I remember years ago playing a game with my siblings. We would hide something in the house and then take turns guiding the other person to the object by telling them whether they were getting warmer or colder. Warmer was always the sign that one was on the right path. Colder meant one needed to turn around and move in a different direction. It was a fun time. Hmmm, I wonder if we had lived in a tropical climate would the terms have been reversed? Ah, you're getting colder, keep going!! That metaphor could work I suppose.
As a pastor, I get to engage that very process with people. It is a given that I am also on the same trajectory of desiring to get closer (warmer) to Christ every day as well. Teaching and encouragement are those markers I offer to let someone know they are getting warmer. Discovery of Christ is an eternally fulfilling moment in one's life. As the Bible reveals God to us, we are moving along a series of events that will bring us into relationship with our creator. John Wesley used terms like prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace to describe a person's walk toward the hidden prize (Salvation and Assurance of Faith).
The danger occurs when one who has found Jesus chooses to stop the journey and rest the remainder of their lives in the proximity of the cross but not at the foot of it. Wesley offered this expression of danger in sermons and would reject the notion that one can be "almost christian". It would be akin to driving from your home to the Statue of Liberty and stopping 100 miles short of the goal. The goal is to see the statue and yet faith in Christ isn't any different. Our journey should never stop 100 miles short of kneeling at the foot of the cross and receiving Jesus as our Lord.
We need to open ourselves to a process of always moving toward Jesus, always moving toward perfection, and always allowing God's Spirit to purify and strengthen our faith walk. We need to be getting warmer, getting warmer.....keep going your getting warmer.
O God, guide us with your spirit and move us toward a deeper relationship with Jesus. Teach us
your grace and mercy; help us with your just nature and encourage us with other believers and
their similar walk. Keep us always getting warmer and moving toward perfection. In Christ's holy
name we pray. Amen!
Have a good day friends, God journeys with us.