Rule Book or Play Book?
This is a recent text conversation between a husband and wife.
Wife: “What is so wrong with me? Am I a terrible person?”
Husband: “You are a great person. I am thankful for u. Not many women would have done what you have done. I am grateful for that and I love u for it. I try to make u happy because of it. I don't feel in debt to u because of it but I try to give u happiness because of that fact and the fact I love u. You're not in debt to me either. I chose to help u, I didn't have to. You don't owe me anything for it. I hope u love me more than u would have because of it. I'm happy ur my wife. What are u wanting to be mad about so much? The past is gone. It's over. Yes, it took me a long time to get over it. I'm not mad about it anymore and u should not be mad at urself any more about it. We have moved past it. We should be happy that we have. Maybe if u focus more on what u have to be thankful to God for, u will be mad less. Maybe if u spent more time learning what He has promised, u will have more to look forward to. Maybe ur still hanging on to ur past too much. What are u afraid of, being happier, feeling satisfied? It's not a lack of possession that is the problem, it is a lack of a closer relationship with God that is. The closer u get to Him, the closer u get to everyone else in ur life. Look at me. Look at how much closer I have gotten to u. Look at how much more time I spend with u. Look at how much closer I have gotten to the children. Look at how much closer I have gotten to ur family. I'm not telling u this stuff because I know it all or I have it all figured out, I don't. But I have been and I am sharing with u how much better I have become because of the Lord. I'm not against you and the children aren't against u. We are on ur side, we love u, but we are human too. Kids, all kids, don't have the capacity to think like we do as adults. They aren't trying to make u look bad at ur family’s house, they are just living. Children are selfish creatures. They learn how to not be selfish as they grow. They haven't learned how to control their emotions in situations. They don't think in those terms yet. U have to get past the point of thinking that we are out to get u. You will soon have 2 teenagers raging with emotions. We need to brace ourselves. We have to be understanding and remember what it was like for us at that age. We have good kids. They are respectable, they do good in school, they help around the house. Do they get out of line sometimes? Yes, all kids do. I guarantee we have some of the best kids in town. Please, I'm begging u, spend more time reading about God, listening to music that lifts u up and praises God. Stop reading and listening to things that are counterproductive and don't do anything for ur soul. I'm telling u, u will see a difference in the way u feel and act. It's not about being holier than thou or putting on a good show. It's about honoring God. I promise that when u do it and u feel 100% better about everything, u start realizing that the Bible and living the life that God wants us to live is more about us and our benefit than it is about Him and our praises. He gave us this stuff so we could live a good, peaceful, fulfilling life that would bring Him honor and glory in the process. It's more about that than anything else. How much glory can u bring God by being angry? How many people will be attracted to Jesus by witnessing your anger? How much glory will u bring to God by being happy and satisfied? How many souls will turn to Christ because they will see how great ur life is even though u had so many challenges and problems to overcome? That's what brings people to salvation. When they know ur story and see ur victory, they will want to know how to get that for themselves. U have more opportunity to bring people to Jesus than most of us do. U have an opportunity to live a victorious life and show people that there is a God just by living out the Gospel. Not the rules of it, but the results that come from following the rules. Jesus loves u and so do I!!”
Wife: Did you really mean what you said during our argument?
Husband: “No. I said a lot I am sorry for. I really think ur a great person. I just don't understand why u fight and kick against me so hard about everything, especially living for Jesus. I'm a failure myself. I'm really trying to do what God wants me to do. I've never felt better at attempting anything else in my life. I'm not perfect either. If I am going to say I know anything for sure, it is this, Jesus changes people for the way, way better.”
After reading the above conversation, I had a revelation. If you think about it, living according to the word of God is really more for our benefit than it is for His. Yes, we bring Him honor and glory by living life by His rules, but l think about how much more it does for us in our lives. It makes me realize how much more we should be thankful that we serve such a selfless and giving God. He gives us way more than we deserve.
If we can stop viewing the Word of God as a “rule book”, and start looking at it as a Book of Promises; our attitude about the whole idea of Christian living changes. There is promise after promise after promise in God’s word. He is giving us instruction for a healthy life full of joy and peace! Most of us look at it and think, “I don’t want anything to do with it.” Now, I think to myself, “What took me so long to come around?” Looking at the Bible as promises instead of rules gives you the eyes to see how much God loves you that He would give you a “playbook” to have a great and wonderful life! We are so blinded by the image of God standing over us with a finger pointed at us, telling us what we are doing wrong, that we can’t open our eyes wide enough to see what is really going on. And that is the fact that Almighty God, God of the universe that can do whatever He chooses, chose to love us little, peon humans so much that He made a way for us to live great lives. He gives us so, so much. It is really unbelievable and overwhelming to think about the goodness of God. He could have just said to love Him, honor Him, worship Him, and don’t expect anything in return. But instead, He gave us a boat load of promises that He would keep if we simply obeyed His word. Here is what really takes the cake and makes this such an easy choice, obeying His word is a “playbook” to avoid a life of corruption, sorrow, debauchery, upset, and pure chaos. Think about it, God gives us a template to follow in order to have a great life, then, if we follow the template, He rewards us for it?????!!!! Why would anyone not want to be a Christian???!!!!??!!!?!??! The best part of all of this, we get to serve Him in the process. When we serve Him, it completes the deal and gives us a great sense of accomplishment and completeness.
If you’re sick and tired of the “rule book”, then please, turn your life over and surrender to Jesus today. He will give you the “playbook” for a successful life, all you have to do is ask! God bless you all!
Read the Book of Ephesians