DO or DONE?

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Someone at my church sent out an email saying that he created a poster/flyer that he hung over his computer at work, reminding him of what God requires, including the Ten Commandments, the Great Commandment, etc., as well as his favorite Psalm. I think that is a great idea! I replied to the email, NOT with a correction, but an encouragement/reminder of what motivates us to follow God’s commands. Here is my reply:

It is admirable that you are striving to please God in all that you do, and finding ways to remind you of His Word throughout your day. Psalm 96 is an awesome song of praise to our God! I would just like to encourage all of us to remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is GOOD NEWS, not a To-Do List. Our “do’s” are ALWAYS rooted in His “DONE.” All of Paul’s letters begin with at least a chapter or two of reminding us what Christ has done, before getting into what we must do. His amazing love for us motivates our service for Him. We tend to skip over the indicatives (what God has done) when we’re reading the Bible, and focus on the imperatives/commands. The imperatives in the New Testament are basically showing us what our lives can look like when we begin to grasp the amazing grace of God. The love of Christ compels us! (2 Corinthians 5:14) We must “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” if we want to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

I have found that if we focus on what we must do instead of what He has done, we will either be proud because (we think) we are doing it, or discouraged because we know we can’t do it. We WILL run into a wall. We WILL have bad days. But the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel is that God’s approval/acceptance of us is based NOT on our successes or failures, but on Christ’s perfect righteousness! Hallelujah!

One thing I like to do to help me focus on what Christ has done as motivation for my obedience and service to Him is highlight the indicatives and imperatives in my Bible with different colors. I use PINK for THINK (indicatives) and BLUE for DO (imperatives). (I use yellow for prayers and orange for warnings). I love that I can even do this in my Kindle Bible/iPhone!

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Here is a little article that explains the indicative/imperative idea better than I tried to explain it. http://theresurgence.com/2010/12/04/be-who-you-are-indicative-imperative

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. Romans 16:25-27

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

In Christ,

Gayle

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