Not Far Enough

Week 29: Not Far Enough

Today’s Text: Second Kings 11-15

Key Text: Second Kings 12:1-3

“In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifice and burn incense there.”

He was crowned at the age of seven, so obviously he had help running the kingdom for a while. Guided by the high priest Jehoiada, he did much that was good – doing what was right “in the eyes of the LORD” while the priest guided him. Still, he didn’t go far enough, allowing some pagan rituals to continue. When his guide died, he abandoned God, and even had Jehoiada’s son killed; not a happy ending for anyone.

Sometimes, in our own spiritual reforms – we don’t go far enough either.

I am not talking about leaving everything of our old life behind; dressing in sackcloth and ashes or heading to the mountaintop to live as a hermit.

I am speaking though about how we are called to be “in the world but not of the world.”

It seems to me that too often, believers are content to put religion in a nice, convenient box, say on Sunday mornings at 11:00 and Wednesday evenings at 7:30, right after a pot-luck supper.

We need a more radically involved faith than that.

We need to live out our faith daily, whenever and wherever we are called to truly be people of the Book; people of the Way.

Of course, that is sometimes inconvenient to do. It can even be dangerous.

It’s our calling though.

So, consider how – if you are a disciple of Christ – how you are living a new life – a counter-cultural life – for God.

If you are not, it may be time for a little reflection – and more than a little reform.

Go far enough – for Him.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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