Previously published in a CMI newsletter, January 2017
If you want to keep a fire burning at a certain temperature, a crucial element is having the right fuel.
Almost every Christian can think of motivational books, conferences, and sermon series which are intended to encourage us to act on our faith more radically—and there is no shortage of ways we could do this. Whether mentoring inner-city youth, street preaching, or missions, Christians are presented with a dizzying array of needs to be met.
It might be noted that only in Christianity is radicalism in faith marked by greater service to others and self-sacrifice, as opposed to others where radicalism leads to such things as violence, or withdrawal from society.
Many of us need the encouragement to be more intentional and more ‘radical’ in our Christian lives. And Scripture itself urges us in this direction as well. The Apostle James had some pretty radical words for us when he said:
Many Christians generally feel dissatisfied with their current serving, giving, and devotional patterns. But if all that is motivating this heightened commitment to living out our faith—i.e. if it is driven by concern for other people or commitment to social causes—we will inevitably ‘burn out’, because enthusiasm or compassion alone is not enough to keep us going. Rather, our motivation must be grounded in something strong enough to keep that passion going—it helps to have a foundation in Scripture itself that pleases its author—Jesus Christ.
The biblical writers never offer practical teaching by itself; rather, it is always grounded in who God is and our relationship to Him. The doctrine of creation is foundational to this, and it gives real motivation to be ‘radical’. This starts with the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:2 says:
Most people have been educated from secular sources. As such, our minds were conditioned to accept evolution as fact, and even as the way God created. But when we realize the truth of God’s creation as described in Genesis, that helps transform our thinking, which has implications for how we relate to others in the world.
There is nothing quite like creation teaching for creating excitement, confidence and renewing our minds to trust God at His Word. For example, Jeffrey N. said:
If you want motivation to help the disadvantaged, or the boldness and confidence to witness to others, then realize that all people, regardless of ‘color or creed’ are descendants of Adam and Eve. Biblical history demonstrates that we are all really closely related and made in the Creator’s image. Christians already give more to charity and adopt more children than non-Christians; how much more could be done to change our world if the biblical creation foundation became even more of a motivation?
At church events, our speakers consistently report how people get excited as they see how the Bible can be trusted from the first verse. They go out with a renewed confidence in Scripture, and that affects how they share the Gospel and live out their faith.
Chris W. wrote in saying that creation information was key in encouraging him: