To be a Christian one must hear, believe, and obey God’s plan (John 6:44-45; 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matt. 10:32; Acts 2:38). A lot of folks believe that they are Christians but in reality they are not. Jesus pictures these in Matthew 7:23-23: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Notice that Jesus said “many” fit into this category. These were religious; they even reminded Jesus of that, yet their religion had not been correct. Jesus said that he had never known them. He had never recognized them as Christians.
The life of a Christian is pictured through a variety of figures in the Scriptures. It is compared to a race (Heb. 12:1-2), a fight (II Tim. 4:7; I Pet. 5:8), a wrestling match (Eph. 6:11-12), and a walk (I John 1:7; 2:6; I Pet. 2:21). It is also pictured as a journey from earth to heaven (I Pet. 1:17). When one becomes a Christian the race is not won, the enemy is not defeated, and the journey is not over. The Christian life is a daily task with daily responsibilities (Luke 9:23). For the next week or so we will be looking at the everyday life of a Christian. If one wears the name of Christ, more is expected of him. God expects more, our family and friends expect more, and even our enemies have a right to expect more out of us than if we did not wear His name (Matt. 5:43-48; I Pet. 4:15-16; James 2:7).
The everyday life of a Christian should be a life of joy. God wants us to be happy. John wrote, “And these things write I unto you, that your joy might be full” (I John 1:4). Paul often spoke of this: “Rejoice evermore” (I Thess. 5:16); “That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:26); “Finally, brethren, rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 3:1); “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). God wants man to have that happiness and peace of mind that comes with the assurance of salvation. It is sad that so many people do not live daily a life of joy because they do not know where they stand with God. The Christian who is walking “in the light as He is in the light” can truly sing “Perfect submission, all is at rest; I in my Savior am happy and blest: Watching and waiting, looking above; Filled with His goodness, lost in His love” (from the song “Blessed Assurance”).
The everyday life of a Christian should include daily prayer. God has always required His people to be praying people. “God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you” (I Sam. 12:23). “Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers” (I Pet. 3:12). “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6). “Ask and ye shall receive” (Matt. 7:7). “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2). “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:22). “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15). These are marvelous promises connected to our prayer life! Do you pray daily? Do you really believe in prayer? The Christian should never let a day pass without communing with his Father in prayer. What a marvelous blessing this is!
Paul M. Wilmoth