Bible Stuff That Won't Bore You

Spiritually immature Christians are not short on guidance, they are short on obedience

There is no shortage of inspirational moments within Christianity, everything ranging from exciting guest speakers, tweets from our favorite authors, weekly sermons that speak to us, intimate moments in small group Bible studies, revelations in the Word, etc…, but why is it that so few of these moments actually lead to real life change, because of our rebellion, and lack of obedience

Christians Are Not Short On Guidance, We Are Short On Obedience

Let us face it, no matter how much something has an impact on us when we first understand or hear it, there is no guarantee we are going to change our lives because of it

I mean seriously, how often have we read an amazing passage in the Bible, listened to a great sermon, read an inspiring post, had an inspiring conversation with other believers, read an amazing book, etc…, and gotten all fired up because of the impact it had on us, but then turned around and did absolutely nothing to change our lives–more often than not!

In my own life, I surrounded myself with a ton of things that I did not actively follow or apply, whether it was the music I listened to that talked about how much we loved God, the books I read (if I finished them at all) that talked about deep theological truths, the sermons I listened to that focused on righteousness, etc…, and I saw that without obedience, there was not a lot of change in my life, mainly because I was not doing anything to apply those lessons in any way, I just felt good hearing them, acknowledged the truth behind them, but that was about as far as it went

Now, we are not supposed to condemn one another because of our walks, but we have to be able to realistically assess where we are, and how sincere our efforts are to live as God wants us to, as personal assessment, support, and accountability are incredibly helpful when seeking maturity

Lamentations 3:40
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves

Hebrews 3:12-14
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first

It is embarrassing, but consider all the different types of teachings we have listened to but wound up ignoring, everything ranging from living righteously and letting go of sin, loving others, seeking intimacy with God through prayer, only dating/marrying Christians, giving to the poor, gaining godly wisdom through Bible study, forgiving others, etc…

It is staggering how much godly knowledge we hear without making any effort to apply it to our lives, what is the point of hearing it in the first place then, that is like eating food but intentionally receiving no benefit from it

James 1:22-25
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does

It is interesting that James says for us to “not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves”, as many Christians enjoy feeling inspired, but very rarely does that inspiration lead to anything godly in their lives, yet they still find some sort of comfortable, momentary fulfillment in it

Why do we selectively choose to honor some teachings and not others, do we serve a God who has a history of giving bad advice or has proven himself to be untrustworthy?

Of course not!

Not to mention, what goes through our heads to make us think we know better than God when it comes to anything?

We Do Not Follow What We Are Taught Because We Do Not Want To, Especially When There Are No Immediate Consequences For Disobeying

Shockingly complicated, I know!

Almost any kid who thought they had a free grab into the cookie jar when they thought no one is looking will tell you how simple this equation is, as when we think nothing bad will happen if we disobey, we are most likely going to do what seems most beneficial for us at the time

What is upsetting, is how many Christians live this way in terms of fighting sin, as God does not punish us the instant we sin or do something wrong, our judgment waits for us after this life takes place

Romans 14:12
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God

Which leads one to question why so many want call themselves Christians, but then do very little to actively pursue Gods standards of righteousness, love, and wisdom

I mean honestly, did Jesus die so we can receive forgiveness, then turn and live how we please, serving only ourselves?

I am pretty sure the answer is no!

The simple fact, is many Christians accept God for his love, forgiveness, and blessings, but do not want to accept how he commands us to obey his truth by living righteously, seek holiness in all we do, love others as ourselves, and do so many other things that are inherent to his character–all of these things require us to obey, even when we want to do the complete opposite

Nobody ever became mature or overcame sin because they constantly chose their own will over God’s commands

The worst part about our widespread rebellion and disobedience, is that we disobey for reasons that are usually no better than completely irrational, self-serving statements such as:

“Someone else will help the poor, it is not my calling”

“I know it says not to do this in the Bible, but God wants me to be happy”

“If God did not want me to do this, he would not have put it in front of me”

“God will forgive me anyway so it does not matter if I live this way”

“That was written a long time ago, our culture is different now”

Whoa, wait a minute this just in: when God commanded us to live righteously according to his standards, he did not exactly put an expiration date on his instructions, and there is no mention of us being allowed to overrule God’s commands when following them means changing our lives in ways we do not feel comfortable with

(What, who knew!?)

Having an attitude like this will keep our faith, and relationship with God, weak, which is exactly where the enemy wants us, ie: living a lukewarm Christian life, convinced everything is okay, yet being far from the one we profess to serve

Living Disobediently Keeps Us From Becoming Spiritually Mature, And From Living In A Way That Pleases God

Apart from the fact that our sin separates us from God (read more on this here:, all throughout the NT, as Christians we are called to obey God’s truth as an expression of our respect, gratitude, and love for him–all of which reflect our spiritual maturity

As Christians, despite all the “you are fine just how you are, there is no need to change your life because you will go to heaven no matter what, and God loves you exactly the same no matter what you do” messages out there (check the same link above for information on these topics!), obedience is an incredibly important point to consider if we are seeking spiritual maturity, and real life change

For example, Paul taught how our faith in God should manifest itself outwardly through obedience to God’s truth, he did not say we should accept Jesus and then take a relaxed attitude about sin, continuing to follow our old, self-centered, worldly desires–our faith should be visibly expressed through a change of both our hearts and lifestyles!

Romans 1:5
Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

Peter took this point even further, by saying we are called specifically “for obedience to Jesus”, not just to receive his forgiveness, blessings, etc…

This is the same thing we are told in the OT as well, when it says our “whole duty” is to fear God and keep his commands

1 Peter 1:2
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man

Really think about that, we are not called to simply receive God’s blessings, we are called to live obediently, ie: upholding God’s standards, and obeying his will, not our own

This can seem difficult for many, as the topic of obedience is not often taught in churches, mainly because people focus on how we are welcomed into God’s family with love when we first put our faith in Jesus, but this needs to be followed up with teachings that help Christians understand how important obedience is when seeking spiritual maturity, and intimacy with God

Our spiritual maturity is demonstrated in by our obedience, righteousness, and sincere love for both man and God, not by living sinfully through continual disobedience, only the spiritually immature, with a weak relationship with God, go on rebelliously sinning

1 John 3:6
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God

This makes sense though, as a lifestyle of disobedience is like saying: “God, you are awesome, thank you for all the love you have given me, but I am still going to live however I feel like, regardless of what it says in the Bible, but I still expect you to answer all my prayers, help me when I am in trouble, shower me with blessings, and I am looking forward to cashing in that free ticket to heaven when the time comes!”

…uh, yeah right

We all know sin can be a struggle to overcome, but when people choose to hold onto it without a desire to change that is much different, as living like that involves flagrantly ignoring God’s instructions in a way that shows no love, gratitude or respect

Just like a child who continually disobeys their parents, thinking they know what is best but really have no clue, this kind of continual disobedience is a reflection of spiritual immaturity, as we continually seek to live in a way that pleases us, rather than God

Disobeying God Will Always Lead Us Away From Righteousness, And Will Prevent Us From Living In A Way That Pleases God

Whoa what?

Romans 6:16
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 8:8
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God

Colossians 1:10
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God

1 Thessalonians 4:1
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more

(Paul is specifically telling people that they were taught how to please God, and encourages them to live in such a way, which shows how we may have the knowledge of how to please God, but it still requires effort on our part, just like James said below:

James 4:17
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins)

A lot of Christians get uncomfortable when reading passages that show how it is possible to live in a way that is not pleasing to God, but in response to that, I challenge anyone to find a single verse that shows how God is pleased with people who continually, rebelliously, disobey him–it does not exist

What people misunderstand, is that when God called us, it was not an invitation to live as we already did, it was an invitation to get to know him personally, passionately, just like he wants to know us, and to live righteously, reflecting his holiness, and love, in all we do–God made this possible through the power of his spirit living within us

However, learning to live this way is only possible if we obey his commands, which is the kind of gospel we should be eager to not only live by, but to spread as well

Living Disobediently Makes Us Terrible Witnesses, As It Misrepresents God’s Character And Power

God does not exactly need more lukewarm Christians professing their faith while denying him through their hypocritical, disobedient lifestyles, he has those types of followers in abundance

Which is why learning, and teaching, obedience is such an important concept, as Paul not only instructed us to live obediently as the result of our sincere faith, but to call others to the same obedience in Christ when we witness to them

We are not called to lead people to a lukewarm Christianity and the promise of no strings attached blessings, we are called to teach others to obey all of God’s commands, just as Jesus commanded us, which is the only way to a passionate, intimate, fulfilling relationship with God that will change our lives–everything else is just a powerless shadow

Romans 1:5
Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith

2 Corinthians 9:13
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else

John 14:15
If you love me, you will obey what I command

2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands

Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

One of the biggest issues the church today faces is spiritual immaturity, which can be seen in how people hold onto sin, live for themselves, and act as though God is not one to be greatly feared as the awesome, all powerful creator of the universe

When these types of spiritually immature people talk to others about Jesus, they often lead them to an incomplete gospel, one that talks about God’s promises, forgiveness, blessings, etc…, but rarely focuses on the more challenging aspects of Christianity, mainly: obeying regardless of whether we want to or not

Again, Jesus did not instruct us to teach others to obey some of God’s commands, but all of them, which includes completely ridding our lives of sin, giving to the poor, not being caught up in worldly lifestyles, living selflessly in all aspects, and loving others just as he loved us

John 13:34
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another

What is absolutely heartbreaking, is that despite how many people claim to put their faith in Jesus, very few Christians make a real, consistent effort to live selflessly, and in total obedience to God, just like Jesus did

1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did

No matter how many inspirational books, videos, Twitter feeds, guest speakers, Bible studies, etc… we surround ourselves with, none of these things will help us mature unless we honor what they are trying to teach us–God’s commands require us to actively obey them in order to see their benefit, we cannot be lazy about our growth and expect to achieve any kind of positive results

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