Thanks for stopping back. Today's post is a continuation of my last one, The Makings of a Best Seller - Part 1. You can scroll down to read that first or click here.
The truth is we are spiritually famished. But with so many enticing choices from which to choose, we can’t always discern the healthy food from the junk.
As Christians, it’s clear where we find our spiritual food. In John 6, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (v. 35) Even those with a passing knowledge of the Bible are familiar with this verse. Yet, knowing that Jesus is the bread of life and being filled by Him are two very different things.
When we were infants we relied on our parents for everything. They sat us in a high chair and spoon-fed us baby food. They carried us from place to place. But in time we started to crawl, then toddle. Eventually we learned to walk without falling, run on the playground, ride a bike, cross the street safely and even climb a mountain.
Our lives as believers are like this. We start as baby Christians, relying on our pastors to spoon-feed us the gospel. Maybe we crawl to church or toddle to Bible study, but all the while we expect others to guide us, teach us and cut the Scriptures into palatable, bit-sized chunks. But God doesn’t want us remain spiritual toddlers. He wants us to grow and mature, “attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13)
For if we don’t grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, what version of truth becomes our anchor? How can we separate the fancy rhetoric that tickles our ears from godly teaching that feeds our souls? It’s probably not by the numbers of people gathering around to hear the message.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim 4:3-4)
I'm not suggesting, even for a moment, Christians should only read books on some “approved” reading list. Censorship is ridiculous. But with so many ideologies and philosophies competing for our attention, if we’re not grounded in Scripture, what is our basis for discernment? How do we separate the wheat from the chaff? The banquet feast from spiritual fast food? The real Messiah from false prophets?
By all accounts, Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor who penned the best-selling, The Last Lecture, was a remarkable man who lived life to its fullest. He accomplished more in 47 years than most of us will in a hundred. The New York Times ran his obituary a few weeks ago which concluded, “Dr. Pausch gave practical advice in his lecture, avoiding spiritual and religious matters. He did, however, mention that he experienced a near-deathbed conversion: he switched and bought a Macintosh computer.”
How incredibly sad someone so gifted, so accomplished and so influential missed the very point of it all. And how tragic that millions of readers have turned to him looking for answers. And are left looking at themselves.
Despite thousands of best-sellers saying otherwise, there is no inside knowledge, never-revealed-before secret or quick fix that holds the keys to a better, improved us. The idea that we possess, within ourselves, the power to transform our lives is a myth. Life transforming change can only be found in one place: Jesus.
And it’s all detailed in the best selling book of ALL TIME: the Bible.
Meet Jesus in its pages. Grow in grace. And find an anchor to keep from being “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching...” (Eph. 4:14)
Read all you want, just make sure you know where real truth lies.