Do you ever clean up the kitchen halfway? Do half of an item of clothing in the laundry? Have you ever made half of dinner? Are you in the habit of making up half of the bed? Teach half of a lesson to your children? When you do half a job, are you content with the outcome? Does it make you happy to do just a little work?
I wonder how it happens then, that we wake up one day and realize that we are content spiritually with half-ways. We repent half-way, even when we have sinned wholeheartedly. We read God's Word half-hearted. We worship with half our mind on the sermon and half on the roast in the oven at home. We pray half-way, our minds so often engaged in worldly affairs. We seek the Lord half-way. We love Him with even less than half a heart, when He should have our whole hearts. (After all, aren't we commanded to, "Love the Lord our God with all our heart?") And what has come home to me lately is that we teach our children these half-ways in their relationship to God and we are content.
Do you remember when we first held those pink bundles in our arms and felt the skin of our newborn? Do you remember counting fingers and toes... so little and so perfectly formed? Do you remember the awe that these little "fearfully and wonderfully" made babes aroused in our hearts? Did you not praise the Lord for His design and creation? As you were overwhelmed with these thoughts, was it your aim to raise them to be half a person? Half a lover of Christ? Half holy? The very questions are laughable. Of course not! These little ones were going to be great and do big things.
Why is it then that as Christians and parents we settle for mediocrity in our own lives and in the lives of our children. Is our God worthy of half praise? Is He worthy of half of our children? Are we afraid of entrusting them to Him? How can we be when we know Him to be the, "giver of every good and perfect gift", who gave His own son, "how then will He not freely with Him give all things?" Are we beggars? Is God stingy?
Al Martin once said in a sermon that being a Christian, " is not a minor shift," in thinking or in our lives but, "If Christ has not radically disrupted the very center and citadel of your hearts, you are not a Christian." Steve Camp sang a song called "The Cross Is A Radical Thing", where he talked about the cost of following Christ and what it means in our lives. It means that we do not settle and average is not an option.
Tonight, I simply want to challenge us to not settle for half-hearted Christianity in our lives or in the lives of those entrusted to our training. God has never dealt with us halfway. He did not give us half of a Savior, half of grace, half of mercy, half of imputation, etc. No, He fulfilled and gave to the uttermost. And He has never half loved us. He loves us with an everlasting love of which we will never know the, "heigth, depth, width, or length." Let us seek to love Him back in the same manner and to "offer ourselves and living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to the Lord." Let us no longer be "conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds," and the devotion of our hearts. Let us put off mediocrity and seek to be sold out.