My parents have family rules. Even now that all of us kids are adults, there are still certain parameters and guidelines that we are expected to live by, especially when it comes to our interaction with each other. Anyone else who joins the family—by marriage or by birth—is expected to adapt to the family code of conduct. It’s not always easy and we don’t always like it, but in the end, we’re all still family and we still love each other.
God has adopted us into His family. And, like my parents, He has a set of rules and guidelines that we are expected to follow as members of the family.
God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules, but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 (NLT)
If I decide that I no longer want to play by my family’s rules, I’m not only being rebellious, but I am telling my parents and the rest of the family that I no longer respect them and cannot be bothered to act in a manner fitting to be part of the clan.
We do the same to God. He has called us to a higher standard of living than the one we lived before we came to Him. He has grand plans for all of us—if we follow His instructions. But if we make the decision to disobey Him, we are not only letting down our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are essentially saying that God is good, but not good enough and that His plans and purposes aren’t worth our effort. We not only reject His rules, but we reject God himself.
So, if we don’t feel like living up to God’s standards, what does that say about how we feel toward salvation? If God isn’t enough, was Jesus’ sacrifice enough? Was his message not worth his time and effort?
My parents haven’t laid out guidelines for the family to be mean or spiteful, they’ve done it so that we can continue to have fruitful relationships with each other. God has done the same. All of the rules He has given us are not to take things away from us, but to prepare us for the great things He has in store for us.
These rules aren’t such a bad thing after all.
Daily Bible reading: Isaiah 59-61, 1 Thessalonians 4