John 6:63 Jesus replied, “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” -NLT
What did the DOW do today? Is the dollar up or down against the Euro? How’s the tariff “war” going? Is the housing market coming back, or is this just another bubble?
Have you seen the latest model? Did you see that new piece of furniture? Can you believe the size and picture of the new TVs? Oh, and that new line of clothing is just unbelievable. I shopped…I needed another…I bought more…I added that….
Did you hear about….? Did you know that….? Are you aware of….?
In the midst of a world caught up in so many things—my world and your world—have we taken the time today to hear from God? Are the things of God (His Word and His presence) a forethought for us, or an afterthought? Or are the cares and concerns of this life pushing Him to the margin of our lives?
Are we able to go days on end without devoting any real time to our relationship with God? Are we content to operate largely independent of Scripture? Or have we recognized that real life, real living, only happens when we feast on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?
Our culture purports to be super, but in reality it is mostly superficial, as phony and as flimsy as the facades of an old western movie set. We are products (and take that literally if you will) of a society that is all about keeping up appearances (“how do you think that’s going to look; what will they think?” we ask). We are trained to be superficial.
Superficial: superficialis, on the surface; super, above / over; facies, form / face; not deep, without thorough understanding, cursory. As the saying goes, “We are a mile wide and an inch deep.”
When we think of Jesus, we automatically think “super” and we never think “superficial.” Yet, when we think of ourselves (or maybe others), we rarely think “super.” Why is that? What do we know about us that is different from Jesus? Is it within the realm of possibility for us to be less superficial and more super (in a Christ-like sense)? Can we be “deeper” and less “shallow”? Can we really live that way?
Yes! But not by our own efforts (human effort alone accomplishes nothing). It is accomplished by believing Jesus, by devoting ourselves to the person of Christ and His teachings (“the very words I have spoken to YOU are spirit and life”). If I truly believe this, it will be borne out in my life—my actions and my words will give evidence of this. Fruit will grow, the Fruit of the Spirit, and when that begins to happen the superficiality will die off so as to make room for more and more fruit.
Here’s some tell-tale signs of the metamorphosis from shallow living to deep living: whether the words of Christ occupy my thinking, my behaving and my speaking; whether I am consumed by the things of this world or the things of God; whether I am content with what I have; whether there is peace in my soul; and whether I am able to recognize the superficial for what it is—something that robs me of all of the above.
May God help us to be His “super people,” those who live above the superficialities of this world where moth and rust erode and destroy.
A fellow beggar along the Way,