Monday, January 04, 2010

7 Ways to be a Better Christian in 2010

From Redeeming Grace Ministries

Over the course of the next few days millions of people will set personal goals and resolve to make 2010 a better year. Some will determine to shed those extra pounds, others save for retirement, and still more to read more books or finish those lingering projects. However, while those are undoubtedly worthy endeavors the Christian should also keep in mind seven principles that will help to make 2010 a better year spiritually.

1. Demonstrate a commitment to Christ by consciously establishing spiritual priorities.

*Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

2. Display a commitment to the kingdom of God by keeping holy habits or customs. The parents of Jesus had holy habits which were instilled in the Christ child.

*The Parents. Luke 2:27, "And he [Simeon] came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law."

*The Christ child. Luke 2:42, "And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast."

3. Unless providentially hindered redeem spiritual time by leading others to Sunday School, worship and prayer and let no one keep you from doing what is right including visiting friends, family or neighbors (and we will not even mention sports for then someone might think we have stopped preaching and teaching and gone to meddling).

*Ephesians 5:16, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."


*Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.


*1 John 2:15-17, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

4. Ask not only WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but WWTHSD (What Would the Holy Spirit Do?). Offer the Holy Spirit what you consume and ask Him to bless what you say and where you go.

*1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

5. Do not ascribe to people motives they may not have.

*1 Corinthians 13:5, "Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."

6. In a given situation, before becoming angry do not purport or claim to know a matter before understanding the situation fully. Most anger will subside when all the facts are known. False rumors will also be dispelled which is good because God HATES them as per Proverbs 6:16-19 because they sow discord among the brethren.

*Proverbs 18:13, "He that answereth [responds to] a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

7. Love the local church of God’s choosing for you by not entertaining thoughts of leaving it unless the same conditions are present which would drive the Lord Himself away. Those conditions are set forth in the seven churches of Revelation 2:1-3:22.

*In the church of Ephesus there was a loss of love for Christ. A congregation really can grow to love other things (Rev. 2: 4-5).

*In the church of Smyrna there was a loss of faith so that the congregation is more characterized as a synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9). Good works became fleshly works. (Buildings, projects)

*In the church of Pergamos there was a movement towards false doctrine (Rev. 2: 14-15, 16).

*In the church of Thyatira. strong willed individuals not called of God were dominating the congregation (Rev. 2: 20, 23). There was an acceptance of the doctrines of Satan by calling wrong, right.

*In the church of Sardis normal Christian ministries were neglected (Rev. 3:2).

*In the church of Philadelphia individuals were turning from the historic faith.

*In the church of Laodiceans there was indifference to worship and Christian living. Spiritual neutrality characterized the congregation. There was no holy passion (Rev. 3:15, 16).

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If it were me, I would change number 4 to say, "Ask not only WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but WDJD (What Did Jesus Do?). This acronym come from Living Waters. Because if you know what Jesus did, you would never have to contemplate what He would do.

20 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

I actually quite like these - #5 in particular is something that we should all aspire to.

Happy New Year!

Thelema said...

Interesting posts you have, though I think Christianity is dead and will be redeemed and brought to fruition and perfection through Thelema. Check out my blog at http://christianityisdead.wordpress.com/ if you will. Love is the law, love under will. ;)

Dorci said...

haha! Sorry, just had to laugh at that last comment.

I liked #5 also. And I agree with your clarification on #4. When I read that one in the article I thought, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same God, they would do the same thing.

Anyway, I've been thinking about you and glad to hear you're doing well after the surgery.

Steve Martin said...

One cannot BE a BETTER CHRISTIAN.

One is either a Christian and is a fully adopted member of the family...or one is not.

There is no progressive ladder that Christians climb to better themselves. That is Roman Catholicism. That is 'religion'.

But it's not reflective of the life of faith.

Repentance and forgiveness is reflective of the life of faith...and that's all.

Sorry to rain on anyone's God project.

Dorci said...

Au contraire, Mr. Martin. I am a wife, but I can be a better wife. I can be more attentive, more respectful, a better helper, etc.

I am a Christian, but I can be a better, ie, more mature, less self-gratifying, giving God more of the glory, being more obedient to Him and less obedient to my flesh, sanctified wholly unto Him Christian.

Joe A. said...

Won't some Christians have more crowns to set at the feet of Christ than others? We can refrain from calling those better if you like.

Dorci said...

We are not better than another, but our own commitment can be better than we were yesterday, last week, last year..

ExPatMatt said...

Thelema,

Go away.


Everyone else,

Perhaps it could better be worded; '...a more effective Christian?

Dorci said...

tomato..tomahto..

but, yes, maybe another word, like effective, would be less misunderstood.

I think what it comes down to is being less of ourselves and allowing the Holy Spirit to have more control of our lives.

Steve Martin said...

Yes, Dorci, you can be a better wife...or whatever...but not a better Christian. Since it is Christ's forgiveness of us and His gift of faith that make us a Christian in the first place...what we do has nothing at all to do with it.

If it were true that we could become better Christians by what we do...then we'd all better get with it, because all I see is a bunch of sinful, disobedient, self-focused people (most of the time) who claim the title of Christian.

Dorci said...

Yes, Steve, we can. That's why Jesus lays out for believers all kinds of behaviors that we are to do and not do. When we choose to love our neighbor as ourself, it is better, and God is more glorified, than if we don't.

If I use my gifts wisely, I am a good and faithful servant, according to Jesus in Matthew 25. If I don't use my gifts, I am a wicked and slothful servant.

There are many, many other examples that can be used. This has nothing to do with salvation. I'm not earning my salvation by "being good." I already have my salvation. Now it is up to me to cooperate with the Lord in all He is teaching me and convicting me of to be of the best use in His hands that I can.

Steve Martin said...

Dorci, that is 'ladder theology' and it is Roman Catholic at the core.

"All of you who have been baptized have put on Christ."

- St. Paul

How much more of Christ does one need?

Dorci said...

I am not anything near Roman Catholic.

And the question is, how much more of me will I give Christ?

Steve Martin said...

He doesn't want anything or need anything that you have to give Him other than your sin.

We ought strive to give to the neighbor. They need what we have.

Ladder theology is Roman Catholic.

I know many, many Christians who are climbing the ladder to God. It is totally unnecessary since He descended to the bottom of a grave for us.

Thanks, Dorci.

Nohm said...

I beg everyone to heed #5. I'm not saying that it should be the most important to you, but it's the most important to me.

When talking about non-believers, please think of #5:

"Do not ascribe to people motives they may not have."

Dorci said...

Just so you understand, Steve, my motive is not to climb to God, or to get Him to love me or accept me more.

On the contrary. It is because of my growing love for Him that I want to do His will more and more.

And God does want something from us: our hearts. Hence the verse - love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Love grows as we know someone more and more, and that applies to our relationship with God as well as with people.

Again, it's not about a relationship-less religion where we do things to appease God, it's about an active, growing, loving relationship between God and the believer, and that growing love causing the son or daughter of God to desire to do His will more. The more we die to ourselves, the more we will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us to take up our cross and die to Him. That is something we are told to do. We have the choice each day to do that or not.

Steve Martin said...

OK, Dorci!

Thanks for clearing that up!

Dorci said...

I know you're just placating. That's okay. I was trying to explain where I was coming from.

Steve Martin said...

Dorci,

Not really.

I really am interested in your point of view (even though I may disagree at times).

You have made some good points and I think I have a better handle on what you are driving at.

Dorci said...

I just know that God says we are to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only, and because we're not perfect we can perfectly do what the Word says. But hopefully as the years go by, and we get closer to God, and walk more in His power, we choose more and more to be a doer.