A to-do list without the Cross is just a list

Posted by Matt Lane on March 19th, 2011 filed in Bible, Bible Reading, Christian Living, Church

I’m not a list person but my wife is. She makes lists all the time and she stays mega organized with them. My brain doesn’t like lists but they would probably help me. But a list to me looks like a lot of work and well, it’s demotivating.

The Bible has lots of to-do lists too. Colossians, Ephisians, I Peter, Romans…there are lists all over. The problem with lists is that everyone is accustomed to lists and because most people are lazy (myself included), we just want to skip right to the bottom line and ask what do I need to do here? The why is just not as important it seems.

Yet for me and I suspect for a lot of other people, a list of to-do’s even from the Bible is hard to keep. Have you kept the most famous list? You have kept all of the ten commandments? Really? I have not. Not even close.

So what is the answer to long lists of things that we can’t possible keep and can’t possibly measure up to?

The answer is Jesus and what he did on the cross. Okay that sounds pretty churchy and spiritual. But honestly, reading any list from the Bible apart from the sacrifice that God gave through Jesus is moralism and is just practicing a religion.

What is motivating to me is knowing more fully how incredible God is and how holy he is. And how much he has done to rescue us. And finally understanding how much I am not worthy to even talk to God and yet he always listens to me! That motivates me to want to serve him more authentically every day because I know I will not keep all the lists but Jesus’ death on the cross has paid for my mistakes and God looks at me through the cross and picks me back up. Grace is amazing like that.

So if you ever hear a lesson or a sermon that is just a list of things, remember that Jesus is better than a list and that the list is just there to point you back to God and cause you to worship him more deeply. And try not to punch the person up front in the throat with your Bible.


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