As Christians we often focus so often on what we cannot do—all those “thou shalt nots”—that it is amazing we can endure. Our faith becomes negative instead of positive. It is all about what we do not do, not what we do. That may explain why so many of us are bitter and why we never manage to spread the good news—to us it isn’t such good news.
It also explains why we lose so many of our children. Your home should be a place of safety, a place of contentment, a place of love and laughter. It should be a haven for your children and their friends. Do you want to know where they are, what they are doing, and with whom? Make your home a pleasant place to be, not a prison they hope to break out of someday, and you will know where they are, because home is where they are, and where they want to be.
Christians should be known for what they do, not for what they don’t do, for who they are, not who they aren’t. If your friends were asked to describe Christians based on their knowledge of you, what would they say? “Christians are people who don’t drink, who don’t gamble, who don’t go to clubs, who don’t curse, who don’t engage in non-marital sex, who don’t smoke or take drugs, who don’t watch certain movies and TV shows,” and on and on. Or would they say, “Christians are happy, generous people who help others whenever a need arises, who are always having people in their homes—you can hear the laughter going on all evening. They are honest and forgiving. You know you can trust them because you never hear them gossip. They are pleasant to be around and seem to be able to handle anything life throws at them, and handle it well. They are the best people on earth. I wish I was more like them.”
God has always promised his people “fat” lives. He told the Israelites they would have a land flowing with milk and honey, Ex 3:8. When Nehemiah brought them back from captivity, he reminded them that they had taken fortified cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns hewn out, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit-trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in [God’s] great goodness, 9:25. But they focused only on the restraints of righteous living instead of the blessings, finally fell away to the heathens whose lives they envied, and God sent them away to punishment.
Yet still, He had Ezekiel tell them of another good land, a Messianic kingdom that would bring joy and peace. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture; and upon the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel, 34:13,14. That is exactly where we find ourselves today, in that “fat” Messianic kingdom, so why do we so often insist that the life of a Christian is a miserable one?
God has never required “fat-free living;” in fact, He has promised just the opposite. Concentrate today on the peace that living as a child of God brings to your life. Focus on the joy of salvation and the fellowship of a spiritual family. Contemplate the good in your life. The rest of the world deals with addictions, legal problems, disrupted families, purposeless lives, and finally, illness and death without hope and comfort. Talk about a negative life.
Go out and enjoy the fat in your life today.
The thief comes not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly, John 10:10.