I remember it like it was 30 years ago . . . well it was 30 years ago. I was in high school and a classmate brought me a cassette to listen to in the car. It was a copy of a comedic routine with a religious focus. I want to remember that it was the first time I heard Mark Lowry, but it may not have been him. The comedian spun a tale of the influence his godly grandmother had on him, including hitting him over the head with a “90lbs Bible.” Then he turned serious for a moment. He confessed that he did not read the Bible as a young person because all he knew about the Bible was that it was a “bunch of don’ts” and he did not want to be told what not to do. He like most of us did not want anyone, even God, to squelch his good times. Then one day he decided to read the Bible for himself and he said he found out that the “Bible is a bunch of “do’s” and when you do the “do’s” you don’t have time to do the “don’ts.” That rang a chord with me. That made complete sense, why in my 17 years of life had I not figured that out. Now 30 years later, I want you to understand that simple truth. Jesus said the same thing using these words, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” (Mat 7:21).
While thinking about that comedy routine as I drove to the study this morning I thought I would share a list of things you and I can do each day to help us keep from doing the don’ts.
- Encapsulate your day with prayer. Begin a prayer when your feet hit the floor and you are still sitting on the bed. Close that prayer when you sit back on the bed at the end of the day. In other words, keep an open line of communication with God all day long. “Pray without ceasing” during the day.
- Engage your mind with the word of God. Spend 10-15 minutes reading or listening to God’s. Bible Apps like YouVersion will read to you. Reflect on that reading. Think about why it was written, what the author intended, what the first audience needed to learn, and what you need to learn from the text.
- Encourage others in their walk with God. Do this everyday as long it is called today (Heb 3:13).
- Enjoy life in Christ. Live in the joy of your freedom from slavery to sin. Live in the joy of forgiveness and Grace. Let me say it again, rejoice! (Phi 4:4).
- Evangelize, that is to say share the good news of salvation in Christ that is available to all. Tell others how great it is to live in service to God. Tell them how God blesses your life. Let them see Christ in your daily life.