Are You Serious About Being A Christian?
Are you serious about BEING a Christian? Sometimes I see people who profess to being Christian but I don't see Christian fruit developing in their lives. I know that the Bible teaches us that we are not to judge others, and I certainly don't mean it in that respect. However, the Bible also teaches us that if we are a Christian, if we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us, then specific fruits (fruits of the Spirit) will be evident in our lives. (See Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9) If we don't see the evidence of these fruits, then we wonder if the person is serious about his/her Christian walk.
I would like to share with you four Scriptures which I feel will help you and I to be more serious about being a Christian. There are many lessons which can be drawn from these four Scriptures. It is my prayer that this lesson will give you strength to carry on in your daily Christian walk.
"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) This is one of my favorite verses because I feel that Christians have to choose daily whom they will serve. The real meat of the verse is, "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The society in which we live has so many areas that try to keep us from serving the Lord. For the Christian today, all too often it is a daily choice as to whom we will serve.
I am not speaking of salvation here. Hopefully for you that has already been taken care of. I am speaking of serving God. So what does that mean? It means giving 100% of your life to Christ and let Him control it. It means not letting your job, money, friends, family, pleasure seeking, social status, etc. get in the way of your serving God. It means forsaking any and all of those things mentioned above if it interferes with your relationship with God. It means letting Christian ideals guide your relationships with your boss, family, friends, business dealings, etc. And it means that when we are confronted with a decision, our first reaction is asking ourselves (or fellow Christians) "What would Jesus have me do in this situation?"
Serving God is really having Him in the forefront of our minds at all times. Always being conscience of our thoughts, words and actions to make certain that they are consistent with the teachings of Christ and the New Testament writers. It is doing the Christian thing, even if it hurts!
After we have committed our lives to Christ and strive to really serve Him, what next. Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
How can we serve God without seeking Him? It is really impossible to serve Him without seeking Him. So, if you are trying to "serve" Him and not "seek" Him you will fail. The very act of serving Him means you must seek Him.
How do we seek God? First, we must throw off the phoniness of playing Christian. Making an appearance at church once a week is not seeking God. It is much, much more than that. Seeking God means that we have a very active Bible Study program. Not just attending Sunday School and going through the lesson. Having a plan to studying the Bible. Seeking out good quality Bible study aids and literature to help us in our study. Develop a plan to read through the Bible in a year. But even then you are not through. Study various topics, events, eras, books, miracles, prophecies, etc. No matter how old one gets, they should never stop studying the Bible.
We must also seek God through a daily prayer time. Pick a particular time of the day in which you can be alone with God. Tell Him in an honest straightforward manner your prayer concerns, what your worried about, troubles you may be having, people you want to pray for, and so forth. And don't forget to praise God in your prayers. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for all the blessings you have received and for the answered prayers. Praise Him and glorify Him in your prayers.
We need to be faithful to worship services. Not just when you feel like attending. We should have an attitude that we will be in worship service unless it is practically impossible to be there. Unless you have a serious illness that should be about 95% of the time. And in conjunction with that we should be faithful to the Lord's Supper each Lord's Day.
If you have been successful in serving (I mean really serving) the Lord and if you have been successful in seeking (I mean really seeking) God then the next subject is really a foregone conclusion: "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'" (Isaiah 6:8)
If we truly love God and serve Him and seek Him, we not only want to be able to spread the good news, we look for ways and opportunities to spread the good news. How can one be a Christian and not ever tell others about what He has done for them? In reality, they can't! If they are not telling others what Christ has done for them and meant to them, then they should really begin to question the validity of their conversion.
How can we do this? Share Christ with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Help give them the strength to carry on and "fight the good fight." Share this and other literature with them, and help them to see the need in their lives to be more faithful. Host Bible study groups or discussion groups in your home. Share your love for Christ with your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who are not Christian. Always be aware of opportunities to speak out and support Christian values when you can. Our values are being attacked daily in almost every area of society. It is not difficult to find opportunities to do this. And finally, visit the sick and shut-ins to give them a ray of hope and love from a fellow Christian. We who are able-bodied have no way of knowing how much our time, love, and compassion means to these fine people. Let's help them in their final days on earth to know that Christians love them.
I started this print ministry (Be Ye Doers Of The Word) because I see a need for Christians to develop an effective Bible study at home. I hope that these monographs spark a little interest in what God's Word has to say to us that are living today. The truths found in the Bible are just as relevant to our Christian walk as they were to the people living in the first century. Can you start your own personal ministry? Of course you can. It doesn't have to be a print ministry such as this. It can really be anything: visiting the sick, teaching Sunday School, working with youth groups, singing in the choir, etc. Each person striving to serve Christ should (maybe MUST) have a personal ministry and try to reach the lost for Christ.
And just as important as the preceding three Scriptures is this: ". . . not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42b) Jesus told this to His and our Heavenly Father just before He was crucified when He was praying in the garden. This is the kind of attitude that we must have as Christians. We all have deep concerns in our lives, things that really trouble us. We often pray to God and ask for Him to help us in a particular way. But what we really should be seeking is His will in our lives, not our will in His life.
This is difficult for us to accept. Often we are not sure what God's will is for us. For example, we may really want a different job and may be trying to get it by whatever means is available to us. We pray and ask God to help us secure the new job -- but that we want His will to be done. Then, how much should we try to get this new job? If we don't try hard enough to get the job, and don't, is it because God did not want us to have the job, or because we didn't try hard enough to get it? We can only do one thing! Try as hard as we can to get the job we want, do what is acceptable to secure it. Then if we actually get the job, we can rest assured that it was God's will, and if we don't, we will know that it was God's will as well.
In many instances we can determine what God's will is for us. We can do this by studying the Scriptures and being aware of what they have to say about particular subjects. We know that lying, stealing, murder, adultery, etc. is against God's will. So if we are considering any of these, we don't need to wonder what His will is, the Bible tells us. There are many other less drastic examples, being faithful to worship services, meeting around the Lord's Table, giving of our tithes, helping a brother or sister in need, and so forth. These are all spelled out in the Bible. Studying the Bible helps us to know these things.
Choose this day whom you will serve! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Here am I, send me! Not my will, but Yours be done! This is truly a road-map to good Christian living. May God bless you as you continue the journey to Heaven.
All scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Kingery is an author, preacher, teacher and founder of The Home Bible Study Institute.