Tag Archives: christian walk

How to Truly Live the Christian Life

The Christian life is often very busy, isn’t it? Activity after activity fills the calendars of churches and the agendas of our lives. It can sometimes seem to gravitate to more and more doing, serving and doing some more.

Even our times of prayer–whether together or alone–can veer off from proper focus. For example, instead of first asking the Lord what He might want us to pray, we launch straight away into prayer based on what comes to our minds or is gnawing at our hearts.

Our activities are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. They can, however, help or hinder our Christian life.

The key to knowing whether they are helping or hindering is what or who are we connected to as we do these activities. Are we engaging in activities that truly build our relationship with Jesus and living for His glory?

Everything in our lives as Christians should flow from the intimate place of partnership and communion with Jesus, not the other way around. He is not only our Savior but our Lord and we want to seek His heart and thoughts rather than doing our own thing. We can’t come to know Him or His will if we do not make time to know and hear His voice, being in His Word and allowing His Spirit to lead all of our lives.

Relationship with God and loving Him must be first place in our lives, even when it comes to all else that relates to our sanctification and furthering His Kingdom.

We want to make our first aim to build friendship with Jesus above all. God alone is the source from which everything else in our life as a Christian flows. Without Him, we cannot truly bear good fruit or choose to live out godliness to the full. In John 15:4-5, Jesus says:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (NASB)

Imagine this: You’re married. You love your spouse and do lots and lots of stuff for them; however, you never stop and ask them what they actually would like or you don’t actually do life together in partnership as one. You would both be living your lives, but not in a very connected way like a branch would be connected to its vine. How would that work for years of marriage? You probably get the picture now.

Friendship with God is far more than simply checking things off our “good Christian” list. He is our Creator who is Father, Savior and the Lover of our souls. We are called children of God, the Bride of Christ, not workers but lovers. In this, we are invited to learn from Him. He invites us to walk out our lives in partnership with Him as our Head or Leader, teaching us in His ways of life and love.

“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42 NASB, emphasis added)

As those who have taken His name–Christian–when we made Him our personal Savior and Lord, we should desire to know Him more and do life His way. We need this time to learn how to live in step with His Spirit in our day-to-day lives. This is the “good part” that Jesus speaks of to Mary.

Without attempting to cause you confusion: Mary actually was doing an activity. However, this activity was one of relationship-building and discipleship. She was investing in her relationship with Jesus, to know Him and His ways as she took time away from other activities to listen to His Word.

Like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, there are certain activities we can engage in to help build our relationship with Jesus. Just as a husband and wife would talk together to grow closer and know what is on each others’ hearts, we are called to know our King. We are called to be disciples of Christ, positioned just as Mary was to partake of His instructions in the context of relationship with Him. (Is this new to you? For more on what it means to be a disciple of Christ, read this excellent article by Phylicia Masonheimer.)

Several of these relationship-building activities include spiritual disciplines such as:

Solitude: We draw near to Him by drawing away from other people and activities for a time to be alone with Him and engage in one of the other spiritual disciplines outlined below.

Silence, Listening and Prayer: We quiet our hearts in a time of silence to seek what He would say. We put our own requests aside to first start by asking Him what is on His heart for us or others, whether for us to rest in His love, to pray for ourselves or others as He leads, or repent for something His Spirit convicts us of.

Worship: We speak or sing to Him our “thank You’s” for giving His life for us, for caring for us, providing for us, healing us, etc. We sing praises and sing His Word to Him, as prayers or over ourselves to help our minds be renewed to think like He thinks.

Bible Study: We read our Bibles and ask the Holy Spirit to grow our relationship with God as we read His words to us. We ask Him questions about His Word and journal the impressions we receive from Him. We ask Him to use the Scriptures to renew our minds and show us the heart and character of Jesus so we can be transformed into His image.

Fasting: We fast a meal and instead use the extra time to spend with Him. Or we take a break from entertainment, social media or our phones and dedicate that time to Him.

Obedience and Service: We respond to the things He has spoken to us through His Word and by His Spirit–not because we have to but because of His love for us and ours for Him, obeying as He leads and serving others in partnership with Him.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much of a priority do I give knowing Jesus in my daily life?
  • When was the last time I pulled away from all the “stuff” and simply loved on Him with no other agenda?
  • When was the last time I set aside my own requests, quieted my thoughts (even moving my phone to another room on silent) to see what He wanted to speak?
  • When was the last time I read my Bible and studied Jesus’ words with the help of His Holy Spirit?

Make it your aim to grow your relationship with Jesus as your first goal in this life, growing in intimacy with Him and learning to walk in His ways. From that place alone, let all other activity flow.

​Loving Truth and Loving People

Have you heard anyone say that we should love people more than loving truth? I read this recently, yet I know from studying God’s Word that this is false. Hear me out for a moment. :)  

We must love people but we also have to love truth.

God’s Word says that you and I must be lovers of the truth so we can avoid deception in the end times (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

The question is often asked, what is truth? It’s not relative or decided by man. God’s determines truth; it is absolute and unalterable. Jesus defined Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).

The Bible also says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). So Jesus is both Love and Truth. You and I are called to love both.

Loving Jesus is the First Commandment. We make Him Lord through our loving and obedience. In the Second Commandment, Jesus exhorts us to love others as well.

John 3:16-17 helps define how to view people; it describes how God feels about them:

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Loving Through the Pain

In any situation we are going through, even when we are being mistreated, the best question we can ask the Lord is, “How can I show love in this, to this person, to this organization?” and then do it: Show love even when we’ve been wronged or hurt. 

In doing this, you release the burden of focusing on the negatives or continuing to hold offense, and peace comes in like a flood as you learn to love! As you seek to love, focusing on that, you are thinking on those good, noble, excellent and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8).

The recently received-by-Heaven prophet, Bob Jones, once had an encounter where God asked him, “Did you learn to love?” Do we seek to love like Jesus loves through our trials, or do we continue to remain focused on ourselves? When we surrender our earthly cares, we can soar in the Spirit as if on the wings of eagles, living in the joy and peace that only come from Jesus!

If this seems an impossible task, first remember that the Lord is the only One who can love rightly. Ask Him to give you His superabundant grace and help you walk this out. Ask God to pour His love upon you so you can pour it out on even those who mistreat you. Lean into Him and remind your soul that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” and you have overcome the world because Jesus has (1 John 4:4)!

If we will let Him, God will use the hard times and difficult people in our lives for our good: To make us more like Christ and in turn, we will experience greater peace, joy and love than ever before in our lives through it all.

Praise the Lord, He has a great future and purpose for us and it’s all about love: Letting Him love us and teaching us how to love Him and others like He loves!

Prize of Life

I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:13-14)

The Prize we seek is Jesus Christ our Lord.

As we run the race, we run for the Prize. We must run for the Prize that is You, the sought-after One, the Lover of our souls.

You’re the King of kings and Lord of lords! You are worth it all, Lord God! You are worth more than gold or jewels, more than anything we could name.

You are the Prize of life. The One we’re longing for. Our Hope of glory.

Run, run, run, run, run, run, run. I’ve gotta run!

The race is long, and yet You’re so near! You’re coming soon!

Running, running, running toward the Prize that is You. We’ve got to run the race. There’s not a single moment to waste.

You are the Prize of my life. Let me press on and run to You!

I Will Run by Misty Edwards

All I want is You
All I crave is You

I will run the race set before me
I will seek Your face as the prize of my life

I will run, I will run, I will run, I will run…