Nehemiah 1:8-9 "Please remember what you told your servant Moses: 'If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored."
This is a prayer from Nehemiah and I like how it shows God's love for us in our working to obey. This is old covenant and the law but I feel it is the same with Jesus and the new covenant. When we are of the world and are sinning, we are scattered among the world. But when we turn back to Christ and live our lives like He did, we will be brought back. God can't be in sin so we separate ourselves when we sin, but He is right there to help us when we choose. We need to understand that it will take work on our part to continually die to self and obey what Christ has shown us. It is not a loose attitude of; I can live how I want and then repent and be good, it is the constant work of focus and growth that keeps our eyes fixed on the prize...Christ.
I really am amazed by these scriptures in Luke 13:24-27 which says, "Work hard to enter the narrow door to God's kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the Master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us' but He will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. ' Then you will say, 'But we ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets.' And He will reply, 'I tell you, I don't know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil."
Wow! How little does belief mean in our definition. Our walk needs to show action and constant growth to be like Jesus. It is calling us to not be perfect, but to work at it. In Nehemiah's prayer, it says, "...if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them..." When we accept Christ and live by His example, we show our love for Him and we are active. Don't be comfortable - be diligent, because God's love is greater than anything. Amen.