It’s the Little Things that Count

How important is God in your everyday life?

Most people who read this blog will agree that God is important in their lives or at least should be. They go to church most Sundays, they pray, they may even read their Bibles. By their actions they are saying that God is important in their life.

But attending church, praying and even reading your Bible does not necessarily mean that He’s as important to you as He should be.

It’s not enough to say He’s important. As the old saying goes, talk is cheap. It’s not even enough to do the minimum things that every Christian should do. God wants more than that.

When Jesus was asked to identify the greatest of the commandments (Matthew 22:34f), and He said, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, He was getting to the heart of how important God should be in our lives.

What does it mean that we are to love God with all of our hearts, souls and minds?

The Expositor’s Greek New Testament explains it this way: The clauses referring to heart, soul, and mind are to be taken cumulatively, as meaning love to the uttermost degree; with “all that is within” us.

In other words our love for God is to be complete, total (to the uttermost degree). Love for Him should consume us. It should be the focal point of our lives; the essence of our lives; the center of our lives. Our lives are to be wrapped up in God.

His truth (i.e. the Bible) is to inform every thought you think, every decision you make, and every action you carry out.

Love for God is not determined simply by the things that we so often use to gauge our relationship with Him (church attendance, how much we give in the offering, how often we pray, how many chapters of the Bible we read etc.), as good and as important as these things are. It’s determined by the everyday things, by the simple things we do that reflect His character.

When the everyday things of our lives begin to reflect God then we know that He’s becoming increasingly important to us.

It’s the little things that make the difference. It’s the little things that tell us just how much we really love Him.

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve

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What Does God Want From Me?

Ask any group of Christians the question, What is the one thing that God want from us? and you’re bound to get a variety of answers. God wants us to be holy. God wants us to be faithful. God wants us to evangelize the lost. God wants us to read our bibles. God wants us to pray. God wants us ___________ . You can fill in the blank.

All of the things that we think of as germane to the Christian life are good and necessary, but there is one thing that God wants above all else – He wants us to be known as people whose lives are guided by and whose every action is determined by the core value of love. The Christian life is really that simple. Just live and act in love.

We’re familiar with the greatest commandment. When Christ was asked to identify the one commandment that stood above all others He said love God, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). What is sometimes forgotten in the exchange between Christ and the religious leaders in Israel was His final comment – On these two commandments hang all of the Law and the Prophets. That is, the issue of love of God and love of others summarizes all of our moral duty towards God and towards each other.

The Apostle Paul picked up on this theme in the book of Romans and wrote: For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 14:9-10

Christ had already defined the concept of neighbor in the gospel of Luke (Luke 10:29f) to include people more than just our friends. If the parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us anything, it teaches that our neighbors are people who don’t look like us; people who don’t like us and who we don’t like (there was a mutual dislike between the Jews and the Samaritans); people who are not in our socio-economic class; and people we would rather not be around. That pretty much includes everyone you can think of. Now the Apostle tells us that if we are truly living out the gospel we will never do anything that will bring harm to anyone who fits that description.

The reason that love is the fulfillment of the law of God and the essence of the Christian life is because you can’t commit adultery or murder or steal or lie or covet if you are acting in love. Those things and many more, are contrary to the concept of love. The point that both Christ and Paul made was that any action that is harmful to another person is outside the realm of love and therefore outside the realm of the Christian life.

Love always acts in ways that is beneficial to other people. Whenever our actions add value and benefit to the life of another person we are acting in love. When our actions do not add value and benefit to the life of another person we are not acting in love.

What God wants from us is simply to act in loving ways towards each other. If we do that we have done all that God wants us to do.

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve