“The Gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere. . . any additional rules made to govern men’s conduct added nothing to the perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence
~ John Wycliffe
As a young child growing up in a family of seven my evening moments alone in my bedroom were quietly spent searching scriptures. At night I would go to bed and look up in my Bible topics weighing heavy on my heart. Some of the issues of interest were anger, love, forgiveness, happiness, prayer, power of God, God’s will, and many more. The gospel alone at that time was sufficient.
Some where along the line of growing up I started to turn to other people’s self-help books to give me more answers. After several years of traveling on the self-advice tour of words I returned to the word of God. It didn’t take me long to discover something I already knew, the fact that His word was sufficient. It was all I ever needed and truly all my heart ever wanted.
The sad thing about getting our guidance straight from the word of God is the fact we like to change what is black and white into something more gray and colorful. Soon it appears we need some kind of color chart to make sense of it all.
We quickly turn what is sufficient and make it insufficient in our hearts. I was told once by someone that a lady in the church was justified getting a divorce because no where in the Bible does it say she was in the wrong because she wasn’t the one who started it. There was no doubt about it her reason for the divorce was a mighty one but trying to twist and justify what was going on by saying “the Bible doesn’t say this so it must be okay,” or the “Bible doesn’t word it exactly that way so we’re off the hook.
As much as we would like the Bible to “spell it out” for us it’s not going to each and every time and we have no business trying to do that ourselves. The Bible is a tremendous stepping stone to greater blessings that makes a big difference between positive living and negative living.
The key to this blessing is sticking to what it says not to what we want to read in or out of it. Thou shall not steal means just that, thou shall not steal. That is sufficient. Frequently because it doesn’t say exactly what is wrong to steal we think we can add our own color of indifference and say, “Well it’s only the big stuff that counts under this. He doesn’t mean those petty little things no one notices. Things such as the candy bar in the store, the grape off the bunch in the produce section, the hour in the evening that could have been used better, the office supplies that seem to find their way home. Before we know it what was adequate becomes inadequate because we made it that way.
Surprisingly enough we don’t require additional rules or regulations to live by. Although we may need help interpreting some of the things God says like when he was talking about, “the first will be last, and the last will be first.” Or what does it mean to take up your cross daily. What cross is He talking about? Those kinds of questions come and go but trying to read into what He says about stealing, adultery, coveting, love, anger and such to the point its of no use to our spiritual well-being is not for us to do.
We come with an owner’s manual, the Bible, and we don’t need to re-write it but live by it using His words and directions to guide us in our Christian walk. Soon the outcome shows up in our road to perfection in Christ as we spell-it-out in our actions and spill-it-out in our hearts.
God and His word is adequate, it’s when we make it inadequate or insufficient that the road to perfection in Him becomes blocked. The choice is ours and we need to make it a good one.
Our host today is Esthermay on her blog, The Heart of A Pastor’s Wife. Get on over there and join in and read what others have to say about today’s fantastic quote.
© 2010 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing