You know, there is nothing more basic than this particular issue when it comes to living a Christ-oriented life.
We tend to live day to day, and just react to whatever happens around us. If we are met with a challenging circumstance we wade in and do the best we can to overcome it.
But is that really the way to live as a Christian? Are we just supposed to bounce around like a ball in a pinball arcade game bouncing off first this bumper and then the next? Are we supposed to “go with the flow”, or let the wind blow us wherever it will?
Did Jesus just let His present circumstances, as He came to them, determine his future? Or, did He have a determined direction to His life, a purpose to fulfill?
The Law and the Prophets
Scripture gives us clear direction:
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Why do you think Jesus answered the rich young ruler in this way?
Is it really that simple?
Loving God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind doesn’t sound simple or easy.
If we are busy swatting at alligators, the goal of draining the swamp becomes lost in the urgency of the moment. How do we keep our heart, soul and mind focused on Christ and His righteousness?
You know, we tend to focus more completely on that which we highly prize.
Do you and I hold our relationship to Christ dearly? Is it the most important thing in our daily life? It is easy to give lip service to the concept.
Jesus said, (John 14:15), ” If you love me you will keep my commandments.”
Fruit of the Spirit
How many people do you know who claim to be Christians whose life doesn’t seem to exhibit the fruit of the spirit?
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Loving our neighbor as we love our self is the other part of the original prescription Christ gave the rich young ruler.
When we accept Christ as our savior and lord we should become a new creature. The orientation of our life should shift from “us” to “others”. Our purpose in life should shift from amassing a fortune in “things” to building up “treasure in Heaven” by doing the will of God. And what is the “will of God” for you?
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Simple…but not easy.
As we allow the Holy Spirit to take control of more and more of our life, the outworking of that will result in LOVE.
Let us all from this day forward, live in all honesty before the Holy Spirit, as we allow him full access to our heart, soul and mind.
I hope to see you on the other side!