Tuesday, January 22, 2008
"Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver." -- Acts 19:19
Brand-new Christians. Old-time mojo. A combination that couldn't last.
The 19th chapter of Acts tells the story of "many" people who came to believe in Christ, and found their established spiritual lifestyles out of synch with their new Savior. Apparently without hesitation, these people chose to rid themselves permanently of the whole system they had held to all their lives. Their new-found devotion to Christ was so strong they would not tolerate the presence of anything in their lives that would get in the way.
Didn't these Christians practice the essence of what Jesus talked about in Matthew 5:29-30? "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away..and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away..." It was so simple to them. Something conflicts with Christ? Remove it from your life! What else would a disciple do?
How do we compare to our brothers and sisters from 20 centuries ago? When we meet them in heaven, will they tell us this story, and look at us, eager to hear a story similar to theirs? Will we be excited to tell them what an impact Christ had on our lives, and how different we were from the world around us? Or, will we be embarrassed to admit how similar to the world we really were?
Will we have our own "bonfire" stories to tell?
Or, will we have to explain a spiritual garage full of junk and clutter we never had the courage to burn?