June / July 2018 - Vol. 98

Bible study 
A Hole-y and Leaky Christian 
by Tom Caballes

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, 
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
One indisputable fact we face as disciples of Christ is that we spiritually “leak” – it is as if our spiritual life is naturally full of holes. We forget our promises to God; we neglect and overlook things we have learned in the past about discipleship and the Word of God, and we cannot easily be faithful to what God has called us to do and to be.  The world challenges us constantly about our commitments, and our weakened human nature always wants us to return to our old way of living. Our physical health and memory fail as we get older. Our emotions can at times run amok within us. Even though we are God’s new creation [2 Corinthians 5:17], we need to continually “top up” our faith so that we can continue to run our race to the end. Our inner-self is to be to be renewed day by day, as 2 Corinthians 4:16 indicates. Instead of being naturally holy, we are inherently hole-y! If we do not “refill” our faith frequently, we might run out at the end, and not finish the race!

So How Do We Become a “Filled” Christian Thoroughly Inside and Out, and Stop the Spiritual “Leak?” 

  1. We always need to be connected to the vine – see John 15:1 to 11. Jesus is the source of our spiritual life; we will wither spiritually once that link is lost [John 15:6]. Prayer is the key to being renewed daily. 
  2. Form holy habits like daily prayer and Scripture reading. We are creatures of habits, and we need to adapt to a new method of living that conforms to God’s ways. Our minds and bodies would eventually adjust to the new way of living in Christ. Be faithful in reading the Bible, even if you have read it many times before.
  3. Form holy attitudes like initiative, positivity, and generosity. Serving others helps us to have a servant-like attitude. God’s word should form our outlook on life and attitude, so we need always to be refreshed by the Word of God. We are like a GPS needing to connect to a satellite so that it can find its bearing again.
  4. Weed out patterns of sin and temptation in your life.  Know your weaknesses and shut down opportunities for sin. By avoiding temptations to sin and committing sin, we retain our faith values and thinking; but once we compromise, we open an opportunity for the enemy to come into our life to rob us of Godliness.  … and give no opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4:27 ESV). Ask the Holy Spirit to change your stubborn and sinful ways.  
  5. Be humble and teachable; try to learn from something you have heard a few times in the past; God can give you new insight or understanding if you are teachable and humble, but not when you are arrogant and proud. Be humble and know you need to reinforce what you have learned in the past.
  6. Renew your mind and spirit by spending time with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Experiencing Godly fellowship helps us renew our faith and tops up our zeal for God. When challenges come, it is good that we have more mature brothers and sisters in Christ to help us move along in our journey, especially if we feel we are “stuck” in life. When challenges in life come, brothers and sisters help us face the adversity well. 
  7. Take time to rest and renew your life and faith in God. Take time as a family, a couple and as individuals to refresh your weary souls by having some personal or family retreats, holidays, and vacations. The journey is a spiritual marathon, not a sprint. Make sure you finish the race well because that is what truly matters.   
Other Scripture passages:
  1. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)
  2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)
  3. Other Bible verses: James 1:23-25; Colossians 3:13; and Hebrews 12:1-2.
For personal reflection or group sharing
  • In what ways are you a “hole-y” and “leaky” Christian?   
  • What long-term plans can you make so you will never run out of spiritual energy and finish the race?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

Top photo of Bible study by lightstock.com

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