Friday, May 10, 2013

Our Duty to Ourselves

In Galatians 6:4-5 the apostle Paul writes: “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. or each one shall bear his own load.” The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to make sure that we are doing everything that we need to do to be pleasing to God. In order to do that, we must examine our own work, making sure that it is being done in accordance with God’s directions. Through the pages of the New Testament individuals are instructed on how to live their lives according to righteousness. One thing that gets many people in hot water is thinking “too highly of themselves”. Yet in Romans 12:3 we can read where it says: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” God’s Word says it, now we have to listen and obey. That is our Christian duty in this life. The Christian that reads the Bible and then practices those things that are contained therein, will gain respect from the brethren because they can see in that Christian that they are truly living their life in accordance with the Bible. But isn’t that every Christian’s responsibility? Sure it is. We are told in Jude 21 to keep ourselves in “God’s love”, and to remain “unspotted” (James 1:27). In 1 John 5:18 we are told to “keep ourselves from the evil one”. Other duties include “denying ourselves” (Matthew 16:24), “controlling ourselves” (2 Peter 1:6), “humbling ourselves” (Matthew 18:4; 23:12), and to “guard ourselves” (1 John 5:21). If we would read and understand what the Bible tells us to do in Galatians 6:4-5 then we will be able to “glorify God”. Are we doing our duty for God?

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Christian Life

Every Christian should strive to live the life that they have been raised to live. The apostle Paul said in the latter part of Romans 6:4 that “even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The Christian life is a life of faith (Romans 1:17). Our old life was buried and now we serve the Lord in “newness of life.” Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” The “true” Christian realizes that the “old man” was crucified with Christ and now lives a “new”, pure life before God. John wrote: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).

The Christian life is also a life of self-denial. Jesus said that “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Some have trouble living the Christian life because they have NOT determined to really let Jesus rule their life, denying anything that would stand between them and their service to the Savior.

Peter writes: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8). The Christian realizes that Satan is active and working to destroy all those that try to do good. The Christian life is not an easy life. The apostle Paul told Timothy: “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). If we feel that we are suffering some type of persecution as we live our Christian life, then we must be doing something right. “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials and tribulations” (James 1:2). 

The Christian life is also a life of prayer. Every Christian should be spending time talking to God every day (Matthew 26:41). God wants and expects us to pray to Him (1 Timothy 2:8). Are you spending time talking to God? When we talk to God it shows Him that we are trying to do His will and we are seeking his help and guidance, along with praising Him for all that He has done for us. The Christian life is a life of obedience to God, knowing that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).

In addition to all these things, the Christian life is a life of growth (1 Peter 2:2), and a life of abiding in Christ (John 15:5-6). May we all strive to live the Christian life because after all, we are wearing Christ’s name aren’t we? Are we really living the kind of life that our Savior Jesus Christ would be proud of?