One of my many jobs in high school was with the Cadillac Evening News. Six days a week this little, local newspaper put out a paper reporting on the many (often not so newsworthy) happenings of our northern Michigan town. I worked in the darkroom. It was my job to turn the reporter’s film into negatives and then transfer the images on to photo paper. So, for two hours every afternoon, I earned gas money by hanging out in a small dimly lit closet watching images slowly develop before my eyes. It was a good job–sure beat my previous job washing dishes in a local restaurant. However, I was always in a hurry to get the job done so I could go home to study calculus (to be honest, to hang out with my girlfriend). Inevitably, after rushing through the developing process, the reporter would look at the prints and say “under-developed.” That meant start over again. After sometimes two or three attempts at the development process, I would finally arrive at the quality of image the reporter desired.
The word “develop” has an interesting origin. It is the combination of the word “envelop” (to cover up or conceal) and “dis” (indicates opposite). To develop is to unfold, uncover or reveal. To be under-developed means that something’s true essence is still concealed.
Like my hurried photo-developing days, a superficial, fly-by spiritual life will only result in a faded picture of God’s best for us.
Far too often we live our lives in an under-developed spiritual state. Our true nature in Christ remains covered up and undiscovered. The primary reason for this is that we don’t take the time necessary to be developed. Like my hurried photo-developing days, a superficial, fly by spiritual life will only result in a faded picture of God’s best for us. When you look at the life and teaching of Jesus, particularly with his closest followers, it is clear that his priority was to help people truly and fully develop. The key to Jesus’ development process was a commitment to follow him. Jesus’ first followers spent everyday with Jesus. They walked with him, ate with him and listened to him teach about God’s role in everyday life. Eventually, these followers would become people of deep faith. People who were developed and mature.
In just about a week, we are going embark on a journey at Community Church where we are going to put Jesus’ strategy into practice. We are going to take a year to focus on following Jesus everyday. We will be walking our way through the gospel of Luke asking the question, “what is God saying and what am I going to do about it.” I believe this could be a year for you where you sense the presence and lead of God more than ever before. On Sunday, September 22nd, we will kick off the first part of our journey with an eight-week series answering the question what does a follower do? That week you will also receive a tool that will help you launch this year of following Jesus.