Thursday, November 09, 2006

Practical Tips for Obedience and Change

In my last post I challenged every Christian reading it to consider God's commands for obedience to His Word and how that would require a person to change his attitudes, his actions, and his life in conformity with Scripture. That's a huge challenge. In fact, it is a challenge that will take your entire life!

So how would one go about this? Here's a suggestion for how to start. If you are serious about this, you should already be reading your Bible. The next time you are reading, ask God to reveal his commands, principles, and patterns to you. Get a journal and write them down. Then take some time to muse and pray over how you would apply that particular command, principle, or pattern to your life personally, to your relations with those in your family, to your relations with those in your circle of influence, and to the world at large. Each command, principle, or pattern will not necessarily apply to each of these realms, but consider each as you muse. And then make a point of actually applying what you are discovering!

Here's an example (I just went to a book of the Bible and looked to find a command.)

I found First Peter 4:9- "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling". First I would ask what "hospitality" means. If I'm going to show it to someone, I'd better know what it is as God defines it. Use a Vine's Expository Dictionary for this sort of works great for the layman like me!

So how do I show hospitality to my immediate family? Could it be in the atmosphere I create in my home? Could it be in how I express my love for each of them? Could it be regular meals around the dinner table instead of on the run?

How do I show hospitality to my circle of influence? Do I invite people over to share meals regularly? What kind of meal- fancy or normal? Do I make them feel a part of the family? Are they comfortable in my home? Do they feel the love of Christ in me and in my family as we converse?

How about to the world at large? Am I quick to invite someone I've just met to break bread in my home?

And of course, we can't forget the last part. How do I do this without grumbling? Prayer, of course. But what should my attitude be toward showing hospitality to anyone? Am I not showing them the love of Christ in a real, tangible way and thus witnessing a changed life in action? Does that not take grumbling out of it?

I hope this will challenge you to take seriously God's commands, and to strive to apply them daily in your life such that you look more and more like your Savior each day!

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