As somewhat of a detail person, I give myself some slack. However, when it comes to dealing with people who score 25 on a detail scale of one to ten, I go nuts fast.
If I can envision the first three steps, I am good. I can figure out steps four through ninety-nine as I proceed down the trail of discovery.
I admit that I run the risk of interpreting God through my own wiring. I trust Him to give me some slack.
The God I read about in the Bible never keeps His people in the dark as to His expectations.
In dealing with the children of Israel, God used several chapters in the Book of The Exodus and the entire book of Leviticus spelling out in infinite detail the law for the Israelites. Throughout the remainder of the Old Testament His message to the children of Israel is how much He loves them. Reverence, honor, and love are what He desires in return.
The storyline In the New Testament is again one of God’s love. That love shows supreme in the sacrificial gift to His children.
In the New Testament God’s expectations of me are found in the life of Jesus. He wants me to love God with all of my being and to love my neighbor as if he were me. I find details of that love in Jesus’ sermon on the Mountain.
The Acts and the letters of the New Testament show the Holy Spirit demonstrating the love of God and the teachings of Jesus in the daily life of the church.
The New Testament lacks the detail of law keeping. Instead, it is a story of God’s grace.
There were times in my life I used the analogy of a blueprint for my understanding of meeting God’s New Testament expectations. I was wrong.
God does not seem to be concerned with excess detail. He is concerned with an obedient heart.
This is my current understanding of God’s expectations of me:
- He wants me to love Him with all of my being.
- He wants me to accept Jesus as the atonement for all of my sin.
- He wants me to live out the values and teachings of Jesus.
The Acts and the letters show the church’s attempt to live out these values. At times, the church was astoundingly successful; and at other times, the church failed miserably. However, it was always Jesus’ church. He never failed to claim those committed to Him who did not always get it right.
Here is the good news for me. I attempt to love God with all of my heart and soul. I accept Jesus as the one who forgives my sin. I did so by participating with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection through a watery grave. I attempt to live out His teaching and His values. For me, the neat part is—He gives me room to be His witness.
I can move forward with my God-wiring of creativity to help others see Jesus in His brightest and most attractive light.
I am thankful God nailed the rules to the cross so I can freely serve the resurrected Jesus.
Stay tuned. – Gary J. Sorrells – On Cross Church