Thursday, April 7, 2011

Saying Amen, Analyzing, Nodding Your Head, Studying...But Not DOING IT

Francis Chan tells a story about a man who, before leaving for work, tells his children, "I want you to clean your rooms today." The children give him a hug and a kiss and then go about their day. When dad comes home, he pulls the kids together. "Did you clean your rooms like I told you?"

The children reply, "Dad, we love you. We heard you tell us to clean our rooms. That was a great command. We talked about your command all day. I wrote a song about cleaning our rooms and we sang it for an hour. We got in a circle and talked about the best ways to clean our rooms. We even pointed out the ways NOT to clean your room. We wrote a blog post titled '7 steps to cleaning your room.' And we went around and encouraged each other in the cleaning of our rooms. We even broke your command down and did word studies, highlighting the historical significance of each word. Then we..." Dad interrupted, "Yes, but did you actually clean your rooms?"


Great point, right?
Now, obviously it is good and right to study Jesus' commands in Scripture. It is helpful to sing them, teach them, memorize them, discuss them, etc. The Spirit of God leads us to do those things and encourages us and builds us up in the doing of them.
But what good is all of that if we don't actually obey the commands?

Jesus said:
Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49, ESV
Jesus gets right to the point, does he not? He is not playing around with us. He is not offering helpful suggestions. He calls us to bow to his lordship. He expects that his followers will, well, follow!

So here is the question. Are you and I building our lives on Jesus' commands or not? Do we do our money, our marriage, our parenting, our ministry, our entire lives in a way that looks different from our neighbors? Or not? Are the commands of Jesus making a difference in us, from the inside out?

Praise God, Jesus doesn't just give us commands, he gives us power to obey, and that power is in the gospel. Jesus died for us and took upon himself all our breaking of his commands; all our sinfulness and guilt and rebellion. He shed his blood to make atonement for us, and he rose from the grave in victory! Now he gives his Spirit to all who come to him in repentance and faith, to empower us to love him and know him...and obey him.

Be challenged. Be humbled. And then be encouraged.

By grace and by the Spirit, in faith, let's build our lives on Jesus' words. The storms of persecution and trial and temptation, and even final judgment, won't be able to knock us down. For we are on the Rock!

1 comment:

Paul said...

Great reminder. Satan will let us have our religion if it doesn't involve obedience to Jesus.