Growing in Understanding

There are things that I understand now that I didn’t understand in times past… 

There are still some things that I don’t have full understanding of…how an engine works, trigonometry, how to hit a curveball & how Krispy Kreme donuts could possibly bad for you all come to mind. 

In the life of following Jesus we must never stop growing.  Our understanding of His love, mercy and grace should always be a ‘work in progress’.  In our Bible text this week we see that after Jesus had confronted the religious traditions (and those who held them), He turned His attention to the disciples:

Mark 7: 17 And when He had entered the house and left the people, His disciples asked Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 

Jesus, in His grace, breaks down the idea to its easiest to digest form.  Forget living with a  focus on the outside while hiding the inside.  He instructs us to live Inside-Out.  Focus our energies upon our inner life and we will be changed so that our outside life is pleasing to God and fulfilling to us!  This was a fresh and new understanding for these young followers of Jesus.  Would they accept it or would they fall back into what they knew or thought they knew?  Would they grow in understanding?  

Every day we are challenged in similar ways.  We get the opportunity to see God’s grace in fresh and new expressions.  We get the opportunity to grow in understanding and then that understanding can shape our living.  If you stop growing, you stop living or at least you stop living well!

Every day we are challenged directly with the same thought Jesus gave them on that day…to live from the Inside-Out.  Don’t worry as much about the wrapping paper as the gift in the middle.  Don’t worry as much about the paint job but rather the engine…it is what will get you where you need to be.  Do you focus too much on the outside?  Do you use an outside focus to cover up an inside issue?  

For more devotional thoughts you can visit .  We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday.  Beginning July 26th (this Sunday) we will meet at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper.  Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.