To Avoid or To Abide

Many Christians live in a state of avoiding sin. I know because I have been there. It’s a dreadful way to live. My prayer is that as you read this, you will begin your journey to real freedom in Christ. We are not called to avoid sin with entrapment and fear. We are called to live and obey in love with mercy and grace.

If following Christ is about all the things you can’t do, who wants to be a Christian? My goal isn’t to teach my children the Bible is a book of rules/laws, but that the Bible is an amazing story about LOVE – how incredibly much God loves us. And about redemption and restoration. About how He – the creator of the universe – wants to be in relationship with us. Now that is something to Wow! about. And that is someone I want to follow and obey.

Christ won people over on earth out of love, not by going around and telling them what they can’t do. He told them what TO do. We are not going to win people to Christ by telling them all the things they are doing wrong. We win people to Christ through loving them.

I received a Bible guide for my child’s bible recently. The concept is to mark specific verses in the Bible with tabs according to categories so that the child/parent can easily find it to use for a teaching moment. I love this idea. The Bible is our guide for life and teaching our children to go there under any circumstance is so good. And then I started reading the categories:

Anger, Complaining, Defiance, Disobedience, Fighting, Lying, Stealing, and on and on.

What? I want to teaching moments be out of love and positive, not telling them everything they are doing wrong and not to do it. A brilliant friend of mine came up with the idea to recreate this concept with the following categories:

Forgiving/Grace, Self-Control, Giving, Humility, Hope, Thankful, Joy, Love, etc.

 Let’s us teach our children what to do over what to avoid.

God created the law for us, we were not created for the law. And not obeying the law is sin. But when we focus our every day on avoiding sin and upholding the law, we end up falling into sin. We automatically obey when we are in constant communication with the Spirit. And when we understand, even a little bit, about how great and deep Gods love is for us, there is nothing more we want to do than obey. Following the Spirit’s lead on a daily basis is the only way to obey consistently.

There is so much freedom in Christ when you live in Him and quit living to avoid sin. It will dramatically change your life. He will lead you to places you never thought possible. He will ask you to do things you are not qualified for. And He will prevail and be faithful. He always is.

 1 John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

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