It’s back to school time and this means new opportunities to learn, grow, and enrich lives through education. Yet, as crucially important as education is in the development of our children, teenagers, and college students, every one of us who names the name of Christ needs to evaluate how we are growing, learning, and developing in our spiritual lives.
Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Our Lord was fully man and fully God and lived a perfect life of obedience to the heavenly Father. But in his human existence, the Scriptures teach that Jesus grew physically, grew in his learning, and also grew in his relationship with other people as well as God. We cannot fully understand all of the intricacies of how this happened in Jesus’ life, but we do see an example of our Savior growing and learning.
One of the key areas of growth that I believe many Christians need to focus on is in the area of obedience to Jesus. Many may give lip service to following Christ and to living according to His Word. Many people say that they love Jesus and want to live a life that honors him. But do our actions back up our words?
How do we actually express our love for Jesus? Listen to Jesus in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And also in John 14:21: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” The apostle John also echoes Jesus’ words in 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
All of these passages clearly link loving Jesus to obeying Jesus. We actually show Jesus that we truly love Him by our obedience to His commands. As a Bible-believing Christian, do you pick and choose which parts of the Bible you want to obey? Do you treat God’s Word like a menu at a restaurant where you only pick that which “tastes” good to you? You may probably never admit that you tamper with God’s Word, but when you don’t obey ALL of it, you’re showing that you really don’t love Jesus.
For us as Christians, the Bible is the sole authority and foundation for our relationship with Christ. The Scripture is infallible, inerrant, inspired, and powerful. Our God is a God who has spoken. He spoke the creation into existence by the power of His Word. He spoke His Law to Moses on Mount Sinai and commanded him to write it down. God spoke through the prophets of Old. God spoke through John the Baptist. And Jesus is the ultimate Word of God through whom God has spoken. And Jesus has left us with an inspired written Word that is fully trustworthy and demands obedience.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Some people may think that the Bible only “contains” the Word of God and that the writings themselves are not inerrant or inspired. But notice how Paul says “All Scripture”—in the original language that word means the “writings”. In other words, what we have written down in our completed Bible is inspired, sufficient, authoritative, and binding upon the Christian.
If we really want to show Jesus that we love Him, then we must obey Him fully in all that He has revealed to us in His written Word. I encourage you to make a commitment today to obey the totality of Scripture no matter what our culture may say about it. Our culture, and even some Christians, think the Bible is an outdated, old-fashioned book that is not in touch with our more evolved society that has progressed to a deeper understanding of life. Don’t buy into this lie that is the spirit of the age, but instead commit yourself to truly loving Jesus by obeying His Word.