Life Incomplete?

Michelangelo started forty-four statues but completed only fourteen. 

In a museum in Italy you can see his thirty unfinished works.

There are huge blocks of marble with only a hand or a foot completed.

Are our lives like those unfinished statues? Is our potential for service still locked up within us?

See: Psalms 2:11; Ephesians 6:7

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Knowing God

John Bunyan had a blind child who was his constant companion, and of whom he was very tenderly fond—“he would not let the wind blow on her.” She never saw her father’s face, could only dimly recognize his marvelous genius, and was sadly incapable of reading his immortal book.

Yet did she not know him? If any one in this world knew him it was his little blind daughter. She saw right into his heart, knew him as no critic, biographer, or historian ever knew him.

Our knowledge of God is much of the same quality and kind. He is the light that no man approacheth unto. Yet we know the touch of His hand, the love of His heart, the power of His strengthening presence.

This is eternal life, to know God in Jesus Christ.

The Neglected Bible

Spurgeon tells a story of how a woman once came to speak to him in private; he spoke to her about her soul, and she told him how deeply she felt, how she had a desire to serve God, “but she found another law in her members.” Mr. Spurgeon then led her to a passage in Romans, and read to her, “The good that I would I do not; and the evil which I would not that I do!” (Rom. 7:19).

She said, “Is that in the Bible? I did not know it.” Spurgeon could not blame her, because he knew that she had no interest in the Bible till then; but came to this conclusion about society in general:

“Ah, you know more about your ledgers than your Bible; you know more about your day-books than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from beginning to end, and what have you got? A mouthful of froth when you have done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that man writes, a catch of the day, is greedily devoured.”

Extra Effort

Roberto C. Goizueta rose from the ranks to become president of the Coca Cola Company, one of the world’s largest business enterprises.

One of his favorite sayings is from the Japanese writer Xishima: “To know and not to act is not yet to know.”

He has made that a guiding principle of his life.

His advice to young managers is “Do the best you can and a little bit more. The rest will take care of itself.”

Looking at The Carnal Mind

To be carnally minded is death. (Romans 8:6, kjv)

Is it possible to be “carnally minded” yet still be considered a Christian? Can such a person still be saved? Sometimes Scripture answers our hard questions more definitively than others, and this one is as sobering as it is plain.

The phrase “carnally minded” means literally, “the mind of the flesh.” And the Greek word for “mind” is more comprehensive than we might think. It refers not only to our thoughts but also to the actual seat of our passions.

It encompasses our fears, our joys, our sorrows, and all the mental and emotional faculties we possess. In effect, Paul is referring to the carnality of the heart and soul—to be immersed in thoughts and concerns of the flesh.

A carnally minded person is one who sets earthly goals by human means and then sets out to reach them through worldly measures. They look to inner strength to resolve problems and overcome fears. From a human standpoint these appear to be admirable traits. Don’t we all admire someone with “inner strength”? Aren’t we all supposed to strive for such a life? The world would tell us yes, but God’s Word says otherwise.

Christians who visited bookstore seek to find books that promote self-worth, self-reliance, and personal fulfillment. They promise to reveal the secret to happiness and wealth and well-being, and almost always do so through a doctrine of self-actualization. From a human standpoint their guidance seems solid and helpful. But the problem is, much of the advice you find is “carnally minded.” It is a human’s view on how to solve the human problems. And in the end, such views lead only to spiritual destruction.

To be “carnally minded” is to depend on yourself rather than God. It is a lifestyle of looking inward instead of upward. It may sound good, but it doesn’t solve the greatest dilemma of all—our eternal fate.