Each spring, we do our traditional cleaning and that includes the washing of the furniture on our decks and patios as well as the actual decks themselves. We use a power washer and Andrew has been kind enough to help us this year as Pat, my usual work partner, was busy with other clients she was serving. We did this several months ago and a by-product of all this cleaning is that the windows and glass doors along the back of the house get really dirty with all the spray – to say nothing of all the grime that accumulates during the winter months. It would be untruthful if I told you that I enjoyed the chores associated with getting the outside of the house ready for spring and summer months but it has to be done…
This year was no exception. At least we don’t do the windows ourselves. We have a window washer who get us on the calendar as soon as we announce that we are ready for him. Since he has a pretty long client list, it generally takes some time for him to get around to us. Well, this week was the week. Of course, he arrived right before the storms on Tuesday and at least he got the inside done – he only got around to the dining room windows on the outside before the thunderstorms began.
We have used the same guy for several years now and he and I have enjoyed some spirited theological conversation. The bad weather provided an opportunity to explore each other’s beliefs while we hoped the bad weather would pass by. While Erick claims to be Christian, and he has obviously given it some serious thought, he also embraces several beliefs of other religions that would lead me to think that perhaps he is a little confused about exactly what he holds to be true. And I admire that he is quick to admit that he is unsure of what biblical truth is; and he is very open to learn more and enter into discussion. We had a great talk.
While he is hesitant to alter his current beliefs, it is clear that he is open to other opinions and perspectives. Who knows? Maybe some day he will embrace a different viewpoint. But Erick’s perspective is not unusual. I encounter all sorts of people who either haven’t studied the Scriptures or who have a very limited understanding of faith and what God’s expectations for us are. In fact, until I attended seminary, I was one of those people… I went through my entire childhood and early adult years without ever being exposed to some of the biblical truths that I now consider foundational to my faith.
But this doesn’t mean that others are wrong – perhaps they have just been underexposed – and it’s important to listen to other points of view. It is staggering, for example, to hear people state that they don’t believe in evil, or hell, or they could be targets for Satan. Or how about those who don’t believe in the deity of Jesus? Tough stuff to get through with folks who have never been exposed to biblical truth.
And even for those of us who are sure of our faith and have planted a stake in the ground about what they believe can periodically get asked questions that test their resolve. Tragedy can shake the faith of even the most ardent Christian. And God knows that these kinds of circumstances either draw you closer to God or cause you to move away – but you never end up the same place as where you started. Faith is a journey and that means that we are hopefully getting closer to God each year.
The apostle Paul, the author of our verse for the evening, acknowledged that we change as we learn more about God. And no matter how advanced we are in our faith, on this earth we will never fully know God. That comes when we are face to face with God, when He will be fully revealed to us. At the end of the famous “love” chapter in Corinthians, Paul starts his discussion of this topic.
We are told, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to continue to learn more about Him throughout our lives. My prayer is that you will be drawn closer to the Father and His Son and that you will thirst for knowledge concerning God’s desire for your life. Who knows? You may to surprised to learn how much enlightenment you can get through the study of the Bible. And while it won’t be perfect on this earth, you will see a little more clearly… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…