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Friday, November 30, 2007

An interesting tidbit of information that I learned this morning from one of the devotionals I read (this one from Rob Bell). The Hebrew language--the one that the Old Testament is written in and was spoken by the people of Israel--has no word for spiritual. None. At first glance, that may not seem like much...just a trivia question for linguistics nuts. But it means something more.

If you had been alive when Christ was on the earth and had asked Him this question, "How's your spiritual life?" He would have looked at you like you were crazy.

"Spiritual life? What's that?" he might ask. Here's why. In the Hebrew concept of life, there was no spiritual versus physical life. Everything that was done was done both in the physical and spiritual sense. To try and label one area of your life as spiritual and another as the physical would have totally contradicted Jesus' world view and the view of most of His contemporaries. Everything they did, they did as part of this integrated world view.

Every act for a 1st century Hebrew was a spiritual act. Working, playing, loving your family, paying your taxes, cleaning your house...all done in Christ and for Christ and for God's glory.

Maybe that's why the first Christians latched on so quickly to this thought:
17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV

It is a radical change from the world view that most 21st century Christians hold. We have our spiritual side, our physical side, our emotional side, etc. But perhaps that's what made the difference as the new believers began the first churches and faced amazing persecution. They didn't see anything in their lives as being "separated" from God's influence. Their doubts, their relationships, their worries, their successes, their work, their trials--they all belonged to God as they lived out fully integrated lives before Him. What's your world view today? And how could changing that view make a difference in the things you are facing in your life this day?

1 comment:

Katie and Shae said...

Great thought Ridley - I appreciate that encouragement... it seems silly that we feel the need to categorize our life when in reality, it all comes down to ONE thing - God. love you!