September 4, 2008

The Makings of a Best Seller - Part 2 of 2

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.

9 comments:

Sue J said...

AMEN! So well said, Kelli!

I am just finishing the letters of John, and there is so much emphasis placed on false teachers and the mistakes the early churches made in showing hospitality--of any nature--to such teachers.

"...for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." II John 11

Living in the world and not of the world means being aware of what's out there, so as to relate to those in the world (so, indeed, let's not get censorship-happy). But, the wise man built his house upon the Rock, and we know where our Foundation is.

Great posts!!

Kelly said...

Very powerfully said, Kelli with an "i"

At church last night we were studying 2 Thess. 2. which ties right in with your article.

A friend of mine is busy helping me to get a Web site and blog up and running...keep this in your prayers for me, and keep up the great words of wisdom in your writing!

Kelly with a "y"

Cheryl Barker said...

Let me echo Sue's "Amen", Kelli. You are so right. The Bible holds the truths that we all so desperately need. Wouldn't it be great if the masses would flock to it like they do to the latest bestseller creating a buzz?

Dan said...

So, why do these self-help books keep selling, no matter how many get written and printed? Simple. Because the last one didn't work, either. Great job getting to the heart of the matter, Kel.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Kelli:

Thank you for stopping by and introducing yourself! I'm always so thrilled to meet readers in blog land (although I much prefer a face to face conversation). Wonderful posts here! Dare I ask you what you think of "The Shack"? I recently read "The Last Lecture" and was compelled by Randy's zest for life and equally so, his seeming to miss the mark when it comes to the real point of living.

Jesus.

I love your thoughts on writing a few posts down. I was thinking last night, especially after the draining post, as to the point of it all. In my time of devotion, I was led to consider Christ's "drink offering" and the pouring out to humanity.

That's the challenge God laid at my feet 7 months ago when I began blogging. I'm drawn to the task, but honestly, it can be so draining some days.

Trying to find my boundaries in it all.

Anyway, kelligirl, this is peace for the journey hoping you find some in yours today!

~elaine

Kathryn said...

Kelli, I am so glad you found your way to my blog, because that led me to yours!

This post (as well as Part 1) was wonderful! How refreshing to see the Truth so beautifully expressed.

I'm going to add you to my Google Reader! :-)

Blessings!
Kathryn

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Like the character "Wormie" in "Hermie and Wormie" always says, "Stay on the narrow road". :) Amen! I always say, "When in doubt, do without". If it doesn't line up with scripture, do without. As you said, best to feast straight from the Bible!

Sadness would always fill my heart when I saw Randi on TV, and I would pray for him.
1 Cor. 1:18-20:
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"

Sometimes as readers we are charmed by eloquence rather than the meat of the message. In my humble opinion, eloquence can be over-rated and distracting.
1 Cor. 2:1-5
"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."

Christ crucified and raised...the Spirit's power....God's power. Whew...now that's worth reading!

Your words point to the perfect resource: Jesus and the Bible

I admire your courage to address this subject. :)

Coffee's done brewing....time for spending time with Him and the best Book of all! :)

Warm blessings,
Sharon

Julie said...

Great words.

It's so true, people are looking for something...they just don't know what. Many have been disillusioned by "the church" which steers them away from reading that which brings life... His Words to us.

I have been a treasure hunter in the Word for many years now. I never cease to be amazed at how the stories of old weave into my story.

Thanks for sharing your heart. I found you from Victoria's blog. It's nice to meet you.

Julie

Michelle said...

I enjoyed your thoughts and analogies in these posts.

I have not clicked over to your blog from reader in awhile. I love the layout.

Also, belated congratulations on your P31 devotion. Seeing God working in your writing is inspiring!