“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)
In the past few years, I’ve trained for half marathon races. I just started CrossFit last week (pray for me!). Athletic training involves marshaling learning and motivation for performance in the race or contest. The outcome in view is not what one knows or how one feels, but what one does.
Learning about the body, how various training techniques work, etc. is interesting. But not the point. Tapping into mental motivation and inspiration is critical for success. But not the point. They are resources to marshal toward an outcome. The outcome in view is performing one’s best in the race. That is the point.
Same in Christian formation. Learning about the Bible, theology, etc. are interesting and quite important. But biblical knowledge, theological understanding, and the like are not the point or outcome in view. They are building blocks for the point. The point or outcome we’re after is vigorous, authentic Christian living.
Paul tells his apprentice Timothy that inspired Scripture has a purpose of training people who follow Jesus for sound Christian living. I love to learn, but growing as a follower of Jesus is less like being a student in a classroom and more like being apprenticed to a master of a craft. In this case, the craft is living a robust, flourishing, God-connected life.
So, this project of Monday through Friday posts is an attempt not simply to provide another devotional, or teaching, or inspirational/motivational source. There are plenty of good resources for those already. While some of these posts may devote, teach, and inspire, what I hope to offer here is content that helps us train for Christian living.
I hope to offer content that helps produce the outcome in our lives of growing in Christ-likeness. I hope to help us get to, and stay on, the point: Christian training so that we are in good shape for the life God gives us in Christ.
Prayer: God, thank you for the challenging, vigorous, robust, authentic life you offer in Jesus. Make me a full-fledged apprentice to Jesus in the craft of Life today. Amen.