Back to Basics

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child."  Hebrews 5:12-13

At lunch with friends today, I was reminded of how important it is to never lose sight of the basics in the Christian walk.  We are so easily distracted and drawn away from God's simple truths.  We must fight to keep these truths in the forefront of our mind each and every day.

After accepting Jesus as Savior at the age of five, my father gave me a copy of the Children's Living Bible.  It had a green cover and a picture of Jesus holding a lamb in His arms on the right side.  Each night, my father would sit with me and talk to me about my decision to follow Christ and what it really meant.  He would answer all of my questions patiently and in great detail, and showed me where to find the answers in Scripture.

He taught me to start each day on my knees, committing myself and the day to Jesus.  He reminded me that it was important to read God's Word, the Holy Bible, every day, to pray throughout each day, and to continue to confess and repent of my sins each evening or whenever I was aware of them.  My father taught me that these habits would help me to hear and recognize God's voice, to believe Him, and to live a fruitful and victorious life.  He taught me--as God's Word tells us all--that there was a war going on, and a very real enemy.

I kept these habits for many years, and God continued to bless my life, but reaching my early twenties, I allowed the world's ways to creep into my life, and I stopped getting on my knees beside my bed each morning.  Soon, the Holy Bible reading became inconsistent, the prayers slowed, even the confession and repentance waned significantly.  I don't need to tell you that the result was a plunge into sin and away from God.

But God, in His infinite goodness, lovingly draws His children back home.

Isaiah 54:7-8 tells us, "For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.

When we take that one moment to repent and turn back to our Heavenly Father, He lovingly welcomes us back home.

I still read that Children's Living Bible every day, still get on my knees each morning, pray throughout the day, and confess and repent of my sins when I'm aware of them.  I'm not saying you have to do these things the same way I do to live a successful Christian life, but there's just something about getting out of bed and hitting the knees that helps focus my day.  

We are in a war.

Goodnight, Runners.