by Thomas Hawk
I remember the exact moments when my two sons were born as being the most exciting and happiest times of my entire life. As excited and happy as I was at those moments, I knew it was only the beginning of a long journey raising them, and I also knew it was a major commitment we had made to bring these children into the world. It is much the same when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; that is why it is called being born again. In fact, the similarities during our walk through life, while following the teachings of Christ and maturing in faith, is very much like a child growing to be a responsible and mature adult. Being born again is only the beginning of a long spiritual journey.
Our churches do an outstanding job of teaching about the love and grace of the Lord, of which there are more than can even be imagined. However, very often they leave out the part about our responsibility, as a Christian. The Bible is clear about what God expects from us as we make a commitment to follow His teachings.
The first is to turn from sin. When we become a Christian, God’s love and mercy pour into us and salvation is ours. Through the Holy Spirit, we are given the tools to live a righteous life, but it is not automatic. We are given power over sin, but it is through the hundreds of choices we make each day that determines our relationship with Christ. There are too many verses in the Bible that tell us to “turn from sin” or “make every effort”, (which means this is action on our part) for us to think we can just go to church on Sunday and live the rest of the week the way we did before knowing the Lord. Our commitment to Christ is demonstrated by the many choices we make each day. Do we choose to turn from sin and follow in Christ’s footsteps or to we follow how society says we are to act.
The second is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. Christ teaches us this is the greatest commandment, but how do we do it? Do we sit in church each week saying “God I love you”? No it is much more than that. Soon after giving us the great commandment, Christ tells us we show love for the Lord by doing for those less fortunate. We are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, comfort to the stranger, clothe the naked, look after the sick and visit those in prison.
It is estimated that 80% of the people in this country are Christian, which means if we are living as Christ teaches, there would be far less problems than we see today. Following Christ’s teachings is like walking on the narrow path through the small gate. It is not always easy, but through our daily choices, we should chose to walk along this narrow path, not just the path of least resistance.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant: What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit http://www.CatholicOrProtestant.com to learn more about the book and to register for FREE newsletters that include an article he sends out weekly.