Last week Norma Jean and I kept our grandson, Miles Carter Weliever, who is almost 2 years ago. His vocabulary is increasing daily, because he will almost always repeat the last word or two or anything you say!
But he has certain favorite words or expressions. “Fix it” when something is not working. “Put it in there” when he wants something placed in a box, bowl, container, or toy. “Bot” which is short for bottle. (Why waste two syllables, when one will do?) But one of his favorite words is “more.”
More can mean that he actually wants more of something. But he often uses it to mean “do it again.” “Read it again.” “Play it again.” Kids love repetition. And “more” is Miles way of expressing that child-like inclination.
The other day while chuckling over his incessant pleas for “more, more, more,” I got to thinking life is like that. Good health is not achieved by doing a push up one day or eating one piece of broccoli. It takes more. It requires repetitive exercise and healthy eating daily.
Being a disciple of Christ involves continuous action. Baptism is an act that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:36-37). It happens once. But discipleship is ongoing. Ken Hemphill expressed it this way. “Discipleship is a process, not an event.” You don’t take one discipleship class and say, “Well, I’m done with that.” There’s more. A disciple is a pupil. A learner. One who follows another. It involves daily discipline. Dedication. And devotion. It means more.
There’s more training. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Lk. 6:40). It is the word that is translated “equip” in other passages. It means “to put in order.” “To arrange.” “To adjust.” “To mend.” “To repair.” It was a word used for properly providing a solder’s equipment to go into battle. And it’s the word for “mending” fishing nets. This involved prolonged activity. More.
When it comes to Christian growth, there is always more to be done. Paul exhorted the Philippian brethren that their “love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment” (Phil 1:9). More knowledge. More discernment. More love. Guess what that requires? More study. More effort. More thought. More application.
Regarding their spiritual growth in general Paul urged the Thessalonians “to increase more and more” (1Thess. 4:9). Spiritual progress demands more than just going to church once a week and occasionally attending a group. There is more. Much more. More association. More fellowship. More devotion. More praise. More relationship building. Spiritual health is not achieved by a few random religious rituals. It is acquired through mental discipline, focused meditation, and constant activity. It’s more.
But discipleship is more than just doing good. It combines the head, the heart and the hands. It’s the right attitude followed by appropriate action. It involves faith and works. It’s fueled by love. And fortified by hope. It’s more.
Following Christ goes beyond bare minimums. There’s more. It’s the religion of the second mile (Mat 5:41). The extra effort. The expanded horizon. The bigger dream. The greater good. And it’s not just doing it once. It’s more.
We go beyond “saying our prayers” sometimes. There’s more. We pray without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17). We continue “to offer the sacrifice of praise to God (Heb 13:15). It’s more.
What about attendance at worship? It’s not weakly. But weekly. And it’s more than just showing up. It’s encouraging. Exhorting. And admonishing one another, as we worship God (Heb. 10:22-25). It’s more.
And our giving? It’s more than an obligation. Or a token. Or mere tip. It’s generous. Heart-felt. And liberal (2 Cor. 8-9). It’s more.
If all of this seems….. well….. a bit much. Remember we serve the God of more. More love. More mercy. More grace. More blessings. More forgiveness.
Thanks, Miles, for reminding me that wanting more goes beyond a child-like fascination. It’s a quality that we all should be striving for.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman