The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul… a great reward for those who obey them. Psalms19:7,11 (NLT)
Many people misunderstand God’s intentions in giving us principles and guidelines for our behaviour. They believe that they need to follow all the rules they find in the Bible to earn God’s love.
Although following God’s principles is the best way to live a great life, they are not the way you gain God’s acceptance.
Imagine a loving dad writes out ten house rules for his children. They might include “Don’t play on a busy street,” and “Don’t open the door to strangers.” What is the purpose for his rules? To protect his kids! If one breaks a rule, will he disown them? Will he require his child to earn his or her way back into the family? Of course not!
God gave us principles in the Bible to help protect us from doing things that cause irreparable damage to our minds and to our relationships with others.
Following God’s principles is wise…but it doesn’t get you into God’s good books. According to Romans 10:9, when you “believe in your heart,” accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you become part of God’s family. Notice that it doesn’t say ‘when you follow all of God’s rules.’ It says when you “believe.”
We all make mistakes. Although these mistakes cause us to suffer consequences, the consequences do not come from God. By choosing to follow Jesus, you are accepted as you are. As you learn more about God and spend time with Him, He empowers you to follow His guidelines and live life His way—the best way.