“I’ve been part of a fellowship time with some guys from the church for the past few years,” Stan mentioned one morning.
“You get together regularly?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “Just about every week. We used to meet in person, but the past couple of years it has been electronically because of Covid.”
“What do you do when you meet?” I asked.
“A short Bible study,” Stan said, “built around a prepared devotional. We rotate who leads the discussion.”
“Who prepares the devotionals?”
“They come out of some national organization. I’m not sure who prepares them, but they show up via email a few days before we get together.”
“Sounds good,” I responded. “Are the guys serious about it?”
“The ones who show up every time certainly are,” Stan said. “They are growing in their faith as they seek to go deeper in their knowledge of God, what it means to be a Christian, what discipleship is all about, and those sorts of things. But I have a confession to make.”
“A confession?” I replied. “About what?”
“The other day, when the devotional showed up on my computer,” Stan said, “I looked at it and was kind of disappointed.”
“It seemed to be covering ground we had covered a long time ago,” Stan replied. “Some really basic stuff that I thought looked like it belonged more in a beginners’ class than for a group of guys who were further along in their faith walks.”
“But,” he continued, “as God is apt to do if I’m open to listening to Him, He showed me that I was again way off base in my thinking.”
Rather than answering my question, he asked, “Are you a football fan?”
“Not really,” I said. “What’s that have to do with it?”
He again avoided my question. “You ever heard of Vince Lombardi?”
“Sure,” I replied. “But, again, I repeat my question.”
“There’s a famous story about him that God brought to my mind to teach me a lesson about my attitude towards the group devotional I was looking at.”
“After losing a crucial championship game the previous season,” Stan replied, “the story is that Vince Lombardi, who coached the Green Bay Packers professional football team, began the next year’s training camp by gathering the players around him, holding up a football, and saying, ‘This, gentlemen, is a football’.”
“In other words,” he continued, “he was going back to the very basics. This is the point God had for me: keep going back to the basics. There’s always something new to learn about the basics, especially the basis of Christianity, the cross, salvation, redemption, everything.”
“Don’t ever think,” I replied, “that I’m too far along in my faith to not return to the basics and see what God has for me to learn again. Is that the point?”
“Learn again,” Stan said, “or learn for the first time. Keep returning to the basics!”
Bible verses to consider:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
We preach Christ crucified. 1 Corinthians 1:23.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as a result of works, that on one should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the basics of the truth of your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when it’s time, along with all of the truth you have to show me through the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus before then. Thank you for wanting me to return to the basics of your provision and the basics of my faith in you. I confess that there are times when I think I have gone beyond the basics and don’t need to revisit them. Please forgive that foolish impertinence. Please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible relationship with you, and return me to the basics of all you have for me as many times as you see that I need. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted the basics of God’s free and gracious provision so you have the assurance of spending eternity in His presence? If no, why? If you have the basics, how are you doing with moving beyond the basics into an ever-deepening faith walk? If you have moved beyond the basics, are you reluctant to return to them to see again what God has to show you? If so, look again! Never tire of going back to the basics! What basic Scripture references would you add to those listed above?