Friday, February 14, 2014

Be a Daily Christian

Christianity is not a one time moment when we are justified. That is simply the beginning. Our sanctification means we are being continually transformed into the image of Christ.

To that end, we submit to the transformative efforts of the Spirit and speed His work along with deliberate actions of our own. We should be a daily Christian. The bible is replete with admonitions about how to live a holy life. It means doing certain things, consciously and purposefully. These things are not and should not become a prescription for rote legalism, but guides for holy living.

Because the devil is so powerful, so destructive, we need Jesus every day. As the hymn says, every hour. But as we go along in life we often forget that. We begin to believe our own press, that we can handle things...that we're all right.

No.

We need Him daily. If we are to live according God's word it means doing certain activities every day. See a few of the biblical admonitions for what to do to be a Daily Christian.

CC, by Rachel Titiriga
The first priority in life is this: Salvation.

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Once we have been saved from His wrath and forgiven of sins, declared righteous (justified), now begins the life of sanctification, living holy.

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile... (1 Peter 1:13-25).

'Prepare your mind for action'... the verse doesn't say lay around and wait for inspiration. We must prepare ourselves, ready our minds, and be willing to engage in action. What actions? Some follow below.

hardened clay pebbles, Wikipedia CC
"But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." (Hebrews 3:13)

Sin hardens the conscience. We must exhort and encourage each other constantly, so sin does not deceive us or that the church falls into apostasy. The very fact that we must do this daily is the clear indicator of how short a time it takes for us to harden. We humans are fast-setting clay!

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

Pulpit Commentary explains, This readiness to give up ease, this willingness to bear suffering, will be a matter, they must remember, of everyday experience. The terrible simile with which the Lord pressed his stern lesson home was, of course, suggested to him by the clear view he had of the fearful end of his own earthly life

The Lord's Prayer reminds us to ask for bread, daily. And not only that, but there are other daily admonitions in the prayer as well. To praise Him daily, to ask for help daily, to seek the Kingdom daily, and ask for forgiveness daily.

"The Lord's Prayer" Creative Commons, art by navalatanjjnn
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:9-13)

We are noble if we search the scriptures daily.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11)

It goes without saying that if we are to pray ceaselessly and rejoice always, we are doing these things every day.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; & see also Romans 12:12)

Creative Commons, by Eva, flickr
Far from being a burdensome or legalistic rote activity, do these things with gladness. We serve a holy and mighty Jesus, who loves us deeply. What are some things we do daily without even thinking about it, easily and habitually? Give the kids a bath? Cook supper for our husband or wife? Have a drink of water? Yet Jesus is the Living water, how much more refreshing would our lives be if we actually did these things daily as the scriptures and the Father's will command?

Christianity is not something to trot out once a week in the pew. It isn't something to fall back on when the dreaded diagnosis comes in. Living a vibrant life submitted to the Holy One is a daily activity. Sin wants to deceive us into thinking we can go a few days, or a few weeks, or a few years without 'our daily bread', but we can't. And we shouldn't. What joy there is in Him! We abound in His hope! We are filled with peace!

"Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory." (1 Peter 1:8)

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