<<way of life>>
The lifestyle we live reflects our values, and largely determines our eternal destiny (Ps 1:1-6). God should be consistently involved in every aspect of our lives. This will require us to have strong convictions, motivation, discipline, dedication and commitment to be effective.
When we responded to Christ and became Christians, our lives should have begun a radical change, involving dying to self and yielding to God, with an increasing evidence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit as we growing in Him (Lk 3:8-14; Act 4:13; Rom 6:6-14; Gal 2:20, 5:22-24; 2 Pet 3:18). The Word of God will bring about a transformation of attitudes, values and goals as our minds are renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit, together with a motivation to share the love of God (Rom 12:2).
Repentance and ‘becoming a Christian’ must have appropriate ‘fruit’ becoming evident in our day-to-day life – walking in the Spirit, sensitive to His voice, obeying Him, turning towards good and away from evil – otherwise people have the right to question has there been a genuine conversion experience (Mt 3:8, 7:15-27; Act 26:20). Becoming more like Jesus should be our goal, as He said, “If you continue in my Word, [letting it change you] you will definitely be my disciples” (Jn 8:31; Rom 8:29). Humility and obedience to His voice are essential keys for us to walk in victory.
A Christian must turn from sin, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life...keeping oneself from being polluted by the world” (1 Cor 6:9-11; Eph 5:5; 1 Thes 4:7; 2 Tim 2:19; Jas 1:27). There must be a marked difference in our whole lifestyle compared with our ‘pre-Christ’ life revealed by walking in the light, obeying Him, not loving the world, doing right and dealing with wrong as no one who is truly saved can continue in a pattern of unbroken sin (1 Jn 2:3,4,15,29, 3:3,6-10). Even though there may be a struggle in some areas, ultimately victory will be gained as we “Reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to Christ” (Rom 6:11; 1 Jn 5:5). We should be living holy and godly lives, walking in truth and fellowship with God and others (1 Thes 3:13; 2 Pet 3:11; 1 Jn 1:6-10). We are urged to live a life worthy of the divine calling we have received, by putting off the old lifestyle and putting on the new which includes being motivated by love (Eph 4:1-3, 22-24, 5:1). This will not just affect our actions and words but also what we think about, for if we keep our thoughts on right things then our conduct will be honourable (Phil 4:8; 1 Pet 2:11). While some things in life are not sinful in themselves, yet they hinder us from concentrating every effort on our service for Christ – they are the “weights’’ that hinder our progress in the spiritual race (1 Cor 10:23,24; Heb 12:1,2).
The Bible states we will be answerable to God for the life we have lived so it is in our best interest to endeavour to live in ways pleasing to Him, those which meet His criteria (Jer 17:10; Jn 12:48; Rom14:10-12; Col 1:10; Heb 4:13, 9:27).
We are to love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourselves which means being involved in their life as appropriate, with the Bible indicating our neighbour is anyone with a need that we can meet (Mk 12:30,31; Lk 10:30-37; Rom 12:3-21, 13:12-14; 1 Thes 4:9-12). We can do this through good works and showing love by focusing on their needs rather than being self-centered for the proof of our love for God is obeying what He says (Jn 14:15; 1 Cor 8:9-13; Gal 5:13; 2 Jn 1:6).
Does my lifestyle agree with what I profess?
pleases the Lord and do it (Jdg 17:6; Eph 5:10; Jas 1:22,25). These guidelines are throughout the Bible, particularly in the words of Jesus such as the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1-7:29). If you are unsure about a proposed activity, ask yourself questions such as: will this bring glory to God or will it cause another to stumble? Would Jesus do or say this, would He go to this place? Will it benefit me spiritually?
We must guard the entrance points of influence into our lives as what we think about and desire in our hearts we normally subconsciously endeavour to fulfill. Thoughts precede actions. Our thinking and the outworkings are in-separately linked, just like what is conceived physically will logically be born, so it is with what originates in the mind will come forth unless there is radical intervention (Gen 6:5; Mt 15:19; Jas 1:15). Hence the Bible states we are to take control over all impure, wrong thoughts and think about the good things of life (Rom 12:1,2; 2 Cor 10:5; Jas 4:8). The choices we have made determine our present condition and affect our future; this is why we should seriously consider the path we are taking (Prov 4:23,26). What attitudes, habits or actions in my life must be corrected with God’s help?
A Godly lifestyle outworked in words and actions is convincingly effective in presenting Christ to people (1 Pet 3:1). As our lives are the only Bible some people will read, endeavour to be a ‘good version’ – one that relates well to those who currently don't know Christ and able to point them closer to Him. Paul said, “My life agrees with what I teach” (Phil 3:17, 4:9; 2 Thes 2:15, 3:6; 2 Tim 1:3, 2:2, 3:10). Maybe this should be my lifestyle motto: ‘Live simply, so others can simply live’.