Daily Devotional for Sunday September 23, 2007
The Key to Being a Christian
(1 Corinthians 1:9; Revelation 3:4)
The key to what being a Christian is really all about. Ever wonder if you are really saved? Ever think that you are doing most of the things you should each day but you are missing real joy in your life? Ever miss church a few Sundays, or didn't read the Bible for a week, and didn't miss it that much? Ever go days without praying, and when you do, all you pray about are the things you need? DO YOU EVER WONDER IF YOU REALLY ARE A CHRISTIAN?
Doubt is one of satan's most effective weapons. One of the common prayer requests that I get daily here at Liveprayer is from people struggling with doubt. Doubt that God exists. Doubt that the Bible is really the only Truth. Doubt they are even saved. These are very common and normal thoughts that ALL Christians deal with from time to time. Doubt becomes a tool the enemy uses to try and paralyze Believers from growing in their faith, from effectively serving the Lord, and from enjoying the joy of their salvation.
The answer to doubt of course is our faith. Faith in a God who created the heavens and earth. Faith in a God who created each one of us in His own image. Faith in a God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins so that we could be reconciled back into fellowship with Him for all eternity. Faith in a God who has given us His Word to guide and direct our journey here on earth.
While we all get weak at times and have doubts, the answer to those doubts is maturing in our relationship with the Lord. This is the key to what being a Christian is really all about. Many people who are truly saved and going to Heaven when they die are being constantly tormented with doubt, struggling in their daily lives, and not only missing so many blessings, but not fulfilling God's plan and purpose for their life because they have never experienced a real, intimate, personal relationship with the Lord! They are saved, but have never developed a real relationship with Christ.
The reality is, in many cases it is isn't even their fault. How is a person supposed to know what to do next after they get saved unless someone tells them? They feel the same, live in the same place, have the same job, hang out with the same friends, and most of the time keep doing all the same things they used to do. Mentoring new Believers, discipling those who are new to the faith is something we have stopped doing.
Why? It takes time, effort, and commitment to disciple someone and people are simply too selfish to pour their lives into someone else's. Every Believer should be mentoring or discipling a younger Believer! I have tens of thousands of emails from over the years sent by people who tell me they have been in church all their lives, but until they started reading the Daily Devotional, had no clue, no idea how they were supposed to live to make their faith in Christ real in their every day lives.
Let me take a few minutes right now and give you the most important and basic element of what being a Christian is all about. It is about having a personal, intimate, vibrant, one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ. Your relationship with Christ is like any earthly relationship you have. IT REQUIRES AN INVESTMENT OF TIME, ENERGY, AND EMOTIONS if it is going to amount to anything. If you are married, think where your relationship is with your spouse today as opposed to the first time you met. What is the difference? Lots of time, energy, and emotion! YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST WILL ONLY BE WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT!
I love you and care about you so much. Most people never grow as Christians, get beaten down by the day-to-day problems of life, end up doubting their faith because they have never developped a real relationship with Jesus Christ. You don't do that in an hour on Sunday, or at a Bible study once a week. You grow in your relationship with Christ the same way you grow in any relationship, by investing the time and effort and emotion into it each day!
I counsel people to get up 45 minutes early each day and read the Bible and pray before you do anything else. Start your day with Jesus. It may take discipline at first, but after a while, you will look forward to that time when it is just you and the Lord. Spend 15-20 minutes in the Bible. Take the rest of that time and just hang out with Jesus. Share your needs with Him, make sure you take time to thank Him for all He does for you each day, and make some time to just be silent. You can't hear when you are talking. Be quiet so God can speak to you!
I will be praying for you today. Praying that God will really speak to you through these words and that you will begin to make the time EVERY DAY to invest in your relationship with the Lord. He loves you so much and desires to have a relationship with you! Imagine that. Jesus wants to have a relationship with you! All of the doubts, and fears, and questions will start to fade the stronger your relationship with the Lord becomes. You will live each day with great confidence in knowing that it is not you in control, but JESUS who is in control. That is what it means to walk by the Spirit and not the flesh.
The key to what being a Christian is all about lies in your daily, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It will become not only the most important relationship you will have during this life, but never forget that it is the only thing that you will take from this life into eternity!