|Source via Wikimedia Commons, by Gustave Dore, CC 3.0|
Ups and downs, highs and lows, devastating tragedies, joyous victories, and everywhere in between await the pilgrim on his passage. Autumns skies, swaying woods of yellow, gold, and red that bring about such unspeakable emotions. Winters so deep and unending one feels like the only creature in a thousand miles. Springs of lush green and pouring rains. Summers of golden rays set against valleys of green and endless oceans blue, that remind you of lost loves and childhood moments of indescribable emotion. The adventure is beautiful. The Christian faces down a deep wilderness, brilliant white angels dancing in the sunlight for a moment you might catch a glimpse, and in the shadows mysterious and terrible creatures lurking, temptations outstretched so sweet to the mouth, yet so bitter to the stomach.
Comradaries with fellow travelers. Breaks in the trail that lead to dead ends. Broken fellowships fleeing the woods. The sounds of bombs falling in the distance. Cloudy skies crackling thunder. Quiet moments of home and hearth around dinner tables breaking bread in joyous communion. Moments of clarity when the clouds part and God himself in shining light shows himself in sovereignty.
And so much more. So much more. So many twists and paradoxes, ironies, synchronous moments, joys unspeakable, moments of pure adulation interspersed with moments of hope and holiness, dwindling amongst regret, fear, and lingering disappointment. Days of war and nights of love, peace of heart amongst the powerful love for God, and for fellow travelers. On and on it goes.
This Christian life is a indeed a great and epic journey of spiritual power and growth. Jesus Christ at the center, Holy Spirit working in our heart, and God the Father overhead guiding the way. One day at a time, remaining steadfastly firm in the commitment to never give up, to always stay loyal to the God who saved us, one day at a time, learning, growing, falling, and getting up again. All thanks to Jesus Christ, all through him, to the glory of God the Father.
In light of such wonder, a few things must be said about the journey...
1. Enduring to the End
Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV)12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
It's not enough to begin a walk with Jesus Christ. It must be completed. It must be endured and lived, day in and day out focusing on the truth of the Bible, prayer and communication with Father God, as well as the sharing of faith, and fellowship with other Christians. The Bible says many will take up faith, but often at some point their faith is shipwrecked and they fall away. Salvation can be lost, not because of works, but because of abandoning faith and reliance on Christ.
2. Count the Cost
Luke 14:25-33 (ESV) 25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
The Christian life is very difficult. The spiritual war is real. So count the cost before you begin. But do begin. Because the alternative is damnation.
3. Actively and Intentionally engage in the Christian Life
Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Join a church. Do a morning devotional before starting your day. Set a goal of praying a half hour a day, or an hour, or more. Pray three times a day. Join a community Bible study. Spend time in private Bible study. Be baptized. Those are the basics. But what else? Attend conferences. Go on mission trips. Share your testimony. Watch sermons on YouTube. Read books. Get involved in the culture of Christianity.
|Source video Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 by Cristobal Rojas|
4. Things Christians Should Know
There are so many issues that Christians need to be aware of. There are so many problems in our society just below the surface. Here are some links that may be helpful for Christians to look into.
A. Bible Gateway
B. Birth Control Issues
C. The Twelve Steps for Christianity
D. Christian Apologetics
Next.. take a look at Recommended Study