“Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more”(1 Thessalonians 4:1, NKJV).
I was watching the Cardinal's baseball game last night and the sports casters were talking about areas where the Cardinals could use some help. One of them said something to the effect of needing an upgrade in the bullpen. As I watched my mind became engrossed in thoughts about "upgrading." It seems to me that every day we here in America are hit upon to pursue an upgrade. Upgrade your TV service, your Internet, your automobile, the type house we live in, our wardrobe and on and on it goes. We continually pay more to get more (supposedly). Things we used to get for free from our banks and telephone companies, we now have to pay for to receive expanded services. The funny thing is, we do it without a whole lot of consideration. "More is better" is the cry of our decade. As long as we perceive that we are getting more and we believe that the benefits are worth it, we will plunk down the extra cash.
I got to thinking how we do this in so many areas of our life, and then I began wondering... Why is it that we are not the same way when it comes to our spiritual lives? It is really a sad indictment that there are surveys by George Barna and others that unveil a sad truth: We upgrade our lives of comfort while often neglecting to upgrade our spiritual devotion.
Some of us attend worship on Sunday, then live the rest of the week as though Christianity is a “Sunday only” activity. We pray on Sunday. We read our Bibles on Sunday. It’s the one day we’ll mention God to others. But while we feel the need to upgrade our cell phones, computers, MP3 players, cars, clothing and retirement funds, we seldom accept offers to upgrade our spiritual lives.
The apostle Paul strongly urged the Thessalonians, and all Christians everywhere, to “abound more and more.” What Paul was actually saying here is that rather than reaching a spiritual plateau where it is comfortable, he encourages us to constantly seek to grow and climb higher and higher in our walk with Christ.
I've been asking myself, just what were the benefits of the last "upgrade" that I made in my spiritual walk? How long has it been since I have upgraded? What price have I been willing to pay to walk on a higher plane with the Lord? Am I willing to pay more to upgrade again?
Yes, upgrading our walk and devotion to God will cost more of our concentration, more of our time, more of our abilities, and most likely a little more of our money. But the gains will far outweigh the costs.
I don't know about anyone else, but as for me, it is time for another upgrade. I challenge others to upgrade with me. I offer this challenge: For the next month, set aside extra time every day to shut out all distractions, concentrate just on God and His Word, and tune in to whatever spiritual improvements He suggests. I am absolutely convince that the benefits of any spiritual upgrade will truly be worth the effort.