"Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did."
- 1 John 2:6 TLB
Studying the various aspects of the Christian life can give us fresh insights into living for God and walking in victory. Let's look at some of them here, so that we can go deeper in our relationship with the Lord.
The Christian life is one of faith. The Bible says that it's through faith that we receive God's precious gift of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8) But we must also LIVE by faith. As Hebrews 10:38 (TLB) says: "And those whose faith has made them good in God's sight must live by faith, trusting Him in everything." Every time we face a need in our everyday life, we should exercise our faith to have that need met. Whether the need is related to our finances, our health, our social life--or anything else--we should turn to the Lord in faith and expect Him to supply our needs. And that's why the quality of our prayer life is so important. We must learn to PRAY in faith. How important is it for us to believe when we pray? James makes it abundantly clear when he says: "But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:6-8 NASB) When we find our faith fragile, the best thing we can do is turn to God's Word, because the Bible says: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17 NKJV) The more time we spend reading, studying, and meditating on the Scriptures, the firmer our faith will be.
The Christian life is also one of sacrifice. Jesus said: "If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]." (Matthew 16:24 AMP) The Savior tells us plainly that following Him wholeheartedly will involve self-denial. There will be times when we'll be asked to give up certain relationships, jobs, and entertainment. And what is our reward? The kingdom of God--which includes "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 NKJV) I was almost 40 years old before I surrendered my life to the Lord for real, so I know how empty and meaningless living our own way can be. My "worst" day with Jesus has been infinitely better than my "best" day without Him. I have never for a minute regretted living my life for Christ. And you won't either.
The Christian life is one of dependence. Jesus said: "I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord--but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me." (John 5:30 AMP) Jesus perfectly modeled a life dependent upon the Father, so that we could do the same thing. We were not designed to live independently from God. When we try that kind of strategy, we end up frustrated, aggravated, and miserable. Here's God's divine plan for His children in every situation: "Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:5 AMP) Think about that--"HE will bring it to pass." In other words, when we do our part--living according to God's "will and pleasure," as Jesus did--He will do His part--bringing to pass our divine destiny and victory in every matter that concerns us. The Christian life is one of faith, sacrifice, and dependence. The Lord is calling you to come up higher in all of these areas today. How will you answer Him?
Prayer: Lord, I surrender to You every aspect of my life this day. Make my life into something beautiful for Your glory. Thank You for the blessed rewards that I will reap as I love You, seek You, and serve You the way You desire and deserve!
- J. M. Farro