One of the hardest things for me to do as a parent is to call my kids (and my dogs) to account. When they do something to not meet expectations, it hurts me to have to hold them accountable. Nonetheless it has to be done. I love them and I want the best for them. They aren’t too keen on facing the consequences, but they come to understand it is for their own good.
God calls us to account too. He says that those He loves He corrects, He guides and prods. And why? It is “so that they’ll live at their best.” He wants the best for you. The best. Not second best. Not an okay life. Not a good life. THE BEST. So you will be prodded. You will be corrected. You will be guided. All because He loves you and wants the best for you.
Let us thank God that He calls us to account. Let us praise Him for His correction. Let us thank Him that He wants only the best for us. Now “up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!”
“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!” – Revelation 3:19 [MSG]
We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to share Jesus, to show everyone Jesus, to point to Jesus. This is not something that we can take lightly, and it’s not something that we simply pick up on when Sunday comes around. This is a 24/7 call from God. We don’t need to have a title, hold countless degrees, or have a class we teach on Sunday to obey this command. The Great Commission is all about a way of life.
Around the holiday season, we have Christians who wish to not offend anyone and to include all people, and so they say “Happy Holidays.” There are also those people who simply say “Merry Christmas,” whether they are believers or not. Then there are the others, the Christians who hear someone say “Happy Holidays” and feel this great need to “correct” the person. I’ve seen people tell a person they were “doing it wrong.” When I hear this, I think the person talking needs to consider that quite possibly they are “doing it wrong.” It is important to remember that Jesus wants us to share the Gospel, not shove it down someone’s throat. Jesus wants us to show love, not to put ourselves on a pedestal. Remember, we all fall short.
This holiday season, I hope you remember the importance of taking Jesus with you, and that it continues on throughout the new year to come. I also pray that you remember the importance of the 3 A’s.
Approach with care. Put yourself in the position of others. Remember that we are all unique. Do not try to force someone to see things your way. Jesus never forced someone to believe in Him and we can’t either. (1 Corinthians 9:22)
Absolute truth. Do not attempt to change the Word. Stand firm in your faith. It is okay to accept others, but it is not okay to try to tweak the Gospel. You can change your methods and your approach, but the Truth never changes. (Romans 1:18-25)
Always show love. God is love. If you are truly representing God, you are showing love. If you are not showing love, rethink your motives because if love isn’t present, God is not in it. (1 John 4:8)
Recommended Further Reading: Romans 12
I recently went to McDonald’s to pick up some coffee. I decided to give the person exact change when I was paying for my order. To my surprise, the man behind the counter was fumbling around to get me change. I thought it was a simple process to gather a few bills; however, he looked a bit confused. He was asking a co-worker for more coins. Time passed by and still I did not get my change.
After more time had passed, the young man began to hand me change. He handed me ninety-nine cents in coins and began to hand me some bills. I stopped him immediately, because I knew there was an error in that I gave him exact change. It turned out that the young man entered the wrong figure into the cash register and was therefore told the wrong amount to give back. He never thought for a moment that the answer was wrong, for his faithful machine always did the math perfectly.
There are people who do the same thing with God’s Word. They approach His Word seeking for something that will approve of their ideals. They text proof Scripture simply to make themselves look right. They don’t have an input method that is correct, and so they get an answer that is wrong.
Just like we must put the right figure into the cash register if we expect to get the right answer, so we must also approach God’s Word with the right heart. We must seek the Holy Spirit for guidance and we need to understand that God’s Word does not change. God does not change. His Word does not change. It is the same for everyone.
Approach the Bible not seeking to get 99 cents back. Approach His Word for the truth, for 100% of God’s truth!
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16 [NASB]
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 [NIV]
“You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.” – Deuteronomy 4:2 [ESV]