A new year. Seems like each new year lately has brought new social problems, new controversies, new debates, new political aspirations, and lots of other new “stuff.” Seems like each new year I look to my own attitudes, my faith, my love, my desires to see if they have become more Christ-like or not. And every new year I am somewhat satisfied and at the same time somewhat disappointed in my spiritual life.
Someone asked me a question recently that brought my focus back to the simplicity of Jesus. Too often men complicate faith by adding their own sets of rules. The Pharisees did it to the commandments of God by adding rules and regulations that hampered the ability of people to live for God.
The church has been pretty good at that also. We like our details, our rules that bind our faith – even to the point of excluding others from it. Yet, serving God is not complicated.
John tells us serving God is keeping His commands and doing what is pleasing. Then he takes it one step further and defines God’s commands (and surprise—they can be reduced to two). “…we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us.” [1John 3:22b-23 HCSB]
Two commands: We are to have faith in Christ Jesus, and we are to love one another. Can it be more simple than that?
I sense that God is leading me to search and discover the simplicity of faith in Jesus this year – a straightforward faith bound up in two commands. I know God wants me to discover what really is pleasing in His sight, unfettered by the rules of men.
LORD, lead me by Your Spirit, change my heart to focus solely on You this year. Help me to discover depths of faith I have never know, and a love for mankind that never loses its passion. Amen.