A few weeks into 2016 and many of us have already thrown in the towel on our resolution to save money, read through the Bible or lose weight. What about our goal to experience personal revival?
The next area where we let revival slip away is in the simple act of obeying God.
“If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Yes, I heard the communal groan.
Rules. Why do there have to be so many rules? How can anyone keep them all straight? Never mind adhering to them all.
We know the Ten Commandments. We amend these to be either more or less strict depending on how we feel on a given day.
And we hold others to the letter of the law, while claiming a double dose of grace for ourselves.
We fit right in with the people Malachi condemned for marrying godless people (Malachi 2:11-12). You can’t get closer to the world than making a lifetime contract with it and taking it to bed.
With such a long list of rules, God can’t possible expect us to keep them. Or can He?
One thing we know He expects is for us to give to the church. And giving isn’t just about money.
But giving our tithe (ten percent of our gross earnings) is the very basic first step in giving. To really please God, we should surrender our whole self. Check out how Paul praised the Macedonians for because they “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
Jesus said all of the commandments and God could be summarized into two: 1) loving God and 2) loving others.
God shows us the right way to love. In case we missed that lesson, He gave us a physical incarnation of love: Jesus Christ. Jesus loved us all the way to the cross.
Showing love to our spouse is the greatest testimony we have in this world. God honors marriage (Hebrews 13:4) and hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). The way we love our spouse teaches our children about love and should typify the way Christ loves all of us.
All the other commands of scripture can be summed up in this:
Live a life of separation from the world.
When people see you, they should see something unique. They shouldn’t see something that blends into the selfish, decadent society surrounding us.
Don’t be a chameleon. Stand out in the crowd because of selflessness and morality. But don’t put on the veil of self-righteousness which will turn people away from God faster than anything else.
After all, any righteousness you have is not your own. It comes through Christ alone.
Are you climbing ever closer to true revival? Here are the handholds we’ve discovered:
- Humility and repentance
- Embracing the love of God
- Honoring the holiness of God
- Obeying the commands of God
Next week: Experiencing Revival Part 4: Hope