Life At Its Best: Living life by the book
Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:12 a.m.
By Jim Graff
As a young adult, I had the opportunity to deliver Bibles to underground church members in the Soviet Union. Though it was a risky and somewhat scary process, I soon forgot any danger I was in as I watched the faces of those precious people receiving their gift. They stood in awe, their eyes welling up with tears, holding their Bibles close to them, as if to never let them go.
Their reverence for God and devotion to His Word was inspiring. They recognized that the book they grasped so tightly held the power to radically change their lives. They were confident that as they got God's word on the inside of their hearts, they'd develop a hunger to live out the truths printed on its pages. Then, as they put that truth it into action, they'd find true, lasting favor from God.
In Deuteronomy 32:46-47, Moses revealed the same truth to the Israelites. Moments before he went to heaven, he told them, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day . They are not just idle words for you - they are your life. By them you will live long in the land." They are your life. That's what Moses said about the words written in the Bible. What did he mean?
The Bible is like our life's instruction manual. It teaches us how to live throughout each season we're in. In it, every broken heart, sick body and discouraged spirit can find the hope and healing they need to experience a better tomorrow. But in an instruction manual, do you enjoy the finished product simply because you read it? No, you actually have to do what it says. You've got to devote yourself to carrying out its plan step by step. And it starts on the inside.
We've got to deal with our core first if we want our commitment to living by God's truths to last. If we don't, we'll become discouraged by problems around us, and before long, we'll settle back into our old way of life. You might be thinking, "Well, I know the Bible. I can spit out Scripture all day long." But is what people are seeing on the outside a true representation of what's on the inside, or if they got a deeper look, would they see something different?
Sure, knowledge looks great to the human eye, but God makes it clear in his word that his eye is on our hearts first. Because once we get our hearts right, we'll naturally develop the desire to outwardly express it in a way that's pleasing to him. So, let's allow the truth of God to change the way we think and approach situations. Soon, our actions will follow, and we'll begin experiencing the result of a God-inspired life. Remember, these are not just to be idle words. They are your life.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.