Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I'm Reading: Lectures to My Students

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was one of the greatest preachers of the 19th century, or probably any century for that matter. He was a full time pastor from the age of 19, and is thought of as having one of the first true "mega-churches" in the world. The church was easily over 5000, and that was quite an accomplishment considering they didn't have many advancements in technology we have today. He also started a college for training pastors, and many of his lectures were compiled into a great book I'm reading called Lectures to My Students.

Spurgeon has many incredible things to say in the book, but what I'm reading about right now is what he calls the need to be "decisive". Essentially it's the need for people - not just pastors - to have resolve in their beliefs and not be shaken from them. And it got me thinking quite a bit about what I'm resolved to believe in. Spurgeon laments the wishy-washy (I made that up, he didn't say it that way) theology of many pastors and the defiance of many educational institutions toward objective truth. And this is in the 19th century... I can only imagine what he'd say about the 21st century! The strength with which he preached and the strength which come leaping off the pages of his writing is something I absolutely aspire to.

So, what are you resolved to believe in? And, how does it affect the way you live out your life in the day to day? This is what I'm thinking about specifically right now. Because, truth be told, the life we lives declares with much greater force what we believe than anything we declare with our mouths. For an easy example, the guy who weighs 400 lbs because he eats fast food twice a day has serious health risks, yet he claims to be in the best shape of his life. We'd all say that he is delusional, or at least that his words and actions don't match up. It won't take much of a test to see that what he says is the lie; how he lives is the truth. In the same way, how I'm living today is the truth of what I believe. Do I believe Jesus is Lord over all? Do I live with a grateful heart, or with an attitude of presumption as if God owes me something? Do I really worship God or is my daily life suggesting that I worship money, comfort, pleasure, and so on?

These are big questions, but they are important ones. I appreciate Spurgeon's resolve to force his students to dig deep and really take a look at their life to see if what they declare they believe indeed matches up to the way they are living. We would be wise to do the same.

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