I'm a person who likes lists. Give me a list of things to do, or a list of groceries needed and I'll work that list and get things done. When that list is done, give me a new list. I find control in a list well defined, self worth in a list well followed, accomplishment in a list completed. I like to compare my list to others list...how far are they compared to me, are they ahead of me, behind me...have they even started yet?
My favorite verses and books of the Bible are those that seemingly give me a list. Those defining what I should do and what I shouldn't do. I've made lists from verses in Titus: blameless, not overbearing, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, hospitable, loves what is good, self controlled, upright, holy, etc...
Having a list puts me in control. The problem with that is that Jesus has something else in mind. Jesus isn't interested in my list of things I am doing or not doing. Jesus is interested in my HEART. When I give him my heart, I mean truly give my heart to Jesus, HE does the work. He changes my heart...which alters and sets my behavior.
Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...
Colossians 3:10 - ...and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
2 Corinthians 4:16 - Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Titus 3:5 - ...he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Today I encourage you to give your heart fully committed to Jesus, give up your religious lists, and let HIM do the work in you. When we do...we truly find freedom and that is truly the good news.