It was a really cold, winter day. Icicles hung from the bottoms of the cars driving up to our bay doors for an oil change. I wore thin overalls with the company’s logo (nice and big for all to see), absolutely not allowed to wear a coat (because it would hide the logo). So, there I was, freezing as the wind easily blew through my work clothes, moving from car to car filling out work orders before they enter the small shop. While I’m standing there, teeth chattering, fingers barely able to hold the pencil that I’m using while I hold a metal clipboard, I spot my boss sitting in his car, engine running, across the parking lot keeping an eye on me ensuring I’m doing my job well (and not wearing a coat, which he expressively forbade).
Waking up, I turn to the table beside my bed to grab my iPad. I open my email app, then check on my website, and then check on FaceBook. Looks like a normal start to a Canadian morning, and I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. Honestly, allowing the pressures of the day (or the drama of the social internet) to set my mood is a horrible way for me to start my day. There is something that I must give attention to, it must be the first voice I hear, and it must hold my absolute respect, or I can lose absolutely everything. I absolutely need to engage the Bible first, and so do you.
I walked out of my grade 10 math exam with a big smile on my face because I felt that had just aced a midterm without studying at all. A week later, after I had received my mark, I walked out of class very slowly and dejected because I had discovered that my confidence was sorely misplaced. My grade 10 math test required more than what I was putting into it. I’ve made the same mistake with my Christianity from time to time. God is eternally gracious and never stops calling us, but I’m finite and I reap the consequences of my choices. Christianity begins with God’s expensive gift of mercy, and it is embraced with our expensive gift of personal engagement. So, what does that look like? How Hard Is It To Be A Christian?
Everyone who wants to can enter into a friendship with God purely by choosing to believe in Jesus. Easy, peasy, no effort required – it’s a total act of faith. However, after that initial choice there is absolutely some relational elbow grease needed to stay in the relationship – faith eventually comes to look like faithfulness. So, there seems to exist a potential contradiction. If Salvation is a work of grace (obtainable by people who absolutely can’t be good enough), then why is it conditional on good performance once a friendship is established? In this episode we focus on Hebrews 4:1-11 and answer the question, Is Christianity Harder Than The Work You’re Putting Into It?