Years ago, in the early 90's, I was doing a writing workshop. Ahhhh, there are some good memories still lingering about those days. I learnt a lot about the type of writer I wanted to be, and about the kind I DID NOT want to be. Of course, even what I wanted at that time has changed because now I just want to write for God.
But one thing we were taught in this workshop, that has stuck with me all these years, was how to K.I.S.S.! Sounds dubious, doesn't it?
Keep It Simple Stupid...that's how to K.I.S.S.
Sidney Sheldon knew how to K.I.S.S. as a writer...James Patterson knew it...Chaucer - hmmm, not so much! Keeping it simple...yeah, it's a good guide to write by, I was taught.
In actual fact, it's a good standard to live by too, because really, don't we human beings know how to complicate things? Oh my gosh, I do! I was talking to a friend from church this morning, over coffee, about this very thing. We're not all designed with minds that can absorb the ins and outs of theology or Biblical customs. I know I'm not - my brain is just not put together that way! As much as I love it - I love the old language, the history, the customs...I have books, and books, and BOOKS on it all - but for me it's such hard work to understand and absorb - it's like homework in overload!!! A fellow blog writer I read often writes to most amazing articles, but it does take me a few goes through to get it all straight in my mind, because - well, my brain is just not put together that way! :-) It's actually hard work, but in both respects (the blog and Biblical history) I plod along regardless, because I am interested.
Whilst none of this extra curricular learning is a bad thing, God never meant the fundamentals of our Christian walk to be that hard. He never meant for ALL of us to be put together that way. I confess, sometimes I wish I could grasp the theological/historical side of it with the ease that some do. And it's fair enough for me to enjoy learning these finer theological aspects of the Bible and Christianity, but not at the cost of the ground-floor truth - that truth is...
* ...that God loves me.
* ...that Jesus died on the cross for me, that I might be saved through belief in Him, and acceptance of His Salvation, and therefore have eternal life.
* ...that Jesus rose again.
I remember writing these very Christianity basics to a Jehovah's Witness penfriend I had years ago. Her response to that, from the J.W. mindset of having to earn your way into heaven, was, "It cannot be that simple." But, it IS that simple! It is!!
A few weeks ago one of our weekly Bible study members said in regard to the 1John study we are currently doing - "When first saved ALL I knew was that Jesus loved me and through Him I have eternal life." Now that is amazing! That's ALL we need to know. 1John 2:24-25 reads; "See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what He promised us - even eternal life." (Underline added by me.)
* Remember what God has done.
* Remember that God keeps His promises.
* Remember that if we are burdened, God will help us.
What follows from that is all bonus material, I believe, icing on the cake of Salvation. This Christian walk is meant to be a journey of growth, and we will all learn things along the way. But what we learn will vary, and our rate of learning will differ from one another - sometimes greatly, and thank goodness for that because I would be left so far behind otherwise! But in the end none of that matters when we stay grounded in the truth of our Salvation. John 6:28-29 says; "Then they asked Him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent."" (Underline added by me.) Later on, in Revelation, Jesus rebukes the church at Ephesus on this very thing (Rev. 2:4); "Yet I hold this against you; You have forsaken your first love."
The further we travel into our Christian journey do we also forget our first love - Christ? Remember when you were first saved, how that felt, how it was all about Jesus? You couldn't get enough of Him...nothing else mattered! What has become of that heartfelt enthusiasm in most of us? I know I have lost sight of that at times - I've been so caught up in doing this or that under the motivation of being a good Christian, but forgetting about having time with Christ, in His presence, in His Spirit. "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10a) That's pretty simple, isn't it? Be still...in this modern technology age, with so many things distracting our very minds, it's hard to just be physically AND mentally still, isn't it? But we need to be, especially if we want to hear the soft and gentle whisper of our God.
Loving Heavenly Father,
We praise Your glorious Name, and honour Your majesty. Lord, forgive us for times when we are too busy complicating our lives to even notice You - our God who wants to free us from burden and complication. Remind us through Your Spirit to be still in Your presence, and know that You are God - our God who loves us and desires time and a relationship with us, and desires also to make our lives simple and enjoyable. Your will for us is NOT complicated! Praise You, oh Lord. In Jesus' Precious Name, amen.