Monday is bin day, and also lawn day … at least for the last few weeks. Today I not only mowed the lawns but cut most of the edges. Normally I would use the weed-eater but today I used the skaap sker. Although it takes twenty times as long, the skaap sker is like a scissor and one is able to cut more accurately and far neater. It is back breaking because you kneel and bend forward … and the cutting goes slowly. It is painstaking.
Intentional Christianity is like this. Growth in holiness and godliness and Christlikeness that produces the Fruits of the Spirit takes time and hard work. It is “back breaking and painstaking”. Real Christianity is not for sissies and weaklings. It takes real men and real women to be real Christians.
All too often people think that the Bible is two books … The Old Testament (rather The Old Covenant or the First Covenant) and the New Testament (rather the New Covenant [or even the Last Testament or God’s Final Covenant]). But, the Bible is One Word–One Word from God.
Another problem is that many Christians think that Intentional Christianity started in the Gospels and Letters to the Churches by Paul, Peter, John, etc. I want to show you that Intentional Christianity started in the First Covenant.
Look at Deuteronomy 6, verses 4-9:
Dt 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This, especially verse 4-5, is called the Shema. Love God with ALL your heart, soul and strength; that is, with all your emotions, all your soul (spiritual dimension) and all your physical being. That is Intentional Christianity!
This calls for personal self-examination. Remember, like using the skaap sker is hard, back breaking and painstaking, so loving God with ALL your heart, soul and strength is spiritually back breaking and painstaking. It requires discipline and sacrifice and pain! It’s hard work, as verse 6 points out, to take God’s commandments, and this would equal ALL the Bible. Learn it to know and apply it to your life (heart, soul and strength). Verses 7-9 shows us that Intentional Christianity means an aggressive approach to life starting in the home and making the home an expression of your love for the Lord Jesus Christ to anyone and everyone.
May I ask that we who read this daily note do some serious reflecting on who we are, where we are and how serious we are about the Lord Jesus, obedience to the Scriptures and keeping in step with the Spirit.