Sunday, September 15, 2013

As Close as You Can Get

The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach. Romans 10:8

A book on canoeing tells the story of an expert lecturing on the intricacies of paddling. He lectured about the different paddle strokes needed to manage propelling and steering a canoe. Wow! This guy really knew his stuff.

He went on to say these things are to be learned over a period of intense study under the careful gaze of a Qualified Instructor. This could take months, even years of professional training. Further there was the implication that you are never to try these strokes on your own. I mean some poor soul might venture out in a canoe and not be able to do it properly. Unable to get to shore they might starve to death within sight of land.

The poor souls staying at the summer camp were duly impressed. Paddling a canoe was, for them, "out of reach".

So much of our Christian faith is like this. People in need feel like fools when approaching belief and the Bible. Which expert has the answers? The experts disagree, so you are so full of doubt about a life and death matter, that you fear to pursue it. Maybe just turn on the television, at least, after you have learned to use the remote, you can watch something diverting.

Let me complete the canoe story now. The book told of a young volunteer at the camp who saw the canoes not being used. No one in them. "What's the matter?" he asked. "It's a perfect day to be out and you're missing a lot of fun."

He jumped into a canoe and demonstrated how easy it all was. He showed the basic strokes and invited them to get in and try them. Soon, the canoes were full of people using these simple strokes--the draw stroke, the steering stroke, even the braking movement used to slow the canoe down. A lot of splashing and fun was soon going on.

Our saving faith is so like this. Bible study can be intricate and take a lot of study--happy study. But salvation is within such close reach. The word of faith is so close, it is in our mouths and hearts. The word is close. He is close.

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