THE IMITATION GAME

World War II was effectively ended by two massive bombs. The “first bomb” was actually the pair of nuclear ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended up stopping the war in the Pacific. The second bomb was never seen, never heard except by a mere handful of people.

I know I’ve begun today’s lesson with an enigma, or at least a conundrum, but before we unravel it, let me say welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!

So why all this talk of enigmas, bombs and WWII, you may ask? Enigma was the name of the super-secret cypher machine that Germany used to encrypt its message traffic. By using a combination of the Enigma machine’s three rotors and 26 position switchboard, it created a code with several trillion potential solutions. But there was a team of codebreakers called “Unit X” that was gathered in Bletchley Park, about 50 miles northwest of London who used a “bomb” to solve the puzzle. Alan Turing developed a machine that could process huge numbers of cypher calculations as a tool to solve the mathematical complexity of the problem. The machine was named “The Bomb.” It was the predecessor to the modern computer, and unlocked the deepest secrets for the German High Command each morning within moments of their issuing their 6am weather report.

The success of identifying the cipher key for that day revolved around the knowledge that the word “weather” would be the first word in the 6am message. One trusted example made all the difference, and that example allowed for thousands upon thousands of lives to be saved.

Today’s verse says THE THINGS WHICH YOU LEARNED, RECEIVED, HEARD AND SAW IN ME – DO

In faith one trusted example can change the outcome of the enemy’s war against humanity, too. One man, woman, boy or girl who determines to live out their faith can impact the lives of thousands.

The reason is that nothing can overcome one simple thing – obedience – when partnered with the “bomb” of the massive wisdom, power and grace of God Almighty. That obedience is expressed in the final word of today’s verse – DO.

Faith is something you DO, not something you have. A real and living faith will impact the way you speak, the way you act and the way you interact with others. Faith is expressed in action because it is our actions that display what we truly believe. Simply saying you have faith and believe in God is of minimal value as a witness to others. Talk, as they say, is cheap. The service that God calls us to is not lip-service, it’s life-service. DO your faith.

So that gives rise to the natural question “What should I do?” And the answer is simple.

If you wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, how would you go about it? You’d find someone who was already good at playing the instrument you wanted to learn, and you’d arrange for them to teach you. You’d watch them and observe HOW they played. You’d read the books your teacher gave you so that you’d be better informed about music. You listen to your teacher’s words as they taught you what they knew was necessary for your advancement. You’d practice the skills you’d learned and make them your own. You and the other students of this teacher might gather together to practice, share insights and lessons, and encourage one another.

The same approach works with instruments of faith – which is what you want to become. You find a trusted mentor, someone who’s faith in Christ inspires you, and then THE THINGS WHICH YOU LEARN, RECEIVE, HEAR AND SEE – you DO. It’s not to put that person on a pedestal, and it’s not that they are “better than you.” It is that they are better AT something than you currently are. Something that you want to learn, that you’re trying to get better at. As you find your mentors in the faith, never forget that no one is perfect. Practicing your faith is like practising medicine. You do the best you can with the skills you have to save the life in front of you right now; knowing that your own performance will never be perfect but always striving to do your very best. Your mentors will not perform perfectly either. So keep your eyes on CHRIST, the only perfect one, as you imitate THE THINGS WHICH YOU LEARNED, RECEIVED, HEARD AND SAW.

Paul put it a different way when he wrote to the church in Corinth. He said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

So how do we take the things which we’ve learned, received, heard and seen and put them into practice? DO what we see our mentors in the faith doing. DO what we see Jesus doing. DO your faith!

It will change the world.

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