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Seeds of the Kingdom

Checklist Christianity!

by Andy Taylor

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment.
Matthew 22:37-38, NLT

Imagine the scene… Throughout life a man is told that in order to be a ‘good husband’ he should ‘do’ certain things for his wife. If he does them, she will know that he loves her and they will have a happy marriage! The list might include things like: have a daily hug, tell her you love her each day and buy flowers every week. To make his ‘job’ as a husband easier, he might even make this into a checklist – just to make sure he doesn’t forget anything.

Let’s be clear, everything on the list is great, but what happens if it just becomes a list of jobs to be done? They are now done out of a sense of duty rather than a heart of love. How would the wife feel? That the words are empty? Would she question her husband’s love for her?

Has this checklist mentality crept into your relationship with God? Do you have a list of things you ‘must do’ in order to be a ‘good Christian’. This list might include; praying twice a day, reading the Bible every morning and giving to the poor. Again, all of these things are fantastic, but what happens if they are being done out of a sense of duty rather than a heart of love?

The truth is that God just wants relationship with us. He wants the motivation behind our actions to be love for Him rather than duty. The above verses talk about the quality and quantity of love that we should have for God. We are to love Him with ALL our heart, soul and mind. That basically means that we are to love Him with everything we are. The challenge for today is to ask God to rekindle our love for Him so that our life is no longer dominated by a checklist but rather a love that comes from our whole heart, soul and mind.

Prayer: Forgive me Lord for times when my heart and my actions have not been joined – when I have done the right thing, but for the wrong reasons. Help me to be so motivated by love, that to serve you is a joy and not a chore. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Andy Taylor is Director of Ellel Grange, UK National Director and is a member of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries. He joined the team in 1991 and has served the Lord at Ellel Ministries centres in the UK, Australia and the USA. Andy is married to Cath and they have three boys.


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