Friday, December 7, 2012
Good Clean Enthusiasm
When I started graduate school, I had a teacher that really intrigued me. I looked forward to going to his class every day. Why? Enthusiasm. Every class. Every day. Everything he taught he shared with a great enthusiasm. You couldn’t help but practically be excited about what he was teaching because you could tell he enjoyed the material so much. When I say enthusiasm, he wasn’t jumping on a table and hooting and hollering. He wasn’t getting up and telling jokes. He wasn’t trying to make us feel comfortable. He was enthusiastic about his studies and wanted nothing more than for us to understand everything he was teaching. He loved it that much. The only comparison I could make with this teacher is that to a child on Christmas morning. He was excited to open every present, examine it, and tell you everything that "Santa" had brought him. There was a shine in Dr. Turley’s eyes that let you see how much he truly loved his job as an educator and the kinesiology material he shared. I can’t believe it’s been six years since I had that course. I actually called Dr. Kenneth Turley recently and asked his permission to use him as an example in my article. I told him what I remembered and the impression that he left upon me. With great humility he gave me permission. Dr. Turley brings a passion to his classroom, and to the lives of those he comes in contact with, that is infectious. He wasn’t overbearing with it. He wanted to share it and if you had a heart to hear it you would learn. Dr. Turley’s class was one of the hardest classes I have ever had in my life, but it was also one of my more enjoyable.
When we look at Romans 6:3-4, we read: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” When I was baptized into Christ, I did so knowingly understanding that I was being immersed into water for the forgiveness of my sins (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21) and that when I came up from that watery grave of baptism that I was clean. I had come in contact with the Blood of Christ. Clean. Spotless. Beautiful. I didn’t feel that way because of a miraculous feeling. I felt that way because I read the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and I understood that I was a sinner in need of salvation. In 2 Corinthians 7:10 we read, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” Where most tend to worry about earthly matters, when we worry about our standing with God is where we truly can grow and act upon changing for the better. For those who have obeyed the Gospel and been baptized into Christ, to understand that God laid this out for us is amazing. To understand that this salvation was prepared for us to succeed long before we ever sinned, and even further, before we were even born should astound us and leave us humbled. Cognitively we should understand how lucky we are, and emotionally it should break our hearts if we are not sharing this with everyone we can, in our daily walk.
That clean feeling fired me up. I wanted to share the gospel with everyone. I wanted everyone to come to services. And so often we see new converts do the same thing. But eventually, they “calm down” and become part of the status quo. So many times their ideas are shot down and they become like most others who proclaim to be New Testament Christians. They sit in services. They may do a little more, but they are content where they are. The enthusiasm to share is gone. The enthusiasm of a clean, new life may inadvertently be taken for granted. Have we taken for granted salvation? I can’t help but think back to what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:10-12: “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” We don't deserve salvation, but because of God's grace we have an opportunity to obey the Gospel (Matthew 7:21).
It seems as if we can gladly partake in worship, call ourselves Christians, but lose the excitement that we had when we fully understood our sins were washed away. Have we grown complacent? God gave us the best gift we could possibly have and we should have an excitement to share that gift. Have you lost that excitement? If you've lost it, do you remember when you lost that excitement? What will it take for you to get it again? Whatever it takes. Search your mind. Search the scriptures. Get your enthusiasm to share the Gospel. The field is ripe for harvest, we need workers and abundant workers at that. (Luke 10:2).