Friday, March 19, 2010

How Do I Fulfill My Responsibilites?

The Scriptures are replete with various instructions given as commands that we as believers are to comply with. As we read these instructions or commands it is evident that we are expected to comply with or obey them.

At some point we have a tendency to develop a resistance to these commands. It seems that a little “mutiny” develops in our minds and our souls as we try to keep these instructions. I think there are at least three factors that lead to this frustration:

• We view the bible as a rule book or merely as a guide to living rather than see it as a revelation of a relationship with God

• We fail to see that these commands are normally given after a foundational discourse on why we should be obedient and the wherewithal that we have been given by God so that we can obey or keep these instructions

For example; we know that Paul spends 8 full chapters developing a foundation for his all consuming command in chapter 12 and verse one – “…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…”

If you fail to fully comprehend all that has been said, all that has been done on our behalf, and all that God has given us in the first eight chapters, this command will not only be insensible, but it will be impossible to obey.

That is why the “therefore” is there. Since you have all of this and all of this has been done for you; now do this. Paul appeals to our obedience because he knows it is possible to obey. Why? God has given us everything we need in order to obey Him.

In Ephesians chapter four, Paul gives the command “…to walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” Look at how he begins verse one, “I therefore…” Paul’s appeal and command stems from all that we have as our possession detailed in chapters one through three.

Don’t get scripture out of order. Paul in particular always gives the Doctrine prior to our Duty, the Edification before the Expectation.

• We fail to see a realistic plan or means to be obedient to the commands or instructions we are given, so we “persevere” in our own “energy”

In my devotional reading I came across recently Paul’s prayer for the Philippians to express or exercise their love for one another in a greater manner. “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more.” (Philippians 1:9)

In addition to this apostolic prayer, I have committed 2010 to Holiness. This year the emphasis in my life is to discover, develop, and depict God’s holiness in my life. After all God said, “Be ye holy, as I am holy.” Peter gave the command “Because He is holy, I am to be holy in my everyday lifestyle.”

The question then is; since these things are only possible through the Holy Spirit, what can I do to fulfill my responsibility? In other words if I want to change my behavior, grow in any area, such as __________ (you fill in the blank) how do I do this?

Let me give you four means of fulfilling your responsibility:

1) In order to grow in ___________ (love, holiness, faith, etc.) saturate your mind and soul with Scriptures that describe ____________ (love, holiness, faith) and depict its importance. Study them, meditate on them and feed on them.

2) Pray for the Holy Spirit to apply His Word (that you have hidden in your heart) to your heart and daily lives. It is true, it is not an urban myth; God has given you everything you need to live godly in Christ Jesus. He hasn’t withheld one thing.

3) Confess the areas and instances that you have failed in and maybe failing in as you read this in ____________ (love, holiness, faith, etc.)

4) Obey. Simply do what ___________ (love, holiness, faith, etc.) dictates.

We have a tendency to make our Christian experience more difficult than it is. We allow ourselves to get bogged down in defeat, discouragement, and despair because we fail to see that the Bible is not merely a rule book of do’s and don’ts, but it is a loving relationship with God our Father and all that He has given to us in order to grow, be faithful, and obedient.

5 comments:

INSIDE THE SHRINK said...

Gregg, you are so on target here. I have numerous times seen ministers hold the Bible in the air and state, "This is our rule book for living in this world." While that is not totally a false statement, I, like you, believe a more correct statement would be "This is the Word that shows us how to have a right and victorious relationship with our Lord."

A Christian's view of God and His Word is likely based on the level of spiritual maturity. Just like a 7 year old boy will tell you he stands in the lunch line with his hands flat at his sides because it is the rule, the college senior will tell you he completed the assignment as directed by the professor because he wants to do his best and to please the professor.

As mature Christians, we have learned the principles of Christian living, our lives are reflections of our love for God and our desire to please Him and bring honor to His name. If we are at that level, we are not likely to be breaking any Biblical rules.

Thank you so much for a mature perspective and observation on the Bible and Christian faith. And congrats on the award you received. God bless.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Luke 7:47 (King James Version)
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

This verse jumped of the page of the Bible into my heart and mind not long after God by His grace saved me. I knew nothing about God, the church or the Bible until God opened my spiritual eyes back in the spring of 1980.

My relationship with God and His Word has always been one of love and thankfulness for saving me out of a wicked sinful life style and placing me in Christ. Although I love the church and God's people, I right away noticed that not all church people felt the same way I did. It was mostly the ones that were raised in the church that didn't seem to have a loving and thankful relationship with God. They new all the ins and outs of the church but seemed cold towards God.

Luke 7:47 gave me the best answer as to why they outwardly came across this way to me.

Ron

Dan Trabue said...

Some excellent points, there, Gregg!

The Bible is not rightly reduced down to merely being a rulebook. We DO have a tendency to make the Christian experience more difficult than it is.

It's all about the relationship, I agree. Amen.

Getting My Words Out said...

Great post. I think the Bible is less a rule book than an Owner's Manual. God made us. We are His creation, who better to tell us how best to live our lives? What He says to do isn't for the benefit of anyone else, it's for MY best. God wants the best for me so he tells me, through His Word, exactly how to achieve it....and, more than that, He gives me the Holy Spirit so that what God wants me to do can be accomplished. I need only trust and obey (which by necessity requires surrender of my own will).

Thanks!
:D

Brian Ray Todd said...

The Holy Scriptures are the living Word of God. Like Geezer, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was given a new heart and soul that was contrary to the fleshly desires. I found that Christianity was not a part of life, but life itself. To trust and obey was to abide and to walk in the Spirit. The Scriptures speak to us by the Spirit for our walk in personal relationship with Jesus that produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives daily.

John 15:9-11 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.