“…so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work… “ (Col. 1:10)
According to Wikpedia (which never lies), “Modus vivendi : is a Latin phrase that means “mode of living”or “way of life.”
It’s your “normal pattern of living.” Wouldn’t it be something if it was shaped by Scripture?
Here’s three choices that you make towards what may be called “Biblical lifestyling.” It guarantees a life without regret and a life full of purpose and intention. It guarantees that when you look back, you don’t cry because it’s over, but you smile because it happened (to quote Dr Seuss).
First, Paul prays that you may “live a life worthy of the Lord.” When you understand what God has made you to be, that you are his child, cherished by him, your guilt and sin taken care of, and that God is your loving Father who protects you, guides and guards you, and when you see him in all his majesty and beauty then you will become concerned about whether your behaviour reflects his beauty, and what others will think of your God when they are watching you. That is a life worthy of the Lord.
“When I became a Christian two things happened. I got saved and I got loved. I got loved so deeply that it still amazes me when I think about it. Because I got loved so deeply, I want to please the One who loved me that much. I may not always please Him—sometimes I even run in the other direction, because His love can really hurt. I may chafe against pleasing Him; I may find myself in a very far country; I may not even speak to Him. But I’ll tell you something: I want to please Him and when I don’t please Him it hurts.”
― Steve Brown, When Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
That’s the second activity that Paul prays for, that they might seek “to please God in every way.” So, what quality of life is pleasing to God? Well, Hebrews puts the opposite perspective pretty clearly! “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Faith. Every time Jesus approved or commended people it was because of their faith.
“You have great faith”, he said to the woman who begged him to heal her flow of blood. “Your faith is great,” he said to a centurion who asked him to heal his servant. Whenever Jesus commends people for anything it is because they believe him and act on what he says. They don’t conform to the customs of people around. Rather, they swim against the current and stand firmly upon what he says, trusting him. And that is what pleases God. Faith is a gutsy warrior principle that treats God like a king. It’s simply knowing who God is and living life out of that knowledge
And the third activity Paul prays for is: “bearing fruit in every good work.” The fruit, always and everywhere in Scripture, is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, and peace, in our relationships and actions regarding others; concern, compassion, encouragement, and help in a time of stress, bringing a word of peace into a troubled, hostile atmosphere. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”
In every situation and circumstance that comes you way today, you make the choice how to invest. Maybe not much is going to happen (in one sense), but you’d be surprised how much difference you can make with a smile, a helpful word, a helping hand. And that is bearing fruit in every good work.
And somehow this reflection recalls that familiar old ditty:
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
(William W. Purkey)
Lord, help me to give myself totally to life today, and to watch as you bring opportunities my way, that I might live worthily, pleasingly, bearing good fruit.
Smiling because life happened.