Guidelines For The Christian Life
If your Christian life is to be a healthy life, there are a few regular things you will need to do:
- FEED IT… by reading your Bible.
- WARM IT… by prayer.
- EXERCISE IT… by witness and work.
- SHARE IT… by fellowship.
- PROTECT IT… against the devil.
Feeding Your Christian Life
No kind of life can remain healthy unless it receives regular food. The Christian life is no exception, and the best food it can have is the food of God’s own Word … Scripture. Your Bible is a ‘spiritual larder’ (or ‘fridge, or deep-freeze’). It contains bread, milk, meat, etc. for your new spiritual life. It should be opened daily, even though you sometimes may not feel like ‘eating’. One of the main illnesses Christians suffer from is starvation’, simply because they have gone for long periods without reading their Bibles. Don’t you be like that.
God’s food sometimes requires some kind of preparation and cooking before it can be enjoyed fully, and this is particularly so for young Christians. There are several useful series of Bible Reading Notes arid simple Commentaries specially designed for use by young Christians.
When you come to read your Bible, it is helpful to: –
- pray that God will teach
- read the passage twice – slowly.
- ask yourself what you have learned.
- consider whether God is asking you to do something for Him.
Warming Your Christian Life
Through His Word, God will teach you, warn you, correct you, encourage you, calm you, inspire you and do a host of many other things far you through His
A warm friendship can be enjoyed only when there is time and effort by both sides to communicate as often as possible. Sometimes having to live far apart or interference by other people can make frequent contact very difficult, but this need not be the case for the Christian. Jesus said, “I am with you always”, so we really have no excuse if we fail to maintain regular and frequent contact. Prayer is two-way communication with God and through it He speaks with us and we can speak with Him.
Prayer warms our relationship with Jesus. It is an opportunity to praise Him for all His love and blessings, to share our day to day experiences, to ask questions, seek help, express thanks, and so on … in fact, say and receive all those things we want when we talk to our friends. Remember, God is interested in all the details of our lives, not just the big things at crisis times, but ordinary routine events. He is very anxious to be included in all our plans and ambitions so that He can guide, check, encourage, and bless us at all times.
Sometimes it helps to make lists of topics to pray about. Get into the habit of asking yourself. “Have I consulted Jesus about this?”
Exercising Your Christian Life
The Gospel is Good News (or God News). Good News is always worth sharing so when the angels brought the news of Jesus they said it was “good news of great joy about a Saviour for all mankind … who would save His people from their sins.” You now know the truth of this message because you have found the Lord Jesus and received Him as your own personal Saviour.
Now, do what the angels did witness to other people about Him, because they need Him, too. You will not need to preach at people … God will provide opportunities for you to talk about Him. You will probably feel shy or incapable of saying the right thing in case people think you are strange. Don’t worry about this, because God will use your conversation, however inadequate it may seem to you, to introduce Himself to others. After that, your job is to keep on praying for the people to whom you have spoken, and ask Jesus to lead you to the next one to whom He is waiting to be introduced. By doing this, you will be obeying one of the most important instructions Jesus gave to His disciples … “Go, and preach the Gospel…”
Exercising Your Christian Life By Work
Actions often speak louder than words … as the proverb says, and it is often true in the Christian life. Talking to people about Jesus is very good but if what you say is not backed up by sound Christian conduct and behaviour then people are likely to be put off by our words. At home … always be ready to give a hand and help, even when the job is something you don’t like doing. Be respectful to parents, sympathetic to brothers and sisters, kind and patient with grandparents, courteous to visitors and so on. Many people have become Christians because of someone’s practising rather than through someone’s preaching.
At school … always do your best work … you may not be brilliant but you can and must do your best. Remember, as a Christian you are working for Jesus. It is more important to please Him than anyone else, and He will always bless your work when it is dedicated to Him. Others at school and work will be watching your actions. Laziness, moodiness, selfishness are bad advertisements for Jesus. Sometimes it will be hard … it was for Jesus himself, but God wonderfully rewards those who are faithful to Him … as you will soon discover.
Sharing The Christian Life
All Christians are members of God’s family the Church. It is natural and good for families to meet regularly. The Christian family should meet often for prayer, Bible study, public worship and other acts of fellowship. A Christian who neglects this privilege misses out on many of God’s blessings.
Take every opportunity you can to join in activities arranged specially to help you in your. Christian life, and encourage other friends to do the same. If you feel lonely, seek out a friend to talk to, share problems with, share joys with, and it will prove to be a means of encouragement to you all. If you know of anyone who is feeling lonely or in need, do all you can to share fellowship with them, or maybe arrange for someone else to help if you are unable to do so yourself.
Ask God to show you how you can play your part in the fellowship of His Church, and how you can use the gifts He has given to you to enrich the Christian family life.
Protecting Your Christian Life
Every Christian has at least one enemy … the devil. He probably didn’t worry you too much before, but although you may not have realised it, you belonged to him then, so perhaps he didn’t bother you noticeably. The devil’s task is to destroy your new Christian life with Jesus and get you hack in his service again. He will try to achieve this in all kinds of ways, most of them disguised as good things (‘like a wolf in sheep’s clothing’).
- fill you with doubts about God.
- turn people against you.
- tempt you to believe wrong things, think evil thoughts, become selfish.
- try to get you to blame God when things go wrong.
When this happens tell Jesus about it and lie will provide you with all the help you need to overcome the problems. Discussing things with more experienced Christians will prove helpful too. The devil even tried to prevent Jesus doing His work, but Jesus knew how to deal with him and He will help you to do the same.
Some Helpful Verses Of Scripture
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him. (Rev. 3:20)
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God. (1 John 3:1)
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him … and gives good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 6:8; 7:11)
Because Jesus himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Jesus said, “Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, at-id he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
©2003 Reginald Ashburner. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced by kind permission.