Options to Live By

In Front Of Three Doors
Consider a few reasonable and honest questions. What if the Bible is not the authoritative Word of God that it claims to be? What if it is simply a book of myths and legends, or a composite of history and fiction? What if the Bible, though filled with inspirational messages, lacks the divine element?

If this is true, then the Bible has no legitimate jurisdiction over anyone, and no right to govern our lives. We are completely on our own, free to find our own way and determine our own values. Purpose and meaning in life now originate within ourselves.

If the Bible is not true, then Jesus was wrong, millions have been deceived, the Christian faith is worthless, and as the apostle Paul said, “those who have hoped in Christ are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Logically speaking this is one possibility.

On the other hand, what if the Bible is, as it claims to be, the living Word of the living God? Then it has ramifications for every person, dead or alive, and one day, each of us will answer for what we have done with this Book.

We’ve considered two logical options: we can dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, ignore its message and go about our life, or, we can believe the Bible, embrace its teachings and live our lives according to it. To me, either one of these two options is understandable.

What I find to be paradoxical and totally irrational is a third group that lies between the poles. Members of this group say that they believe the Bible, and yet they’ve not submitted their lives to it. They might even swear by its authenticity, yet they do not live in accordance with it.

This reminds me of the parable Jesus told about two sons (Matthew 21:28-31). Their father told them to go and work in the field. One said, “yes” but didn’t go. The other said “no” but changed his mind and went. Jesus then asks the Jewish leaders, “Which of the two sons did what the father wanted?” The answer was obvious. Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom ahead of you.”

Why did Jesus speak so harshly to the Jewish leaders? Because they represented the first son. They gave verbal acknowledgment to God and His Word but didn’t go out and live it. The tax collectors and prostitutes represented the second son who initially said “no” to the fathers request, but when they heard the truth of the gospel, they changed their minds, and their lives.

And so, it is not the ones who say they believe, but those who put their beliefs into practice, who are doing what the Father has asked.

Sober words. Options to live by. Tell me what you think.

5 comments to Options to Live By

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Your analysis is right on. If we believe the Bible is God’s word, then our obedience should be a no-brainer. But we keep fighting that kind of obedience. I am convicted of my need to study, meditate, and memorize the Bible so that I have God’s word in my heart and mind — to know it better so that I may obey Him more fully.

  • Holly Steadman

    Agree. Verbal acknowledgment to God or about God and His Word is not the same as really believing Him and His Word, and consequentially living it. So–count me in with the tax collectors and prostitutes, the sinners (that are blessed to know it), the poor and the powerless.
    Love these sober words.
    This also brings to mind: “Therefore everyone who hears these Words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on The Rock. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house. Yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on The Rock. But everyone who hears these Words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7, end of chapter.

  • Tony

    I am reminded, personally, of people that I know who claim to “know” God, but by their actions; both verbal and physical, they may “know (head knowledge) a bit about the God of the bible”, but their lives do not demonstrate that they “know (heart knowledge) the Man of God”. I cannot say that I have never been there, but now that I am there, praise be to God, I do know the difference. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:21″ “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7.”

  • Vickie

    I think that this subject is one of the most discouraging issues I have with other believers. I just don’t understand why anyone would just stop after being saved and don’t appear to make any efforts to feed on the Word and live every area of their lives according to its teachings or at least strive to. I believe I don’t have the option of ignoring it or deciding I just can’t live it, because I believe it is Gods message to me and if I love Him, and I do, I must meditate on it and make it my guide to direct everything I do. To say you trust Jesus as Savior and not treat His Word as the way He communicates His will, does not allow Him to be Lord. It is no wonder the church has problems attracting the lost. It challenges us to stay excited about His Word, share it in love and with expression, so this light of ours, gives light to all that are in the house. Matthew 5: 15