Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's WHO You Know...

We were in Austin this weekend and visited the University Avenue church this morning. They are beginning a series on getting to know Jesus better. Mark Love (not The Mark Love of PMC) is one of their ministers and spoke this morning. He was describing a number of situations in his life where he had benefited - tickets to sporting events, cutting through red tape, etc - because he knew someone, and used that old phrase "it's not what you know, it's who you know".

The typical context for that phrase is often politics or business, or a combination of the two. It is sometimes used as sour grapes, but is often used in a fatalistic acknowledgement of reality. And in that context there may not be anywhere that it is more true than Austin, unless it's Washington...

But when it comes to our relationship with and standing before God, there is no truer statement - It really is WHO we know. And I think that the series at the University Avenue church is right on track. I believe we have settled way too often for the what we know - knowledge about the Father, about the Son, about the Spirit - and have been unable or unwilling to recognize that knowledge about is not the same as knowing God, knowing Jesus, knowing the Spirit. Brian Mashburn put it this way in a recent post, and I think he is right on target...

The great change in my life was the focus on depth, not breadth. I'm not interested in learning more stuff about the Bible as much as I am interesting in understanding and assimilating and becoming the stuff that I have already learned. I'm not as interested in more people being "in my church" as much as I am interested in the people "in my church" taking their next step into Christlikeness. I'm not as interested doing more stuff in my Christian service as I am in doing less stuff more deeply. I believe that the focus on depth can lead to breadth, if God deems it, but that the focus on breadth steals depth.

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