What We Should and Shouldn’t Do

March 22, 2013

What We Should and Shouldn’t Do

            The good life results from knowing and doing what we should and shouldn’t do.  Some think it’s the result of being at liberty to do as they please.  The problem with that is that some things we find pleasure in doing are detrimental to us and others around us.

God has a plan for your life and mine.  Part of his plan is revealed in his Word and the other part is revealed to us as we walk in close fellowship with him.  God doesn’t demand that we let him take control of our lives.  He wants us to take control of our own lives, but we should live it in accordance to his will.

We need to have it clear in our mind that being a Christian doesn’t mean that we let God take over our life and make our decisions for us.  That would make us robots in his hands.  It could be that we sometimes give people reason to think that that is what is meant by surrendering your life to God.  Yes, we need to make a decision, but that decision needs to be to live our life in accordance to the will of God.  It is a recognition of the fact that God is an all knowing and loving God and that it’s to our advantage to do what he says.

People are reluctant to let someone else take control of their lives.  They would rather make a mess of their life rather than let someone else direct it for them.  If we let someone else take control of our lives, then they have to take the blame if things go wrong for us.  That’s why God gives us what is called “free will.” That means we have liberty to do as we please, but we have to suffer the consequences if things go wrong for us.

As long as we live in a human body, there are things we must and must not do.  When it comes to moral choices, it’s best that we, as adults, think about what we should and shouldn’t do.  If we do wrong, there are consequences we must suffer.

Strength of character is formed by making the right choices about right and wrong.  Some people are slow to learn.  They keep making the same mistakes.  The mature person is the one who knows and does what he should or shouldn’t do.

Most adults are free to make their own choices.  Some might think that when they are on the job they have to do what their boss tells them to do.  That’s true, but if they choose not to, they can quit their job.  Prisoners are deprived of their liberty.  Someone else has the authority to tell them what they can and can’t do.  For about two years I had a weekly Bible study with prisoners in a prison in down town Buenos Aires.  When I asked them what their prayer requests were they nearly always said, “Pray for my liberty.”

God’s people have two reasons for doing what is right.  The first is one they share with all of humanity.  It’s because it’s to their advantage to do right.  There are times when it’s easier to do wrong than right, but in the end we are the winners if we do right.  The second reason for doing right is because we love God and want to please him.  Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  What we do out of love is sometimes a sacrifice, but it’s never grievous.  We do it because we choose to do so.  I John 5:2-3 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.    For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

Salvation is not attained by taking our hands off our life and letting God take control.  It comes when a person recognizes that he is a sinner, condemned by God, and deserving of his judgment and chastisement.  Then he asks God for forgiveness for all the wrong he has done and accepts the sacrifice Christ made on the cross that made it possible for God to forgive him.

The Christian life isn’t lived by taking your hands off your life and letting God take control.  It is for us to take control of our life and live it the way God says we should.  It is a surrender to the will of God, but still it’s a matter of free will.  Some may misinterpret Romans 12:1-2 which says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” It’s not a “once and forever” presentation of our bodies.  We need to keep on presenting them.  The Apostle Paul said “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:27).  By that he meant that he kept it under his control.  We also need to have our minds renewed.  That also is a continuing process as we keep on learning what God’s will is and we keep on choosing to do it. That learning is greatly facilitated by having a time alone with God every day for reading the Bible and meditating on it.  It is also facilitated by faithfully attending a good Bible preaching church.

Yes, Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).  By that he meant that there is no other way to enter into the kingdom of God. To be born again is to be born into God’s family as one of his children. That too is an act of our will.  We don’t have to if we don’t want to, but if we don’t, we will remain under the condemnation of God as it says in John 3:18.  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

If a Christian brother or sister talks to you about your need of being born again, it’s not that he or she wants to take over your life.  They are just telling you what you should do.  The choice is up to you.  Please don’t resent or reject what they tell you.  They are doing it out of love.  They want God’s best for you.

 

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

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