Lifelong Sponges for Christ

If a man of far greater understanding than most can, in humility, learn from God through whatever vessel he chooses to work through at the time, then why shouldn’t we?

Why is this so important? Cultures change, and worldly priorities shift to a degree, but the Word of God stands firm like an immovable stone in the stream of life. It is through unchanging Scripture that ultimate truth and wisdom are to be found in Christ. We can only be sponges, ready to absorb this truth whenever and through whoever’s mouth God chooses to speak (always testing what is being taught with Scripture itself).

 

For most adults, childhood memories become fragmented snapshots from a time that was once vivid reality. While some are useless photographs that carry no real importance, others continue to teach us as we come to see their significance in later years. As a child, I attended the same church as well-respected theologian, Leon Morris. Without really knowing it, I had the privilege of hearing him preach from time to time. Although I didn’t know much about this man, being so young, I have come to appreciate a lesson learned from him many years down the track.

If you were to ever walk through Morris’ house, you could not help but be struck by the piles of books that lay around the room. It was like a library where the shelves had long been out of space and the librarian had quit. But this was actually a reflection of a sharp mind at work, seeking to be continually filled—a sponge always ready to soak up the things of God. This scene completely aligned with the stories my father used to tell me about Morris working at all hours to complete his doctorate, often in the seat of his car as he travelled for his ministry. Leon Morris, like many great thinkers throughout history, did not see knowledge as a certificate to be framed and hung but rather as a lifelong pursuit to be completed on the day of Christ’s return.

Morris’ desire to learn about the things of God and to become more Christlike in his daily walk was perhaps most evident in his willingness to humbly listen to whoever preached in the church he was sitting in at the time. Can you imagine, as a preacher, climbing the stairs to the pulpit, notes in hand trembling slightly as you reflect on the importance of the task, only to look out to see a leading theological academic seated in the pews? But Dr Morris was never there to critique. I’ve been told that if one was to look in his direction during any sermon you would not find a man taking notes but rather a man with his eyes often closed, listening to what God had to say through the lips of whoever was speaking.

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