Friday, November 30, 2012

ASPIRING Christians

K2, Pakistan - 2nd Highest peak in the world
I have been working my way through Richard Alleine's (1611 - 1691) The World Conquered by the Faithful Christian.  I'm a little over half way through the 160 or so pages that make up this brief work.

He's a very quotable and thought-provoking author.  I find myself frequently underlining, circling and arrowing his remarks.  I like books like this.  If you are looking for something from the Puritan era, and have not read it - put it on your short list.  Anyway, this morning I read this:

"Oh, be aspiring Christians!  Look up to the highest and do not be content to take up with low attainments.  Follow on to know, to serve, to imitate the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!"


What struck me was his use of the word "aspiring."  Typically we think of someone as "aspiring" when they are working toward something...but have not yet arrived.  An aspiring artist, musician, doctor or even (if you are so unfortunate) pharmacist.  Aspiring means you have a dream, a goal and hopefully a plan.  Aspiring is typically a lofty and long-range vision for something you hope to be.  We don't aspire to get the grocery shopping done.  We just do that.  But we might aspire to be a respected chef, restaurant owner or renowned connoisseur of French cuisine. 

But when Alleine uses the term "aspiring Christian" I don't think he intends to suggest we become something we are not.  Rather, he appears to be saying be MORE than what you are.  Yes - you are Christian - but be MORE so.  Yes - you have faith - now have MORE faith.  Yes, you have Christ - but now have Him even MORE.  Be aspiring Christians.  Aspire to rise up beyond the level of your current exercise of the Christian faith.

Am I doing good for others?  Do more.  That is the goal of the aspiring Christian I think.

Am I reading and studying the Bible?   Read more.  Learn more.  Compare Scripture to Scripture.  Look for the truth.  Get commentaries and helps and advisers.

Am I serving my church?  Serve more.  Aspire to use all the talents and gifts God has given me to bless those around me.

Am I praying?  Pray more.  Pray fervently, passionately and continually. 

Am I resisting temptation?  Resist more.  Whatever that sin is that I am allowing to linger in my life - put it to death - aim for its destruction.  Stop excusing worldliness. 

And so, today, I hope to be an aspiring Christian. 

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