Have you ever heard someone say, "Attitude is everything"? How about, "His heart was in the right place"? Does attitude really matter? Let's see what the Bible says.
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing." (I Cor 13:1-3 ASV)
According to the Bible, attitude is important! We must have love! Anything we do without love is without meaning. Our attitude is important. Let's look at another example.
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets." (Matt 22:36-40 ASV)
Here we see that our attitude toward God is critical, as is our attitude to each other. This sounds great - all we have to do is love! The question is, what does God mean when he says to love? Is attitude by itself enough? Let's go back to the Bible.
"And this is love, that we should walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, even as ye heard from the beginning, that ye should walk in it." (II John v6 ASV)
It seems that the Bible defines love as more than an attitude! Love is following God's commandments. This means that we must have action in addition to attitude. Actions are important too! If our attitude is right, we will have the right actions! Love leads to action, therefore, if we have no action, we have no love. Let's look at an example of love leading to action.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him." (John 3:16-17 ASV)
God himself is an example of love leading to action. For God so loved that he sent Jesus to save us.
What will our love for God lead us to do? Jesus tells us to keep his commandments. "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments." (John 14:15 ASV)
Let us start by listening to God's word. "So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17 ASV)
Hearing God's word, let us come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24 ASV)
Believing that Jesus is the Son of God, let us do what he commands and repent of our sins. "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish." (Luke 13:3 ASV)
Let us also confess Jesus as Lord in the presence of men. "because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10 ASV)
As the first Christians were instructed on the day of Pentecost, let us be baptized for the remission of our sins. "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him." (Acts 2:36-39)
Having received the remission of our sins by the grace of God, let us walk faithfully in the light... "And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (I John 2:5-10 ASV)
... and continue to obey God. "So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13 ASV)
Love others by preaching and teaching the Gospel of Christ. "And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matt 28:18-20 ASV)
Work good toward all men. "And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith." (Galatians 6:9-10)
-- Zachary Van Tassel, June 2000 --