While attending our church’s family camp over Labor Day weekend there were opportunities for my wife, son, and I to talk, read scripture, and pray together. As the weekend concluded, we were encouraged to take a rock and write what we’d like to remember as we headed home. We simply wrote "It’s Him."
This phrase is the essence of Christianity. Sadly, we forget. In our amnesia we make it about us and our behavior. This is religious thinking. And religion at it’s core is man’s attempt in his own effort to reach God and His ideal.
But biblical Christianity in this sense is not a religion but a relationship. It’s not about man reaching to God but God reaching to man and man responding. We see this in 2 Peter 1:3-4.
"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires." (NLT)
Amazing! God’s given us everything we need for living a godly life. But how? Through our straining and striving to reach Him and show ourselves worthy? No, we’ve received it all through knowing Him. And for good measure, He’s called us to Himself, not to a task, and enabled us to share in His divine nature.
When we returned home we placed the rock on a shelf in our living room. This purposeful placement allows us to see the phrase "It’s Him" everyday and be reminded that the simplicity of Christianity is found in knowing Him.
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." - Philippians 3:7-11 ESV
If I can encourage you in knowing Him more deeply please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, there’s so much available through the ELM web site (elmco.org) that can assist in knowing Him. Blog articles, resources including a list of recommend reading, an archive of past letters I’ve sent, and a calendar of upcoming events.
Don’t be distracted, keep it simple, it’s Him, and Him alone! (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Mike Roncaglia, Executive Director