Study — Upon becoming a Christian we should let God speak to us every day, through His Word. Paul wrote: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Pray — Talk to God every day! Paul wrote: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks-giving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6). Also: “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:17, 18).
Be Faithful — It does no good to become a Christian unless one remains a Christian! Jesus said: “…he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 10:22). Likewise He told the saints at Smyrna, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Then in (Acts 2:42), we learn that the early Christians were steadfast in doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and in prayers. Hence, Christians must be faithful to God in regular worship and in every day life.
Behave Yourself — In Eph. 4:1 we find Paul imploring church members to: “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” In other words, Christians must always behave like Christians. One way to accomplish that is by constant and continued self examination. Paul encourages his readers to know themselves. If we will conscientiously judge ourselves we will not be condemned under the judgment of God. (2 Cor. 13:5). He also wrote: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:31, 32).
Add To Your Faith — Many have made “shipwreck” of their faith because they did not sustain themselves spiritually after becoming Christians. In thirty years of observation, I have never known an able bodied person, who only attended one service or less per week, who could really be considered faithful! To be faithful is to be active, serving and working. To be faithful is to personally be involved in the spreading of the Gospel, furthering the upbuilding of the church and ever growing as a Christian.
Visit The Sick and Shut-Ins — Christian living is a life of love, concern and service to others (Matt. 25:30-34). It is truly more blessed to give than to receive! Jesus went about doing good. And saints are admonished to follow in His footsteps.
Abstain From All Appearance Of Evil — (1 Thess. 5:22). In Eph. 5:26-27, we learn that the church is likened unto the bride of Christ. We learn that the bride (the church) is to be glorious, without spot, wrinkle or blemish. The church is made up of Christians. Therefore, if the church is to be pure and without blemish, its members will have to be pure and without blemish. To be a member of the bride of Christ is a great blessing but it carries with it grave responsibilities.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Raymond E. Harris
We love statistics. They put abstract problems on a graph so we can see them, measure them, and chart their growth over a period of time.
But statistics can be misleading. Take, for instance, the survey I heard quoted this week that claimed divorces are less frequent for atheists. It would seem to go against common sense and experience — especially since the same survey said some of the vocations least likely to suffer divorce are religious education and clergy. I suspect the explanation is that atheists in America today are far less likely to get married in the first place, or else stay in a committed sexual relationship for many years (marriage, in essence) before making it official.
By the way, the same survey says the occupations with the highest divorce risk are dancers and choreographers, bartenders, and massage therapists. That actually makes quite a bit of sense.
I suppose the takeaway could be that we tend to accept the statistics that bolster our previously held notions and reject the rest. I’m not quite that cynical, though. I prefer to believe that an easy answer handed to us by a total stranger may need some further investigation from us before we completely accept it.
Paul’s simple formula from 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 is still best — “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” Don’t just accept something for what it claims to be; that’s how wolves in sheep’s clothing get by (Matthew 7:15).
I’m not going to lose my soul because I swallowed poison that some Facebook article told me was safe.