“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome… Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1 John 5:3, 21
For years I read the Bible because it was what I was supposed to do as a Christian. In general, I had good experiences with it. I found comfort when I was sad, was rebuked and gently convicted when was necessary, felt loved in times of loneliness and desperation, and was impowered to make changes in my life and to live for God when I felt weak.
I am not sure when it happened because I think it was gradual… But I do not think I will ever read the Bible the same way. God has instilled in me this sense of urgency. I am compelled to follow what it teaches. The Bible is not simply good advice and juicy quotes that sound nice. It is holy. It is to be revered. It is to be followed.
In his word, God urges us to follow and obey his commands. He says that we love him by keeping his commands.. But do we even know what they are? They are not just ideas for us to skim over right before we go to sleep at night, or as we scarf down breakfast in the morning mentally making lists of things that need to be accomplished during the day. They need to transform us. His commands demand action. When was the last time that we took care of the poor or sick, and the orphaned or widowed? We can no longer read the Bible and then hastily go about the rest our busy day. Well, I guess we can… and we might… but God specifically tells us not to. We have the choice to be hypocritical, sure. I am choosing not to. And, I am asking you to hold me to that.
All this “hypocrisy talk” may sound harsh, but it is the reality of the scriptures. I think we do a greater disservice to ourselves and to others by ignoring the truth that our lives must not be lived for ourselves. When I searched my heart, I found that I valued my success and identity as a student, athlete, mentor, friend, sister, daughter and aunt much more highly than I had ought. So I am seeking change. Not by neglecting those, but through emphasizing Jesus in my life. I am on a mission to make him my treasure. Luke 12:34 says, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” I am going to actively chose to make him my treasure. I will desire him more, and my identity in the world less.
If all who claimed to be a Christian put Jesus first and actually sought to obey his commands everyday–how different would this world be?
Don’t put it off. (That’s a command 🙂 )