Living the Christian Life (a 16-part study)

What do Adam, Eve, Aaron and King Saul have in common? They all blamed someone else for their sin and never took personal responsibility for their action. Let's see. When sin made its entrance and God confronted Adam, Adam replied, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." And in her defence Eve replied, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12-13) Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent; it was everyone else's fault. Sound familiar?

The end of another year is upon us and we face 2012. This would be a good time to reflect upon our life and see if we are making a difference in our world. For some the past year will have seen the passing of dear friends; this can serve as a timely reminder that one day we will die. And what will our life have counted for? Will our light have shone brightly, will our salt have been felt, will our example have impacted others, will we have left a worthy legacy to those who follow, will we have made a significant difference to others?

What do a successful marriage, a successful business and a successful expedition have in common? They all possess clearly defined goals. The people in them are focused, they know what they want and they will remove any obstacles that would prevent them reaching their goal.

When Paul preached the gospel in the region of Galatia it was received with enthusiasm resulting in many conversions to the Lord. In his letter to those churches he recalls their reception of him: “You welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself…I can testify that if you could have done so, you would have torn out your own eyes and given them to me.” (Galatians 4:14-15) Fond memories indeed. However, the liberty they enjoyed through the gospel was being attacked - with some success - by false teachers who had infiltrated the church with a message that contained strong emphasis on works as the way of salvation. Some of the believers had been influenced by this teaching; hence Paul’s question: “What has happened to all your joy?” (Galatians 4:15) Their move away from the gospel had killed the joy they once had.

A Christian law student writes, "Proverbs 23:4 says not to weary yourself to obtain wealth. Does that mean that biblically one should not work 80-hour weeks? Does that rule out my accepting a job with a large firm that requires those kinds of hours?"

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God…" (Hebrews 10:19-21)