God's word in today's world

Gospel 101

Ephesians 6:10-20

Now for the last one from Ephesians – this one without Scripture, but with a story about a friend of mine that summarises everything very well. It is the 101st piece from Ephesians; therefore, Gospel 101.

My friend came rushing in. He was very excited about Sunday’s sermon, because, for the first time, he actually understood something about faith and serving the Lord and more.

He didn’t even wait for his usual cup of Rooibos, but immediately started gushing about what the pastor had said in church. He summarised the sermon in one sentence: If you hadn’t been in church for a long time and you come back, you come back the same as you were when you walked out of church the last time.

He saw the questions in my eyes and came straight to the point: I told you I was in prison. Well, the day I walked out of prison life on the outside was so different. I, however, was the same as when I went in. I missed out on the growth of the world outside. Because I wasn’t there, I couldn’t grow in tandem, I couldn’t learn, I couldn’t develop with the world.

I started grasping something. If we push God aside, there is no growth. On the contrary, things decline. So, when I reach God again one day, I’m right where I left God that last time. No, actually way back, because chances are that the world or prison would have corrupted me even further. And as time keeps me from God, I lose my shield. Then I become increasingly exposed and become a soft target for the enemy.

My friend taught me a lot with his honesty about his time in prison. He taught me an important lesson: Do not permit time to keep you from God, because then you come to a standstill or even move backwards. As they say in English, you backslide.

Our 18-year old daughter had the privilege of representing South Africa at NASA in Houston for a winter school. She was away for three weeks. We Skyped regularly.

As time went by we realised that she was changing. Her language changed and sometimes she used words we didn’t understand. The representatives from the other 23 countries made an impact on her and broadened her outlook so much.

She was a changed person when she came back. In a way, she was unfamiliar to us when she returned, but the more time we spent with her, the closer we became again. Time helped us to bond again.

My friend’s image of prison opened my eyes. We must regularly spend enough time with God. If we don’t do it, we’ll become unfamiliar with one another and then I become a moving target for the enemy. But when I spend enough time with God, I grow, my relationship with God becomes stronger, and I’m much better protected against the enemy’s attacks.

Gospel 101: Spend time with God. Spend time in God’s Word. Spend time with other believers in God’s presence. You will be changed.


How often do you spend time with God?

Is it enough?

Do you know one another intimately?


Lord, You teach us some basic things in your Word. Please help me not to overlook those things and then wonder why things aren’t going right. Amen

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