Christianity may, to some people, be a religious identification, or set of rules and beliefs. There is a temptation to think of Christianity as an ethical system, dictating right and wrong, instead of what it actually is. Quite simply, to be a Christian means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It means to become a disciple and learn His ways.
Although many people know this already, the problem occurs when we try to take our religion and mold it to suit our lifestyles and actions. The Christian must not regard Christianity as simple rules, as a religion, or even a lifestyle choice. When we begin to follow Christ, that choice must become our life. To be Christians is our very identity. There is no other source of life, or way to conduct ourselves, apart from the life of Jesus.
This is not something easy to do, in a culture where is it commonplace for someone to say they have given their life to Christ on Sunday, and then conduct themselves the rest of the week as if that transformation had not taken place. Jesus is very clear when it comes to the cost of following Him. He says,
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33(NKJV)
A total commitment is required to follow Jesus, and that is not recognized only by someone saying they believe, but also by the actions that accompany that belief.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” James 2:14(NKJV)
In the same way that a profession of faith comes from a change of heart, actions will accompany belief as a result of a transformed life. No longer do we live the way the world does, but the way Jesus taught us to live.
First it is essential to know Jesus expects service immediately. God has called all of us, and as Paul the Apostle says,
“Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.”1 Corinthians 7:21-24(NKJV)
For a Christian’s life, it is useless to be concerned about where you are, or where you’re going. Doing the will of God in the place you’re at will ensure God’s direction wherever you go. Don’t follow men, or women, or money, or anything but God alone.
The path of our lives is made clear because we clearly see Jesus, and where He is going. When we are filled with the power of His Holy Spirit, Jesus has His home inside of our hearts. This alone dispels the notion that service and worship to God is limited to a church service or Bible Study. Church services are beneficial, and Bible studies are essential, but our worship to God is the tone of our lives.
Our personal, spiritual growth is something that should be growing every day. For those who would be willing to open their eyes and hears to become in tune with what God is doing, God will speak to them every day of their lives. Bible reading and prayer isn’t a dutiful task, but a joyous and life-giving activity.
To everyone who believes in the name of Jesus, I’m thankful to be in the service with you all. Let us continue to be transformed into the very image of Christ.