Christian Life Is Not Free, but the rewards is well worth it. On the other hand, if you listen to your fellow Christians they will tell you that you need to live by the spirit, be sanctified, and justified in Christ. At the same time these well meaning Christians can pile on the burdens but not lift a finger to help. However, Christians can make Christianity more complicated than God intended, especially when all one has to do is develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and work out your salvation with him. Wouldnít it be easier to listen to the Author of life?
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
We are all looking for an easier way to live, but listening to all the recommendations that our brothers and sisters in Christ advocate can turn Christianity into a mandatory set of rules that eventually take your focus off Jesus Christ. Like the commercials on radio and TV the marketing strategy is to make you go out and buy certain products by producing an image of something you are expected to desire. Whether it is the TV commercial or our fellow Christian they project a desirable image that you can be so engrossed into that you become a slave to that image. By that image you are allowed to respond in a prescribed way which makes you feel like a robot programmed to function one way.
If I may add my two cents, the average person has so many things to do to maintain a healthy relationship with God that he never has time for God. Therein lies the problem. Disciplining yourself to be a Christian doesnít mean that you follow men. Being a Christian is a commitment to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and yield to his authority. And in this case, Christianity is not what you know but whom you know.
People use their influence to tell you how to do things, but they make more money at telling you how to be successful than doing everything they teach. Like sheep being led to the slaughter, everyone wanes to follow someone that appears to be successful. For the reason that everyone wants to be successful men and women can be deceived to follow the paths of others.
However the most successful person known to man is for the most part ignored by the average person that wants fame and fortune. This person gave Joshua the following advice.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
Joshua was known to remain in the tent of meeting after Moses had departed to go about Godís business. He was accustomed to spending hours seeking the Lord and may have heard God speaking face to face with Moses. Joshua may have had a heart like David and God testifying that David is a man after my own heart. Paul also follow the same example of devotion saying,
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
The Christian life demands a dedicated commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who adopt the moral standards of God, have the desire to limit and define their behavior through Godís plan that demonstrates a dignified respect for other people. In this dedicated commitment you pledge to obey God word and punish acts of disobedience.
Jesus was asked what is the greatest command of all and he answered,
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31
Jesus simplified this command in this fashion.
in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
These commands reduce the law of God to a dedicated effort to develop a personality that governs a moral life based on the virtue of love. These two laws demand that you Godís command to heart and make every effort to love one another. The love of God (Agape and agapao) expresses the nature of God and describes an attitude of God toward His Son and the human race. We also understand that God has demonstrated his love for man by giving his one and only Son to died for us and by believing in him have eternal life. In describing the nature God wanted his children to have, Jesus said everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Although its tough to love everyone your love is not based on merit but by a deliberate choice to love.
Without God it is impossible to love one another, to do all that is written in the law, be sanctified, be justified, and live by the spirit. Apart from God you can do nothing and every effort you make to please God would be a waste of time. Love is described as an affection towards another person but how do you love God with all your heart without a personal relationship with him. While you can love on another you can be easily be discourage from loving if love is not returned.
A personal relationship with God requires that you develop a way to communicate with God. Because man can not see God anyone who wants a relationship with God must believe that he exists and communicates with God through faith. At the same time learning to love God demands that you spend time with him to express your concerns and hear his concerns. Man communicated his concerns to God through prayer and listens to God primarily through reading and absorbing his word and carefully consider what you have learned. Interpreting the bible is not rocket science and there is not a prescribed way under the sun where you can grasp the depth of God. However, because you want to listen to God you need to ask God specific questions about what he said.
Because God maintains the integrity of his childrenís personality every child is allowed to develop differently. For this reason the opinions of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus will vary from person to person. Each child of God will be in a different stage of spiritual growth as if some were in kindergarten and others have a doctorate. The difference of views among fellow Christians should never be adopted until you have the time to weigh it against Godís word in consultation, parleying with God on the issue.
Even the thoughts discussed on the pages of Godlythinking are opinions they should be taken captive and made obedient to Christ. Before Godlythinking expresses its thoughts the staff of Godlythinking namely me prayerfully asks God for help and the ideas need to be expressed. Though the attempt to express Godís thoughts is there Godlythinking is only a man who is seeking the heart of God.
Let it be known what Godlythinking says may be nothing more that the din of the religious community. It is your responsibility to work out your salvation with God.
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3
Thinkgodly is advocating that you develop a personal relationship with God and pay attention to your father's instructions. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline Proverbs 1:7. The Christian life also demands a commitment of reverence to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who despise wisdom and discipline lack reverence for the qualities God incorporates in his character. Consider this, just as you may intentionally instill certain qualities of your life into your children, God intentionally instills his qualities of wisdom and discipline in his children. Those who despise wisdom and discipline elevate themselves above God and live as they see fit. However, they often find themselves in conditions wondering what went wrong and ready to cast the blame anywhere, but where the fault really lies.
On the other hand those who reverence the wisdom and discipline of God includes his principles in the decisions they make and use them as a platform to work from. They become prudent and make decisions that do not affect other people adversely. And if they do adversely affect another person welfare they make every effort to makes things right with them.
Christian Life Is Not Free, but the rewards is well worth it. Lets consider what God said to the prophet Isaiah.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Lets also consider that God is building a eternal Kingdom of kings and priests. God is training his children to be kings that will reign with Christ and he is teaching his children the graces of nobility, the mercies of a compassionate ruler and the love of a father that honors another person above them selves. In this way he is transforming your thoughts and your ways to conform to his. God is a God of peace and order and in transforming your Spirit into the likeness of Jesus Christ, God will bring about his goal for a peaceful and orderly way of life in heaven.
hristian Life Is Not Free, but the rewards exceed more than all we could ask for or imagine. There is no easy way to alter personal habits and develop the behavior God wants. However God will take time to discipline you as a farmer prunes his tree to improve the fruit the tree is capable of producing.
The fact that Jesus can say I never knew you (Matthew 7:23) should be compared to The Lord knows those who are his (2 Timothy 2:19.) and
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
The reason to want a personal relationship with God is so he can know you. In Christ Jesus we have become a new creation with a ministry of reconciliation. In reverence to God we have the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God by telling the world that God loves them and doesnít want them to perish but to find repentance through Jesus Christ. Christian life Is not free, but the rewards is worth it, but it is the only way to live.