Don't be a Pretender

Well you have to admit it - computers are a wonderful invention. The only problem is that you are never in control! There is always something which comes out of left field, something which reminds you that you are not the boss of the computer, but that the computer is the one who bosses you.

Like the other day: I was merrily typing away putting together a masterpiece of some description or other, and suddenly the computer froze! For those not used to computer lingo, "froze" means just that. Nothing worked - the keys wouldn't type, I couldn't bring up another document, and because I hadn't been saving the work as I went along, I lost everything that I had done. Boy that's hard to take when you lose about three hours of work.

But there is another problem I face. If I pretend I'm a computer wizard - that I know everything that there is to know about computers when I don't - I will get into serious strife. For example, if I start dabbling with the computer - either  mechanically (ie trying to fix the machinery) or programme-wise (ie trying to re-arrange how the computer works) - just pretending I know everything while really knowing nothing - and of course this will get me into serious trouble.

And in the end I will have to call the expert - a Computer Technician, who in my case, is actually the one who made, created or put my computer together from scratch..

This reminds me of some people who claim to be Christians, who claim that they know the Bible, and make all sort of pronouncements, when what they believe and say, are in direct contradiction to what the Bible really teaches.

They claim they know God, and yet the way they live and act, is again in sharp contradiction to what the Bible teaches. In James 1: 22 we read: "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

I think this verse is talking about people who think they know the Bible, but really don't - and are fooling themselves. That's kind of scary, isn't it? That when it comes to issues which determine your eternal destiny, you can in fact be self-deceived. How does this come about?

Well people forget that the purpose of studying or reading the Bible isn't just to know bits and pieces of the Bible. The Bible is not there for you take out what you like and ignore what you don't like. The Bible isn't there for you to interpret whichever way suits you.

No, God has given His Word so that you might know it thoroughly, to allow the Holy Spirit to show you  the true meaning of what God is saying -  not what you want the Bible to say. You are to know the Bible, to believe it, to obey it and to be changed by it - both in what you believe and what you do.

So, like the pretend-to-know-all computer buffs, who remember and know a few facts about computers and no doubt get them all mixed up, people who claim to be Christians, but really are not and really have no idea of what the Bible teaches, end up making a big mess of everything - of their own lives and sadly the lives of others.

They tend to discuss, analyse, and dissect the Bible, as if they were the experts. Some of the general sweeping statements made by these experts will be: "If you are good, you will go to heaven." "All religions are the same." "You don't have to go to Church to be a Christian." "God is a god of love. He will not let anyone go to Hell." "It doesn't matter who or what you are, as long as you are sincere you will get to heaven." And so on....

When people get into this mess, they need to turn to their Creator and Saviour for guidance to get onto the right track. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

To be equipped for every good work, to be a Christian who has a living and dynamic relationship with Jesus, you must recognize the authority of your Creator. When my computer man comes, I recognize his authority and do what he says, and in no time the computer is able to do what it was intended to do. When we recognize the authority of our God, we will read His Word, allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the Truth from His Word, and in His strength teach and live out that truth in our lives.

There are three ways to read the Bible. You can read it for information, you can read it for inspiration, and you can read it for transformation. The latter is God’s intention. You are to be transformed. As you repent of your sins, Jesus who suffered and died on the Cross and rose again on the third day, will forgive you and bless you with the real reason for living - to love and serve Him whole-heartedly and to bring you at last to heaven. 

You will know His truth, speak His truth and live His truth. You will know it is only those who have repented of theirs sins who will get to heaven. No longer will a little or distorted knowledge will trip you up.

As you commit yourself to Christ, you will share the truths of God's Word with the people around you. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness....." The Bible isn't just there to collect dust. It is to be loved, to be read, to be understood, to be  mastered. It's to be obeyed.

No more pretending - by the grace of God - be a Christian, love Christ, live and share His truth - not what you want to believe - but His truth as found in the Bible. Grace and peace....

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