I recently read a bit of a Jerry Bridges book called ‘Holiness Day by Day’. It really humbled me as i thought about what it means to obey God and live for him. Read it for yourself:
Have you thought about what it means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, NIV)?
Here are a few obvious aspects: You seek fellowship with Him and long to gaze upon His beauty (Psalm 27:4). You rejoice in meditating on His Word and rise early to pray (Psalm 119:97; Mark 1:35). You always delight to do His will (Psalm 40:8). A regard for His glory governs and motivates everything you do (1 Corinthians 10:31) – eating and drinking, working and playing, buying and selling, reading and speaking, even driving. You’re never discouraged or frustrated by adverse circumstances because you’re confident God is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). You’re always content because you know He’ll never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
Or look at what Jesus called the “second” commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NIV). Among other things, this would mean that you never show selfishness, irritability, peevishness, or indifference in your dealings with others. You take a genuine interest in their welfare and seek to promote their interests, honour, and well-being. You never regard them with prideful superiority or talk about their failings. You never resent any wrongs they do to you, but instead are always ready to forgive. You always treat them as you would have them treat you.’
Do you begin to grasp some of the implications of what it means to obey these two commandments? Most of us don’t even think about them in the course of a day, let alone aspire to obey them. Instead we content ourselves with avoiding major outward sins and performing accepted Christian duties.
It’s quite astounding when we think specifically about what it means to obey our Lord isn’t it? We certainly fall very far short. But let’s remember what we saw in Colossians this week at church “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Col 1:22). And let’s also fervently pray, just as Paul did, that we would live a worthy of the Lord, pleasing him in every way (Col 1:10).
A great reminder that the only way we’ll ever truly grow in “holiness day-by-day” is through a deeper appreciation of all that is already ours in Christ Jesus. Trying harder just won’t cut it.
Jerry Bridges is usually a pretty good read though. I think my favourite book of his is “Transforming Grace”.
Thanks guys for reminding me of step 1 in Christianity – appreciating what Christ has DONE for us. Sounds like a great book.