I love studying theology (the study of God) and soteriology (the study of salvation).
I graduated Manga cum Laude from Southern Evangelical Seminary with a Master’s of Divinity Degree with an emphasis in Apologetics.
I love reading big, thick books about Jesus and His redemptive work on behalf of humanity.
However, all my studying would be useless if I didn’t integrate what I was learning about Jesus and redeeming work into my life.
God isn’t to be studied like an amoeba under a microscope, but rather a being with whom to interact; a real, live being who wants us to share in His very life (2 Peter 1:3).
Theological education is not the same as theological integration.
Theology is not merely to inform our minds but to transform our lives so Jesus’ kingdom can come to earth through us.
Sadly, many people are theologically educated but spiritually immature and ineffective in advancing God’s Kingdom on earth.
Based on my experience as a pastor, Dr. Pete Scazzero, in his book Emotionally Healthy Spiritually, is on point by identifying what spiritually healthy, maturing Christ-followers look like.
By integrating the Gospel into our lives, we will mature and develop the Spirit-enabled ability to …
Identify and manage our feelings.
Work through and resolve conflict.
Forgive people who have hurt us and learn to ask for forgiveness when we hurt others.
Take responsibility for our actions.
Initiate and maintain close meaningful relationships.
Become aware of how our past impacts our present.
Develop the capacity to express our thoughts and feelings clearly.
Respect and love others without having to change them.
Accurately self-assess our strengths, limits and weaknesses, and share them with others.
Learn to grieve and suffer well.
Develop a passion for the lost to treasure Jesus.
Live financially generous lives.
Can you imagine congregations filled with people who live like this?
Can you imagine how attracted people who are yet to follow Jesus would be if they experience people who live like this?
Can you imagine how marriages would be saved?
Let’s not imagine it. Let’s do it by integrating what we learn about Jesus and His Gospel.
Artist and photographer Jeremy Cowart takes us on an amazing creative journey to see the face of Christ.