Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Why I write

Some may be wondering why I write. I suppose there are a whole host of reasons that motivate me to keep recording my thoughts, not the least of which is the desire to communicate with others about my faith in Jesus Christ and my studies of the Word. Koinonia, the word that is frequently translated fellowship in our English Bibles, literally means sharing, and corresponding with other believers is a fulfilling part of Christian sharing for me. Sharing thoughts and encouragement is as much a part of our fellowship as singing praises to our God.

Malachi writes about the communication of believers:

    Malachi 3:16-18 - Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. (NIV)

He also notes that the people will again be able to discern between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve Him. That's pretty prophetic for our age, when factional lines often cause us to mistake the ones who serve God for those who don't.

One frequent motivation for writing (for me, at least) is to clarify my own thinking on various subjects. That's what got me started years ago typing crude essays. They were usually propositional truths that I wanted to explore by amassing the whole of scripture on the subject and sorting through it logically and prosaically to reach a conclusion. Many of my conclusions on these things haven't changed over the years, even while my expression of those conclusions most certainly have.

Many other motivations enter into my writing as well. The one I struggle with the most is the desire for a readership to benefit from my words. I find that desire distasteful in a kneejerk sort of way, which is why I don't expend a lot of effort promoting the site, but genuinely Biblical on the other. I want people to read and be encouraged just as I read and am encouraged by others' writing. I'm very aware that it should never be about me, but always about the mission. If anyone reads something I write that suggests otherwise, please let me know.

The fact is, each of us should cultivate a healthy but burning desire both to edify and to be edified, and that's the point I most want to make by sharing with you why I write.

Encourage. Be encouraged. Be men and women of action, not just book learning. Perhaps book learning is an essential foundation for our actions, but there is a lot to be said for learning by doing. The time has come to put our faith into practice and give it a voice in a society that needs to hear the message, unobscured by petty debates over sometimes questionable opinions.

    Acts 7:22 - Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. (NIV)

    2 Corinthians 9:2 - For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. (NIV)

    1 Peter 1:13 - Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be selfcontrolled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)

Don't be afraid to turn your thoughts, talents, trials, successes, and failures into action. Share them with others so that we can all be mutually edified by your faith and growth. Even if you don't share my conclusion on scriptural matters, I'll be more than happy to help you learn the technical aspect of creating and maintaining a weblog like this one (just go to http://blogger.com/ for a free weblog account).

Technology affords such a wide variety of outlets for sharing encouragement with the brotherhood, and it is a shame that the only ones we use regularly are wireless microphones and an occasional PowerPoint presentation. How about starting an e-mail group for the men of your congregation and opening it up to reach out to other men? You can do that at Yahoo! or Google. How about doing the same for ladies discussions, or discussions on science, creation, Bible apologetics, etc.? What about joining existing discussion groups on the Internet for the purpose of gently leading people to the God of the Bible and His Son?

Let's not keep our faith in a closet to be shared only with those who agree with us, but take the good news of Jesus Christ to a lost world and to a divided Kingdom. Enough with the naysaying:

    Jeremiah 39:36-41 - "You are saying about this city, 'By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon'; but this is what the LORD , the God of Israel, says: I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

    I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. (NIV)

It is through a multitude of individual efforts I believe the world will be brought to Him, not some hierarchical campaign, or obscure weblog like this one. Make no mistake, the division of the Christian world is keeping the lost from hearing our message, even in our own congregations. Perhaps it will be through a multitude of individual efforts that the Lord will give us singleness of heart and action. Maybe then His presently divided citizens will be encouraged to act as one.


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