God has provided everything we need today for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-9).
Don’t just pass over that important biblical statement; let it sink in. If that is really true (and it is!) then it is imperative that we learn how to utilize this divine provision in our daily lives.
The Apostle Paul said he was not ashamed of Christianity because it worked (Romans 1:16).
There is nothing more practical, beneficial, and enjoyable than the application of biblical truth to our lives each and every day.
Again, let that statement soak into the soul. If we do not believe this, and think other things will bring greater joy, then it is no wonder that our lives would be characterized by cranky behavior and general anxiety about everything. Rather, the application of biblical truth is an experience of getting to know Jesus Christ better, and becoming more involved with God. This involvement, characterized by faith, hope, and love, increasingly transforms every area of the Christian’s character and life.
It is not God’s will that we fail in living the Christian life.
It is not his will that a church have ineffective ministry and milquetoast believers mumbling songs through a worship service; avoiding significant fellowship with other believers; and, unable to witness to their faith. No, instead, we have all we need to love God, love one another, and love the world.
If we are experiencing inner transformation; enjoyable fellowship; progressive deliverance from the power of sin; and, continual enablement to live a holy life and be an effective witness to the person and work of Jesus; then we know the grace of God in our current experience. Living this kind of life will keep us from yielding to temptation. It will motivate us to read the Bible and pray. It will help us live above criticism and pretense. It will cause others to understand we are genuine Christians. And the most important benefit of all is that this kind of life will glorify God, enable us to enjoy him and serve Christ’s church with gladness.
So, why don’t more Christians experience this kind of life-giving knowledge and joy? It is possible, even with the best of intentions, to be mistaken in some important area of belief. Such mistakes and errors almost always produce incorrect actions. And these mistakes end up becoming barriers to living an enjoyable and productive Christian life. Here are just a few erroneous statements I have heard as a pastor:
1. It’s the pastor’s job to do all that stuff (as if parishioners can live vicariously through their pastor).
2. I’m not obligated to be part of a church (as if we don’t really need other believers).
3. I don’t like reading (as if this gets us off the hook to personally read the Bible).
4. I feel _____ (as if feelings are the final authority concerning what I should do or not do).
5. That’s nice advice (as if what is heard in the sermon does not really need to be followed).
6. God will lead people to Jesus (as if I have no responsibility to witness).
7. I sincerely believe ______ (as if sincerity makes something true).
8. If I can’t do it 100% I won’t do it at all (as if service depends on my effort, not God’s power).
9. I might fail (as if the word “grace” doesn’t exist in Christianity).
10. That might work for you, but it doesn’t work for me (as if certain people are exceptions to being used of God).
What would you add to this list?
What are some of the hindrances which keep you from enjoying the Lord?
Living in error will ultimately lead to broken relationships, unhappiness, or futility because it disconnects us from the God of grace. Instead, let’s continually drink from the deep fount of Scripture and let the Holy Spirit be our divine mentor in leading us to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life.