“As I have told you more than once,” Stan said one morning, “it took me a long time to come to faith even though I had ‘gone to church’ virtually all of my life.”
“I think you described yourself as a ‘hard nut to crack’,” I responded with a smile.
“That’s right,” Stan responded. “And even after accepting the truth of God’s free and gracious provision through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, it took me a long time to come to the realization that having understood God’s provision was only the beginning of understanding.”
“Having understood was only the beginning of understanding,” I repeated. “What does that mean?”
“It’s kind of like,” Stan replied, “what I see as the difference between life eternally with God when it’s time and the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son before then. The apostle John wrote about that in his gospel account of what Jesus said about eternal life.”
“Where’s that?” I asked.
“John 17:3,” Stan replied.
“Seems to me,” he continued, “that having understood and acccepted God’s provision of life eternally with Him when the time comes was only the beginning of understanding all He has for me on this side of eternity.”
“Oh,” I said, “having understood one thing leads to understanding a whole lot more. Is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied. “And I think that such understanding is a life-long process that is to continue until it’s time for me to catch the train to where it’s going!”
“Into God’s eternal presence,” I commented.
“Exactly,” Stan responded. “And It looks to me that the apostle Paul wrote the same thing at the very beginning of his letter to the church in Colossae, the letter that he also wrote for each one of us.”
“He wrote about the train to glory?” I asked with a smile.
“Not so much that,” Stan replied, “but he did write about the Colossians having understood God’s grace and how, once they understood that, they were increasing in their understanding of all that God had for them.”
“Kind of like maturing in their faith?” I said. “Is that what was going on with them?”
“With them,” Stan replied, “and that’s the way I think it’s supposed to be with me, with you, my friend, and with each one of us. We who have understood the one thing are to increase our understanding of the other!”
Bible verses to consider:
. . . as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it (the truth of the gospel) and understood the grace of God in truth; . . . Colossians 1:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for those you brought into my life to help me understand the truth of the gospel so I could accept your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you, too, for your presence in my life to help me to know and understand all you have for me while I remain on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not seek to understand all you have for me because I choose to turn my focus elsewhere. Please forgive that foolishness and please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible knowledge and understanding of you and all you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you come to understand and accept what God did in providing the way for you to spend eternity in His presence? If no, is that because you have not accepted His free and gracious provision? If that’s it, what’s in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation for eternal purposes, how are you doing in pursuing the knowledge and understanding of God on this side of eternity? If you sense changes may be appropriate in that direction, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?