Many of us are used to having to do the weekly shop. Some are prepared with their shopping list, others (like me) tend to walk in and see what takes our fancy.

Supermarkets love my type of shopper … offering all sorts of specials, bundles, eye line height promotions encouraging me to buy more.

As I walk through with my trolley, I’ll pick some of this, but I don’t like that! In fact, I’ve never been a fan of peanut butter, but do enjoy a good marmalade.

As Hillslife Church has explored what it is to be a Christian we talked about shopping trolley Christianity. Those believers who accept some parts of the bible, but happily ignore others. Bit like my aversion to peanut butter, there are some teachings that just don’t sit as well as others.

As if we are planning a meal, we are happy to take this list of ingredients, but don’t want anything that could sour our recipe.

Does Jesus really teach we should go to church? Or that we should tithe? That we should pray? Spend time meditating on the word? Did Jesus make the Old Testament teaching irrelevant? Or did He amplify it?

The point is Christianity is not a shopping list, or a menu where we get to pick and choose our preferred flavours. There are clear guidelines, responsibilities and expectations laid out … and yet most Christians have never read the entire bible.

Little like the shoppers who walk in and wander around and can be swayed in our purchasing behaviours … there is a danger to not knowing the whole story.

Imagine watching just the middle 45 minutes of a movie – not knowing the start or the finish. Doesn’t make sense does it.

“The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15

The encouragement this month is to make sure you don’t fall into shopping trolley Christianity. Take up the challenge and read the whole bible … sure some bits are less exciting than others, but God can reveal new understanding across all Scripture.

If you are willing, as you begin, and progress through the journey, I encourage you to pray to Our Holy Spirit and ask for His guidance and revelation. For as John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”