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A Life of Balance
How can we lead a balanced Christian life? What basic principles do we need to follow? Let us begin with the most important foundation of all: “loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Do you remember how you felt when you first accepted Jesus as your Saviour? How much you enjoyed reading the Bible, and how you looked forward to each church meeting? When nothing was more important than learning all you could about being a Christian and pleasing God in all that you were doing? Taken from Ch. 1
How can we lead a balanced Christian life? What basic principles do we need to follow? Let us begin with the most important foundation of all: “loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”
Do you remember how you felt when you first accepted Jesus as your Saviour? How much you enjoyed reading the Bible, and how you looked forward to each church meeting? Do you remember that nothing was more important at that time than learning all you could about being a Christian and pleasing God in all that you were doing?
Speaking to the church at Ephesus Jesus rebukes them for forsaking their first love for him –
“But this is what I have against you; you do not love me now as you did at first. Think how far you have fallen! Turn from your sins and do what you did at first. If you don’t turn from your sins, I will come to you and take your lampstand from its place” (Re 2:4-5; GNB).
It is a good idea to take stock of your life every now and then and to ask yourself these questions: Do I still have the same enthusiasm and the same excitement about Christian life as I did when I first believed? Do I love the Word of God and the fellowship of the saints as much as I did when I first became a Christian? Have I allowed other things to enter my life which take more of my time than the study of God’s Word? Do I love God with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength?
A memory: In the year 1949 when I was fifteen years of age my older brother James and I attended a regular Friday night prayer meeting at the home of Mrs Batts, a member of the Adelaide National Revival Crusade pastored by Leo Harris. Along with about 25 others we crowded into her tiny lounge room and prayed for revival and for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with signs following. After these meetings James and I found it hard to tear ourselves away from listening to our friends who enjoyed talking about different aspects of the Bible which were all new and exciting to us.
This was the year after Israel had become a nation and four years after the Second World War had ended, with the atom bomb destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Bible prophecy indicated that these two historic developments could be signs of the imminent return of Christ. Constantly, week after week, we were so caught up in this and other discussions that we waited too long to catch the last bus to our suburb of Panorama. In those days hardly anyone owned a car so if you missed your bus or train you had to walk. We were five miles from our family home, but we thought nothing of the journey. We were so caught up in the wonder of our relationship with the Lord we continued to talk together about the Word of God as we walked home. This is a precious memory and one that gives me one way of measuring my love for the Lord many decades later.
Jesus’ teaching: When asked by a teacher of the law which was the most important commandment -
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear: O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these’’ (Mk 12:29-31).
Loving God with all your heart: The heart contains the emotional or moral nature, as distinguished from the intellectual nature of man.
There are many scriptures with reference to the heart, pointing to all aspects of our human condition. Here are some of them -
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sa 16:7b).
“I have hidden your word in my heart; that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119: 11).
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Ps 139:23).
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:10).
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Mt 5:8).
When purity is lost –
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come” (Mk 7:20-21a).
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted” (Tit 1:15).
It is extremely hard today, to keep our minds pure because of the evil that is so rampant in our society. Some, though by no means all, of the things we see on television, in magazines, and films, as well as the evil of pornography have drawn many people down into a cesspool of filth.
To protect ourselves, we Christians must be very careful of what we allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear. We can do much to protect ourselves, and we should do what we can.
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