It’s Not an Accident

Gospel living doesn’t just happen. That’s what I’ve been learning over the last three weeks. One of the joys of my new job is that I get to spend numerous hours each week pouring over the Word of God, preparing to teach it to students. But I know the truth—I’m learning more than they do as I’m forced to deal with difficult concepts and hard truths for hours on end.

I’m coming to realize that obedience to the Word of God doesn’t just happen. You don’t fall into righteousness. No man dies and is surprised to find himself being told “Well done good and faithful servant.” Righteous living is the product of a conscious decision to abandon the tantalizing offer of sin for the better offer of eternal, fulfilling joy. And that doesn’t come without effort. Jesus commands “strive to enter through the narrow gate.” It is hard to be saved. The offer is so free and so gracious, and yet so hard to accept. Because being redeemed means the total destruction of an entire world-view in a moment for the sake of knowing God.

But it doesn’t stop there. Proverbs 2 is a father begging his cherished son to search for wisdom as one searches for buried treasure. Buried treasure is not found by plunging a shovel randomly into a sand dune. Rather it is found by a careful, meticulous search over miles and miles of empty desert to gain priceless nuggets of gold. The search is hard and takes effort. It is not comfortable. But it’s worth it.

In the same way, no one gains wisdom accidentally and without effort. You don’t flop on the couch and flip on the TV to become wise. Wisdom comes from hours spent studying the Word of God, eternal truth revealed to finite man that he might live a righteous life. And the amazing thing is that there is a promise attached:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)


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