Keeping Up

When we travel I seldom watch TV news and only glance at a newspaper a couple of times. I may check my e-mail and look at one or two news items online. At home I try to keep up with the news every day, but while on trips I feel a bit out of touch with what’s happening in the world.

Keeping up is getting more difficult even when not traveling. We are experiencing a glut of information because of the Internet and the availability of instant news. A person could spend an entire day just reading about everything going on in the world. I don’t have that kind of time, so I rely on headlines and quick summaries to keep me informed.

Keeping up with what’s happening in the Worldwide Church of God also takes time and it’s infinitely more important. Are you keeping up? I must admit I’m not, but attending pastor conferences makes me realize if I don’t, I’ll be left behind.

Our understanding of grace and the Trinity and how that greater understanding affects our ministries has grown in the past couple of years. The Holy Spirit is leading us into more and deeper understanding of who God is and how we participate in the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

As part of the priesthood of all believers, you will find it beneficial to read some of the  books recommended to the pastors and elders, especially two books by C. Baxter Kruger: Jesus and the Undoing of Adam and God Is for Us. They’re not just for pastors!

Every Christian should read Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins, because as Jinkins says: “Theology is our critical and prayerful reflection on the totality of life. We all do theology on a regular basis, whether or not we are conscious of the fact.” As Christians, theology is part of who we are, so it makes sense to understand it.

Other must-reads are books by C.S. Lewis. They provide a good foundation of understanding, especially Mere Christianity. I also enjoyed reading the complete Chronicles of Narnia.

Do you want to be able to give an answer to the hope that lies within you? The only way you can give an intelligent, rational explanation of why you believe is to study, grow and let the Holy Spirit lead you into greater understanding. And we must be sure of what we believe.

It may sound old fashioned, but evil influences do creep in. Take a look at some of the current movies and television shows. I like watching movies as much as the next person, but I’m starting to think the only good movies are old movies. And I can’t even watch sitcoms. Knowing what we believe and why helps us fight against these influences and resist the temptation to lower our moral standards.

So keep up with your reading—I will too. We’ll not only keep growing, but we’ll be ready to give a good answer to a world desperate for the right Answer – Jesus.

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