The Christian Life
Living God's Way
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." 1 John 5:3
In the midst of the fast-paced, stress-laden lives most of us live these days, it's important to take time to find out God's advice for living. This can only be done by persistent and thoughtful reading of God's Word, the Bible.
Some clever Jews asked Jesus what the most important rule of life was. He replied that we must love God above all; then he added that we must love our neighbour just as much as we love ourselves. (Gospel of Mark, chapter 12)
Now, "love" is a big word and can have many shades of meaning; but what does the Bible say?
The Apostle John wrote quite a lot about loving God ; for example: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5) In saying this, John was repeating the advice of earlier Bible teachers, such as Moses, Nehemiah, King David, and Jesus.
According to all these God-inspired men you can't prove that you love God just by saying so; you have to carry out His commandments in your everyday life . and, of course, to know these commandments, you have to read the Bible thoroughly.
That's loving God, but what about loving your neighbour?
Loving our neighbour
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, chapter 13, explained that Godly love is not self-centred, demanding, and over-bearing. Those who have it live a life of service to others, tending to their needs, not complaining about injustices suffered, but getting on with the job. Some people would probably call these Godly ones "naïve" or "suckers" or "soft in the head". God, however, values them highly.
It's really a good idea to see how Jesus' rules of life fit the Ten Commandments that God gave through Moses to Israel. (See Exodus 20)
You can see how the first five commandments line up with Jesus' teaching to love God : Put God first, worship no idols (such as material goods?), take time out to reflect on God's ways and His requirements, respect parents (who should be God-fearing guides for their families). Ex. 20:1-12
Jesus also said we should love our neighbour as ourselves . Ex. 20:13-17: God's people will not commit murder, adultery, theft, slander or deeds of envy against their neighbour. Jesus translated all these "negatives" in a positive way.
The importance of prayer
To live this way, we need God's constant help, so let's take Jesus' advice to "pray always and not lose heart." God answers the prayers of those who seek to live the Godly life.
All Scripture quoted is from the N.K.J.V.
To find out more about this topic complete the Online Bible Basics Course.