Saturday, January 28, 2012

#101 Aggregate Faith

I have had a lot of jobs in my life. Before realizing my call to ministry I basically went from job to job never having a sense of peace that I was doing what I was meant to be doing.

One of those many jobs was working for a concrete and cement block supplier in North Carolina. It was one of the largest suppliers in the area and we stayed very busy nearly year round. I did several jobs while working there. I drove a truck and delivered blocks, worked in the warehouse, and managed the yard overseeing the sales of sand, stone, re-bar, and other items for sale to the general public.

In the middle of the yard was the mixing tower. That tower was where all the concrete was mixed and loaded in the mixer trucks for delivery. The tower was quite tall with a system of conveyors and storage bins stacked into the air. It all had to be high enough for the trucks to drive under to be loaded. Inside the tower where all the concrete ingredients were mixed together was a fascinating site to behold. Part of my job as the yard manager was to go inside the tower from time to time and help unclog storage bins or repair various metal parts, pneumatic cylinders, or even minor electrical items.

When everything was working properly the operator in the dispatch office could select how much cement, sand, water, gravel, and fly ash to send to the mixture depending on the customers needs. Once the selection was made by the operator all the ingredients would begin falling into the mixer truck below to create the desired product. More goes into getting a few yards of concrete to a job site than one might think.

When I think back on those days it makes me think of our Christian faith. The more I study the Scriptures the more I realize that our faith is sort of like concrete mix. No, we do no need sand, cement, or gravel to saved, but our faith is like concrete in that we need multiple components to come together to form an aggregate whole.

Think about it for a minute. Christianity is not just saying, "I believe God exists so therefore I am saved." Christianity has multiple beliefs that come together to form a composite. Yes, we have to believe that God exists but we also need prayer to connect with our God. We need to read our Bibles to know His will for our lives. We need to embrace the fact that we are sinners who need a Savior, Jesus, to give us victory over sin and death. We need to receive the Holy Spirit that our sinful character may be overcome and that we might become like Jesus. We need to baptized so we die to our old, sinful lives. We need to share our faith so that others will hear about the Lord and so that our faith stays fresh and alive.

Any so-called Christian who neglects any of these components of our faith is not a whole or complete Christian and their faith will suffer for it. Perhaps even suffer to the point of becoming luke-warm or even losing their faith in God altogether. The beauty of Christianity is that we do not have to do these things on our own. If we will partner with God He will make Himself known in our lives in such a marked way that we will be transformed by His love and grace. When we partner with God He places a desire in our hearts to want to read His word, to want to pray, to want to share our faith. We need to surrender to His will and be willing to move as He leads.

So how is the mixture of your faith today? Do you have all the components that come together to form your aggregate faith or are you lacking a key piece of the Christian walk? If you have it all together then keep moving forward with the Lord and never look back. If you are missing something critical to the survival of your faith, then call out to the Lord and ask for help in becoming complete and then do not fight Him when the Spirit convicts you to make changes. Apart from Jesus we cannot be complete, but with Jesus we can have everything we will ever need.

Dear Father God,
Thank You so much for caring enough about us to take complete care of us. Thank You that when we embrace You that we never lack anything for our spiritual nurturing or advancement. Please forgive us for where we have ignored or failed to see Your hand working in our lives, and please teach us to be complete. Thank You for hearing our prayers for we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

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