Guidelines to Christian Living
Imagine if you will that all progress in the United States stopped in 1875. There would be no automobiles, no skyscrapers, no antibiotics, no computers, no refrigerators, no electricity, as well as a host of other things.
Now, ask yourself: What if all my spiritual progress stopped years ago? That would be very sad thing. We must realize and know that God requires growth and progress in our life for Christ.
The growing Christian seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, Matt 6:33.His chief interest is expressing the reality of the Gospel in every circumstance.
The growing Christian takes his faith to ever-widening circles. Salvation is not just for him, but for all men. His circle of interest involves his family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and acquaintances. He is concerned about them and looks for opportunities to share his faith with them.
In this article, I want to give threeguidelines for living the Christian life.
The first guideline is involvement. As Christians there are at least three areas of involvement that we need to maintain:
1) The first area, of course, is with God and Jesus Christ. Our first involvement resulted in our salvation. If we are to maintain a close relationship with our Lord, we must think about Him when we make our plans and we must pray for His strength and guidance. This is the most important area of involvement in our lives.
The relationship of Christians to Jesus Christ is described in a variety ways in the Bible: Christians are described as members in Christ body;Rom.12:5. Everyone knows that each member of the human body has a function that is peculiar to itself. All are essential, so you can’t say one is superior to the other. Christians are described as citizens of the kingdom; Col. 1:13-14. Christians have been translated by God out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. They have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.
2) Another area of involvement is with other Christians. Involvement with each other is known as fellowship. We are to have fellowship with our brethren; Acts 2:42-45.
The word fellowship denotes having things in common, participation, friendship. Christians have the same hope of heaven, the same joy, the same hatred of sin and the same enemies to deal with.
The early Christians shared their burdens and sorrows with each other. This helped hold them together in times of great need. It was always sincere and from the heart. It added to their sense of unity and harmony. Early Christian fellowship was a beautiful and wonderful thing. We need to be involved with fellow Christians because God commands it and the church needs it; Rom. 12:9.We are not just to pretend we love one another. We are to love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other.
The devil’s strategy for our time is really working. He has fooled us into believing that we really should not be concerned with each other.
There is no doubt that we need each other.If the church is going to do what it is supposed to be doing, we must be working together. To get rid of division we are to be involved with one another. We must assist each other as servants and friends just like the human body comes to the aid of injured parts. In God’s family there is no such thing as completely independent members.
We live in a world that is preoccupied, indifferent, and isolated. This is not so with the church. We must care about each other and be interested in each other.
3) Our third area of involvement is with non-Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ we must be involved in telling others about Jesus Christ. Jesus did not just seek out the religious people of His day. We should not let opportunities to tell others about Jesus pass us by. We must be interested in the salvation of others.
So we see that one of the guidelines of Christian living is involvement; involvement with God, Jesus, fellow Christians, and non-Christians.
Our second guideline for Christian living is prayer. Although Jesus’ disciples saw Him work many miracles during His time on earth, the Bible only records one instance in which they asked the Lord to explain His power. Lk. 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. These disciples must have saw that somehow prayer was the invisible source of Jesus’ ministry.
The core of genuine prayer is seeking and submitting to the will of God in every circumstance. As we see that was the primary concern of Jesus……. not as I will, but as thou wilt. Often time prayer is seen as a last resort; an escape hatch if all else fails. There are times when we turn to everything else but prayer. We need to realize that prayer is not a spiritual crutch. Prayer is the most effective problem solver we can use. God wants us to lean on Him. Prayer is His divine provision. How foolish to ignore God’s helping hand.
We all have problems in our lives and prayer is capable of helping us solve those problems. God possesses inexhaustible wisdom. We must realize that whatever difficulty we may face, God is able. Prayer is a guideline to Christian living and,without it; our lives will not be what they ought to be.
The third guideline to Christian living is surrender. In our society the word surrender has a negative connation. We respect and cheer champions who never surrender.
What if we were asked to surrender to someone who longed to bless and reward us? What if that person desired our welfare and was interested in our highest and best good? What if our submission brought us to someone who would lavish all His riches and provisions upon us? In such a case surrender would be very practical and appealing and to resist would be foolish.
This is the way it is when Jesus asks for the surrendered wills and hearts of men. He is our rescuer, not our captor. Our bended knees and souls are acts of trust and liberation, not weakness.
Is there a point at which you have refused to surrender to the Lordship of Christ? If you are rebelling, you are fighting His love and that is foolish. To surrender everything to Christ is victory and power. When a person gives in to Christ they will never regret it.
We must remember that Jesus Christ is no figurehead and surrender to Him is a necessity. He is a monarch in full sense of the term. He is “King of all the earth” Psa. 47:4. He is the head of the body which forms His church. He has complete and absolute control. He is seated at the right hand of God and has all authority and power. His will must be submitted to and obeyed. Everyone must surrender to Him. Matt. 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. This means that a person must surrender his will, his affections, his body, and his soul. A person who surrenders to Jesus does not seek his own happiness as his supreme object.
The apostle Paul was an encouraging example of what surrender is all about. Surrender was the only thing that was important to the apostle Paul and that is the way it must be with us. Surrender is one of the guidelines to Christian living. We must be willing to give up everything for Jesus.
In this article I have given youthree guidelines for Christian living. They are involvement, prayer, and surrender. There are surely many other things I could mention, but if we will follow through on these three we will be much better followers of Christ.