My fifth resolution is to study the bible and not form my own idea of what it means. The Lord asked me an important question a few months ago. He said, “Where can deity dwell? Many lift their hands in worship and sing Hallelujah but their homes are legacies of chaos.” I repented that day and went home to earnestly seek out if I was the one he was speaking about because I really want to live a holy life. Not a religious life, there is a HUGE difference.
I’d like to live a life that honors God. One that looks different than my neighbors. I want to live a life that glorifies the Father and doesn’t stain the name of Jesus. That means I have to live out what the bible says and not what my excuse is. It means that maybe I have turn some shows off that are just not healthy for my family to watch. It means that just because every other kid on the block is getting drunk at parties doesn’t mean mine have to be. It means that I am not going to bring my children to wrath by standing in church and saying one thing and going home and doing another. It doesn’t mean I am going to be perfect, or that God expects me to be, but there is a long way from excuses and perfection.
I was praying for my TLC women because I saw something that struck my heart. I have a nice big group when we do self-focused bible studies. In other words, when I bring a study that is helping the women overcome some of their life struggles then they LOVE it! When I do a bible study to study the word of God for it’s own merit, they don’t love the study or me as much. They don’t do their homework. They drop out in record numbers. I was praying that their private commitment of ‘what’s in for me’, becomes a core commitment of ‘my testimony is not the only way to help people’. Knowing the word of God, for the word’s sake, and not my own, is what’s important. As their leader the buck stops with me, what am I not communicating to them? I have to accept that responsibility.
We all know what the Lord hates. Yet we call ourselves believers and then continue to sin. We can’t keep talking out of the both sides of our mouth and continue to have any sort of testimony in our communities. Pastor Mark Crow preached a message in which he quoted statistics on church attendance. He said the builder generation the generation of WWII was 65% churched, the Baby Boomers were 32% churched, the Gen Xers were 16% and this new generation is 4% churched. See, we said we loved the Lord but we didn’t teach it to the next generation and if we did it did not match our walk.
If we are going to rationalize the word and make excuses as to why we are addicted to porn or alcohol or shacking up with our significant other or have a society where we take pride in being called a baby mama or baby daddy then we really can’t say we are believers. The words and the actions don’t match up and actions speak louder than words. And our kids are watching what we do not what we say. Lord let us become the women you’ve called us to be and not women who say one thing when our lives clearly show another.