By Kevin Haag
Christian living is making Jesus Christ the center of your life, and overcoming selfish desires (sin). We are called by Christ to live out our faith daily (Luke 9:23). But we don’t always accomplish this because we easily get distracted by things (or people) in the world around us. When we should be thinking of eternal life, we are focusing on temporal things (2 Corinthians 4:18). God calls us to be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), which means we are to be "different or set apart." As Believers, we have to ask ourselves, are we different from our world around us (Matthew 5:16)?
1 John 2:15-17:
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
Our Christian living is dictated by the condition of our heart (Matthew 15:18-20). Matthew 22:37-38: “Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” We should daily ask God to search our hearts to reveal to us any sin in our life that is hindering our spiritual growth (Psalm 139:23-24). As we study God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will reveal sin, and give us the power and strength to overcome it. We will mature in our faith by disciplining ourselves to read God’s word and be faithful in our prayer life. Reflecting Christ in our lives and growing closer to God each day is the goal of our Christian living.
Before Joshua died, he assembled the tribes of Israel to renew the covenant (Joshua 24). Joshua appealed to the Israelites to put away false gods and to serve the Lord, Joshua 24:15: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” That day, the Israelites committed to living for the Lord.
Joshua dies, and then we read about the era of the judges in Israel. Throughout the book of Judges, the re-occurring theme is this: Israel’s sin (disobedience), foreign oppression (God’s chastening), Israel cries out to God, God raises up judges (leaders) and brings deliverance (restores peace in the land). Judges 2:11-16 sums up what the era of the judges was like, notice verses 12-13: “They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashthoreths.”
We have to ask ourselves each day, what gods are we serving instead of the one, true and holy God we have been called to serve? What are the idols of our heart? It is my desire, hope, and prayer that I can answer God’s calling in my life the same way His faithful servant Joshua did “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15b).
© New Testament Christian
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:
By Kevin Haag. © New Testament Christian. Website: new-testament-christian.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Practice of Godliness
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