On September 11, 2001 life in America changed. On that morning we saw heroes emerge, we saw the great stuff of which many Americans are made. The Bible tells us that “greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” We will never know how many men and women laid down their lives to help another—but we know it happened.
Most of us will never be asked to give our lives for another—so in the everyday world of rodeo how does a cowboy do what a Christian ought to do?
Jesus told us to love Him and to love one another. He told us the world would know we are His disciples because we love one another. LOVING HIM and LOVING OTHERS—that’s what we ought to do. It is easy to say we love God and love others, but do we really know how to do it? We are told in the Bible.
The Bible says that if we love God we will obey Him. Love of God without obedience isn’t love. Obedience without loving God and others isn’t true discipleship. It takes obedience done with love. Some find it hard to love and some find it hard to obey—many find both hard.
There is so much to read and learn in the Bible often it is hard to sort it all out. Psalm 119 has 176 verses and tons of information. Let’s look at Psalm 119 and what it says a Christian ought to do. When we love someone we want to spend time with them—the key to Christianity is our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our relationship is developed by the time we spend with Him and learning about Him.
The Psalmist tells us: to study the Bible and reflect on God’s ways, (119:15) to ask God to help us understand His Words (119:26), to reflect at night on the Bible, (119:55) to concentrate on the commandments, (119:78) to hide the words of the Bible in our heart, (119:11) and to try our very best to find God. (119:10) We are to quietly keep our minds on God’s decrees (119:95); thinking about them all day long (119:97,99).
As any NFR cowboy or cowgirl knows—perfect practice is a key to winning; and in Psalm 119:33 we are told to practice God’s commandments with all of our heart. In learning a rodeo event, we watch and learn from the best and then we try to do it. Verse 7 tells us that when we learn God’s laws we should thank Him by living as we should. Learn from the best, Jesus Christ, and then do it. Have a thankful attitude and put into action all that you learn.
The author of Psalm 119 made wise choices in his life. “He pondered the direction of his life and chose to turn and follow God’s statutes.” (59) He chose to believe in God, to trust in God, to put his hope in God, to obey God, to follow God, to be faithful to God, to pray to God, and to praise God. His choice was final. “I have chosen to be faithful, I have determined to live by your laws.” (30) “I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise again: I will obey your wonderful laws.” (103)
The right attitude toward God and the Bible is discussed in Psalm 119. As we just saw in verse 7, he is thankful to God. In verse 29 we are told it is a privilege to know God’s Word. He asks God to give him guidance and to give him an eagerness for more of God’s truth. (119:19, 34) Over and over again in the 176 verses we see the total commitment the author has made toward God. (119:8,40,44,101,106,112,168) Nothing will make him stumble, not any circumstances of life, nor any lies about him, nor any torment from other people. Even the threat of death will not cause him to waver from obeying God’s truth. He is focused and nothing will distract him from obeying God. (119:51, 61, 69, 78, 83, 87, 95, 110, 115, 134) The Psalmist enjoys, delights, and loves God and the Bible. The Bible is his source of hope. (119:14,16 47,111,114)
When we carefully compare the commitment and attitude that the Psalmist has to God and the commitment and attitude that any NFR cowboy or cowgirl has to their event—we see many similarities. Winning cowboys are focused. No matter what the circumstance they are giving all they got to win—they have great heart. They have practiced long and hard. They think and talk continually on their event and how to be better. They watch other champions and try to see what makes them good. They love rodeo, it is their life.
All winning cowboys and cowgirls have what it takes to be awesome Christians—because you have heart, perseverance, and determination. All you need to do is take all that gut and grit and ask God to help you have the same eagerness towards Him that you do toward rodeo.
Read your Bible, study the life of Jesus, and then practice with all your heart. Everyday make it your goal to be more like Jesus. Begin right now to enjoy God and His people. Delight in and love God and the Bible. Make Jesus Christ your source of hope, make Him your life. Then you will not only be winners in the rodeo arena but also winners in the arena of life.
What A Christian Should Do!