He sat on our kitchen counter, lingering long past the others, desperately asking why he couldn't be closer to God. Why did he feel so far away? He read his Bible and it meant nothing. Yet he saw a difference in the other kids in our Bible study group. He wanted the peace he saw they had. He wanted a real relationship with God.
We talked long about sin and our need for a Savior, accepting Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us interpret what we read. And when he finally left hours later, I saw hope in his eyes I'd never seen before. I praised God for my new brother in Christ and vowed to help him in his faith journey.
You know the phrase, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink?" Yeah.
He did great as long as he attended Bible study, but when school got out and he went home for the summer . . . crash and burn. Big time. I didn't understand it. He'd given his life to Jesus. He studied the Word. How could he fall so quickly?
He completely disregarded a key component in a vibrant Christian walk.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Our friend read the Word. He knew OF it, but didn't DO it, stopping the words from transforming him into a new creature.
“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”
by John Stott
He didn't want to do that, and to be fair, many of us shirk at that too. We want the peace of God, the security of God, without cost or sacrifice. Like our friend, we're all guilty at times of wanting to live life according to our rules with God along as a safety net.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
We cannot thrive in our relationship with God without following His Word and letting it remake us. There are no shortcuts to obedience.
Will you maximize your efforts to become closer to God? Will you read and OBEY His Word?
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