Tuesday, August 16, 2016

God's Plan. God's Will. My Purpose. Part III - Walking a Christian Life

Walking a Christian Life

Christians should be joyful, prayerful, and grateful always and without ceasing.

in Ephesians Chapter 1, Paul encourages all Christians to a wise, dynamic, Christian living, for with the privileges of walking a Christian Life, goes family responsibility. As a new community, we are to live by Christ's new standards.

God provides His Holy Spirit to enable us to live His way. To use the Spirit's power, we must lay aside our evil desires and draw on the power of His life. We must submit our will to Christ, and seek to love others.

God will help you to follow and obey Him. He gives you His Holy Spirit to enable you to live the Christian Life. 

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. - John 14:26

In Chapter 1 of Ephesians, Paul is introduced: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to God's holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus, grace and peace to you, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. - Ephesians 1:1

"Faithful in Christ Jesus" - what an excellent reputation! Such a label would be an honor for any believer. What would it take for others to characterize you as "Faithful to Christ Jesus"? Hold first to your faith, one day at a time; faithfully obey God, even in the details of life. Then, like the Ephesians, you will be known as a person who is faithful to the Lord.

He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and Will -- to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. 
Ephesians 1:5-6

"Predestined" means marked out beforehand. This is another way of saying that salvation is God's work and not our own doing. 

If God Chooses Us, Do We Really Have a Choice?
Because we begin our lives spiritually dead, unable to respond to the Lord, only God can gives us the gift of life. When sin entered the human race, it left everyone helpless. We cannot come to God unless He draws us. It is not our own awareness that we are sinful people that first turns us toward God; rather, God in His mercy awakens that awareness within us in a way similar to how Jesus summoned Lazarus from the dead.

Some believe our salvation in Christ is brought about only by God's sovereign choice. They believe the only ones who believe in Christ are those whom God appointed for salvation before time began. They emphasize that there is no one who seeks God. God in His mercy, however, has chosen to save some. Salvation does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

Others believe God gives every person the ability to choose (free will). They believe God's grace and mercy extend to everyone. They say each person has to respond by deciding whether or not to repent of sin and turn to God. They say God honors people's choices to either refuse or accept Jesus' invitation.

In His infinite love, God has adopted us as His own children. Through Jesus' sacrifice, He has brought us into His family, and made us heirs along with Jesus. - Romans 8:17

How are we adopted into God's Family?
In the Roman world in which Paul lived, slavery was common. Some slaves were adopted by the family that purchased them and were given all the privileges of children. In the same way, believers who were once enslaved to sin and death are purchased by Jesus' death and adopted as God's children.

Have you entered into this loving relationship with God?

"Freely given us in the One He loves" means that God graciously accepts us (though we don't deserve it) now that we belong to His dearly loved Son.

If we are going to say we are Christians, we should live our lives in a suitable way, one that compliments such a privileged position.

This "worthy walk" of the Christian life is described in the following ways:

  • A different walk, that reveals an extreme makeover from the godless and evil lifestyle separated from God before one becomes a Christian. - Ephesians 4:17-19
  • A loving walk, similar to the kind of love displayed by Christ when He gave Himself for us. - Ephesians 5:1-2
  • An enlightened walk, which refers to developing a new moral and spiritual standard of living that is acceptable to the Lord. - Ephesians 5:8-10
  • A careful walk, taking advantage of opportunities to serve Christ as evil erodes society's openness to the gospel, people's personal interest in Christ, even the diligence of believers. - Ephesians 5:145-16
  • An empowered walk, being under the Holy Spirit's control as the source of strength to live this way. - Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:25

That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. - Colossians 1:10

There are Eight Aspects of our Every Day Life With God


Many people use the word, "pray" like a "get out of jail free" card. There is a wrong way to pray and a right way to pray. There are cliches like "prayer changes things" or "prayer changes us." But, take this to heart in a very sincere way, prayer never changes God's moral Will. We accomplish nothing, NOTHING, by "praying" over a matter while violating God's Word. 

When saying "I prayed about it" you believe you are in the clear. You're NOT. Our prayers NEVER supersede God's Word. Remember this, OBEDIENCE is a condition for an answered prayer.  

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. - 1 John 3:22

I'll make it really easy for you. The ONLY prayer we need is Teach me to do Your Will, for You are my God - Psalm 143:10

David's prayer was to be taught to do God's Will, not his own. A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it doesn't recognize God's power to redirect our lives. Asking God to restructure our priorities awakens our minds and stirs our wills.

You have the privilege of prayer. Just as good friends talk to each other, so God, your Heavenly Father, wants you to talk to Him. And, while you may not understand it right now, you'll find that He "talks" to you as well. 

You can pray to God about anything and everything. He wants to hear from you. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6


Serving God is a privilege. We can find in Numbers 15:39 a great definition of what it means to serve God.

You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.

The tassels were to remind people not to seek after their own lustful desires, but to seek the Lord. Idol worship is self-centered, focusing on what a person can get from serving an idol. Good luck, prosperity, long life and success in battle were expected from the gods. So were power and prestige. The worship of God is the opposite. Believers are to be selfless rather than self-centered. Instead of expecting God to serve us, we are to serve Him, expecting nothing in return. We serve God for who He is, not for what we get from Him.


True wisdom is found in God, and true happiness comes from pleasing Him. The best example is the Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, 
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. - Matthew 5:3-12

Jesus said to rejoice when we're prosecuted. Persecution can be good because:

  1. it takes our eyes off earthly rewards
  2. it strips away superficial belief
  3. it strengthens the faith of those who endure
  4. our attitude through it serves as an example to others who follow.

The fact that we are going to be persecuted proves that we have been faithful; faithless people would be unnoticed. In the future, God rewards the faithful by receiving them into His eternal kingdom where there is no more persecution.

Jesus began His sermon with words that seem to contradict each other. But God's way of living usually contradicts the world's. If you want to live for God you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world. You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse. By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you.

Each beatitude tells how to be blessed. "Blessed" means more than happiness. It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God's kingdom. The Beatitudes don't promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. To Jesus, "blessed" means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.

Love One Another

"You have heard that is was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy' but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:43-48

By telling us not to retaliate, Jesus keeps us from taking the law into our own hands. By loving and praying for our enemies, we can overcome evil with good. 

The Pharisees interpreted Leviticus 19:18 as teaching that they should love only those who love in return, and Psalm 139:19-22 and 140:9-11 as meaning that they should hate their enemies. But Jesus says we are to love our enemies. If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will truly show that Jesus is Lord of your life. This is possible only for those who  give themselves fully to God, because only He can deliver people from natural selfishness. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we may not feel love. 

Share God's Word

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless His holy name forever and ever. - Psalm 145:21

Peter spoke forthrightly about the resurrection. As Peter preached, the events of Christ's death and resurrection were still hot news, less than two months old. Christ's execution had been carried out in public before many witnesses. His empty tomb was available for inspection just a short distance away. If Christ had not truly died, Peter's message would have been laughed at or ignored. If Christ had not been resurrected, authorities could have produced his body and put an end to this new faith. But Peter and the apostles had witnessed the risen Christ. Changed men, they announced the news with great passion and conviction. 

Our faith and our credibility also rest on the truth of the empty tomb. Why? For a number of reasons. According to the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection of Christ means that He is the Son of God and that His Word can be trusted. It means that His sacrifice for sin was acceptable to God, so we can be completely forgiven. It means that our Savior is alive and active, able to help us in times of need. It also means that one day, we, too, will conquer death. The Christian faith rests on the basic fact of the empty tomb. Don't neglect this essential part of the gospel when you share your faith others.

Teach Children

Bind up this testimony of warning and seal up God's instruction among my disciples.  - Isaiah 8:16

"Bind up this testimony" and "seal up God's instruction" mean that the words would be written down and preserved for future generations. Because some people faithfully preserved the teaching of God and passed on these words from generation to generation, we have the book of Isaiah today. Each of us needs to accept the responsibility to pass on God's Word to our children and grandchildren, encouraging them to love the Bible, read it, and learn from it. Then they will faithfully pass it on to their children and grandchildren.


When you became a Christian, you joined a family - sometimes called "the body of Christ," which means you're not "related" to Christians all over the world. You need to join a portion of that family by beginning to attend a local church.

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:24, 25

If you found a really good doctor, or a helpful mechanic, or even a terrific diet, you probably would tell your closest friend about itl. Since you've found the One who forgives sin and gives you a new life, don't you think that's something to share?

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. - Romans 1:16


The statement that Christians should love one another is a recurrent New Testament theme. Yet love for one's neighbor is an old command, first appearing in the third book of Moses (Leviticus 19:18). We can show love in many ways: 

  • by avoiding prejudice and discriminations
  • by accepting people
  • by listening
  • helping
  • giving
  • serving
  • refusing to judge

Knowing God's command is not enough. We must put it into practice, walking "in obedience to His command." 

It has given Me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.  This is love, that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. - 2 John 1:4, 6 

If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land, but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. - Isaiah 1:19-20

And, one final reminder about obedience, can be found in the book of Joshua.

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to keep His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul. - Joshua 22:5

Special Note: When life on earth ends, so will our concerns about knowing God's Will. The day we enter glory, we'll learn firsthand how God's Will is done in heaven. And, since we'll live to enjoy Him forever, we should begin now to learn what pleases Him.

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