Theology is a tricky thing. At the genuine heart of it is the intent is to make deeper sense of who God is, and to articulate it in such a way that everyone gets it and everyone’s on the same page. The results, of course, are often quite different. Say the word “theology” and all sorts of responses might come back—”dry,” “divisive,” “putting God in a box,” “irrelevant.” . . .
And yet A.W. Tozer nailed it when he said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So we’d better get our heads on straight. And when done properly, that’s what theology is all about.
Still, throw such words out there as justification, atonement and sanctification, and you’ll draw a blank stare from the vast majority of Christians these days. They’re good words—heck, they’re biblical words—but the meanings have been lost. And yet, every true believer of Christ has experienced their meanings— and the power behind them—while being totally oblivious to that fact.
So let’s start rebuilding the bridge between theology and experience, so that we can add meaning to both.
This time last week, you were challenged to reflect on your testimony — because you’ve got one of those, too, whether you’ve thought about it or not. What was your life like before Jesus? How have you encountered Jesus in your life since? Why is your life different because of that?
Here’s the thing: What we already know Jesus has done in our lives is amazing enough. But what’s even more amazing is what God says Jesus has done for us.
Here’s just a few passages worth reflecting on: John 15:13-16; Romans 8:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 1:11-14 and Ephesians 2:4-7. Take a few minutes to reflect on them right now. I’ll wait here for you. . . .
Now: What encouraged you about these verses? What intimidated you? Which ideas do you just not get?
And here’s the big question: How might really understanding and believing what Jesus has done for you change the way you see yourself? the way you see others?
So do something about it. Here are just a couple ideas:
• Spend another hour meditating on this week’s Scripture passages. As you encounter thoughts “too marvelous for words,” stop right there and ask for God’s help—God does know all things, and wants to teach you. When you’ve finished, thank Jesus for all he’s done, and ask Him to help you know his love more and more.
• Set aside a specific time each day to talk to God. Tell God what’s on your heart, and ask God to help you know what’s on His heart. Who does God want you to reach out to? How does He want to stretch your faith? Don’t limit your prayers to what you think you need. Ask God to show you what he can (and wants to) do in your life. The answers will probably surprise you.
Good luck on the journey. And don’t be scared of that Bible or the big words in it—God gave it (and them) to us for a reason.