us what truth is: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Stay diligent in your effort to know the truth about Jesus and the life He offers to keep yourselves protected from the destruction of false teachers. A diligent search for God’s truth is worth every ounce of effort we can muster, and will set us free from the demise of the ignorance of the world.

In His Grace,

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