Someone once said that God doesn’t care how many Bible verses we memorize as long as we love others. But the Bible is where we find our definition for what love is and our demonstration of what love does. Knowing what God has to say about love keeps us from forming our own opinions about what is right and wrong about how we feel and treat other people. It also reminds us of His steadfast love for us despite our faults, flaws and failures. This helps us be loving towards others who, like us, are in need of grace. God cares that we know the Bible because that’s how He prepares us to care for others.
Many people see God’s commandments as a life-draining set of rules that is unpleasant, unnecessary and unwanted. They are seeing them wrongly. Do you know how bridges are designed, built and maintained for our safety? By “rules.” Do you know how meals are prepared, served and consumed for our nourishment? By “rules.” Do you know how music is composed, recorded and performed for our delight? By “rules.” God has decided how things should work for our … Safety. Nourishment. Delight. God’s good design for all things in our lives and in our universe is not life-draining; it is life-giving.
Admit it, some days are a blur. We wake up and it’s a nonstop rush throughout the day to not fall behind. You know what the cure is for being overwhelmed, worried and frustrated about the many things on our schedules? Making the right choice to spend unhurried, undistracted time with Jesus today so He can refresh us, reorient us and ready us for what He knows is coming next. It’s the most important part of our day, and it should have the most intentional part of our schedule, because it’s the most influential part of our lives. We’re not too busy to spend time with Him; we’re too busy not to spend time with Him.
How much authority does the Bible have in your life? How is it shaping the way you see the world, the way you see polarizing issues, and the way you see yourself? How fully and frequently do you rely on it as the final say in how you live? The Bible isn’t an out-of-date, out-of-order, out-of-touch book with no real relevance for us today. It is God’s Word that still speaks today telling us what is good and bad, right and wrong, true and false, beautiful and ugly, necessary and frivolous, wise and foolish. God intends for us to seek it out and live it out as the ultimate authority for the Christian life. Indeed, it is where life is found.
For genuine, growing Christians, our relationship with Jesus increasingly influences how we live. As we turn to the Bible and turn its pages, we learn of His good plans for us, His gracious promises to us, and His guiding presence with us. Only when we regularly read and respond to the Bible can we be who we were made to be and do what we were made to do. That’s why it is essential that we… Read it. Pray it. Live it. Share it. If your ultimate aim in life is to be as happy as you can and bring as much honor to God as you can, there is no substitute for the nourishing, encouraging, strengthening, transforming Scriptures.
God wants us to be happy. When He tells us in the Bible to do, say, correct, believe, feel, think or share something, it is not to take away our happiness; it is to take away the things that are in the way of our full and lasting happiness. We must trust that God is after our happiness, that He knows best how to bring about our happiness, and that what He tells us in the Bible is designed to lead us into happiness. Doing what God tells us is not always easy, popular or instantly gratifying. But it is always for good, always better in the end than sin, and always the best option for making us truly, ultimately, and eternally happy.
You can talk yourself into just about anything. Other people will try to talk you into something. Only God will talk to you truthfully about everything. There are many voices that speak into our lives such as family and friends, news and social media, advertising and entertainment, and especially ourselves … but the loudest (most influential) should be God. We are being shaped by influences all around us which is why it is essential that each day we read God-breathed words in the Bible and listen to God-sent voices who speak His truth to us. When we listen to Him… He won’t just tickle our ears; He will delight our souls.
Followers of Jesus take steps of faith in our day-by-day “walk” with Him. Wherever He leads, we follow in the same direction, one step at a time. In loving obedience. With humble dependance. For a blessed experience. While there are many places we will go and things we will do, there are four basic steps that every Christian never stop taking until they follow Jesus all the way home: Pray. Read the Bible. Respond to what tells you. Help others do the same. This is how God is honored in us and we are happy in Him. Certainly we will take mis-steps along the way; but Jesus will never let us permanently lose our way.
Defeat doubt by preparing for battle in advance by filling your heart with the truth of God’s Word. In advance, because doubt appears without warning. With the truth of God’s Word, because doubt arrives with lies. The enemy will attack you in times of darkness because it’s hard to see him coming, and it’s hard to see the situation for what it really is. So, start your day in the light by saturating your heart with a good and accurate picture of God’s graciousness and faithfulness so you can remember those truths and promises when darkness falls. Never forget in the dark what God has shown you in the light.
Our thoughts have the power to shape us, for better or for worse, so we must let our minds land most often on Jesus. His Good News message is full of life-changing truths and promises that will guide us into a right perspective on every life issue. It changes how we see our past so we can know real freedom from guilt and shame. It changes how we see our present so we can know real purpose and peace in the midst of busyness. It changes how we see our future so we can know real hope as we joyfully anticipate what lies ahead. The more we think about Jesus, the more it will rewire how we think about everything else.
God wants us to be happy. When He tells us in the Bible to do, say, correct, believe, feel, think or share something, it is not to take away our happiness; it is to take away the things that are in the way of our full and lasting happiness in Him. We must trust that God is after our happiness, that He knows best how to bring about our happiness, and that what He tells us in the Bible is designed to lead us into happiness. It is His grace at work when He tells us what to do, gives us power to do it, and delights us in Himself as we do it. God’s way is not always easy, popular or instantly gratifying, but it always leads to real joy.