- ways that you can grow closer to God,
- ways to spread the faith, and
- some basic morals and ethics that God wants us to live by.
*Editor's Note: I have changed some of the information in this article where I deemed it appropriate for the purposes of this particular blog.
1.) Present yourself as a Christian under every circumstance. Follow Jesus's greatest commandment: Love God completely and your neighbors. Even if they treat you wrongly, and whether you know them or not, Jesus said "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you". Jesus also says in John 15:13, "I have given you an example, that as I have done, so should you do." In I Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." Ephesians 5:1 says, "Be imitators of God as dear children." Many believers are "empty, swept and garnished" (Matthew 12:44) by lukewarm Christian Doctrines. If you just go to church, you will be a weak Christian and trials will make havoc of your life. But if you go to church and read the Word every night, you will be a strong Christian. Most Christians do not read the Bible every day, so if all you do is go to church, you will be a weak Christian. A few of my favorite Christian building passages are: Proverbs 8:17-21, Psalms 1:1-3, John 14:21-27, James 1:2-8, I Thess 5:16-18, II Timothy 1:6-7, Hebrews 8:6-10, Ephesians 6:10-18, and Proverbs 4:20-23.
2.) Acknowledge that you have faults (sins) and then repent -- change any negative attitudes that you may be harboring and pray. Realize that conversion is not simply one act but the beginning of a life-long commitment. Persistence and perseverance are continuing attitudes for engaging your opportunities. Don't be hard on yourself when you fail but -- admit it; pick yourself up; trust in God -- and go forward.
3.) Read your Bible. You can really learn a lot from this. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness;" (2 Timothy 3:16). If you open to a part that is not meaningful to you, consider skipping a chapter or two and try again or close your Bible and start all over. Do not be afraid, intimidated, or overwhelmed. God always meets us where we are in our faith, and if we trust Him, He promises to reveal onto us exactly what we need to know exactly when we need to know it
4.) Set aside time for effective and meaningful prayer. Make intercession for people who do not pray enough for their own development, i.e.: children, cousins, friends, enemies and family, etc. In Ephesians 1:16 Paul prays for a "Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation" I recommend that you say the prayer in Ephesians 1:16-23 for yourself everyday for one year and God will open up your spirit and develop your understanding. You will derive so much spiritual insight that you will inevitably make a big impact upon others.
5.) Try to see the perspectives (point of view) of others, even if you personally disagree with them. Of course, an answered prayer for peace for your enemies and that they would become blessed as children of God would help both you and them.
6.) Be patient with people who anger you; work on trying to forgive those who may have hurt you. You must learn to love your enemies. God loves everyone, and we need to, also. Say farewell to selective loving. If you have a hard time loving your enemies, pray to God for help.
7.) Work and pray for others to the best of your abilities to help others in many ways. Care for the poor and the needy. This is one of the things Jesus talked about the most in all of His teachings.
8.) Treat others kindly as you would like to be treated. This is not rocket science, folks.
9.) Volunteer to help people. For example, you could take a shift at a soup kitchen/food bank near you, or visit an individual staying in a nursing home.
10.) Remain conservative in your ethics, moderate and modest, being sure to remember that pride can be dangerous. Pride may imply that you are judging others falsely, and pride is said to be the mother of all sins, because it resides in each one of us. The source of all sin is selfishness and not considering others (greed, lust, hate, murder, theft, etc.).
11.) Share your beliefs so that you spread the Good News. Remember, living the Christian life through your actions will make others want to follow God. Always stick up for your beliefs such as being conservative in good morals and liberal in the giving of your own goods--not being a Robin Hood or "welfare-pimp" or "welfare-monger" (profiting off poverty) or welfare-cheat, but converting others to Christ by grace through faith and good works.
12.) Understand that Christians believe that God said that you will be persecuted for your beliefs, so do not allow the attacks of others to weaken your faith. Stand strong in your convictions, but do not be quick to judge.
13.) Make special efforts to fellowship with other believers. It is a wonderful thing that God wants Christians to unite in church and Bible study evenings--so do not think of others as hypocrites or hold yourself out as an example. Give the credit for any good that you may do to God and to God's blessing. You will find it a blessing to talk with Bible study members about the Christian walk. This will also translate into accountability through being open to share (and accept) views on any misgivings and weaknesses.
14.) Reform yourself to become in line with the Truth. You must "put off" the old man of the world and "put on" the whole armor of God. One may sin against himself and possibly against God's purpose and plan by just carelessly maintaining old habits. The Bible says "Therefore, rid yourselves of everything impure and every expression of wickedness, and with a gentle spirit welcome the word planted in you that can save your souls." (James 1:21)
15.) Remember that the heart of your faith should be love, not an obligation to check off these boxes, but to live as Jesus lived--easier said than done--but as long as you are aspiring to be like Him, you're on the right track. God will always be there to help you through it, one step at a time.
16.) Fall in love with God, and trust Him with all your heart, mind and soul! He loves you more than anyone on the planet is even slightly capable of doing! That's worth everything!
17.) Make sure you know what you're talking about before you preach it. This is very important. The last thing you want to do is discount or discredit God by finding yourself in a theological debate that you've not been trained to win. My best advice is to simply share your story (testimony) with others. That way, you're simply stating the facts about what God has done in your life. No one can legitimately argue with that.
18.) Let people know that you BELIEVE Christianity is the true religion. Don't insult anyone, just tell them that you believe Christianity to be true. Do not insult anyone's beliefs by saying that they are wrong.
19.) Practice what you preach...
20.) Remember that being a Christian is a life long journey toward benefiting others through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Don't expect to be free from sin and error overnight and do not judge yourself or others harshly. Maintain good morals and good habits that glorify God in everyday life--not to brag or boast, but to further the Kingdom.
21.) Attend church and Sunday school to help learn more about the Christian life and what it means to practice your faith.
22.) If you aren't a Christian, but you want to be, accept Jesus into your heart, then find a local church and learn the gospel. Follow it; there is no in-between, lukewarm (worldly) Christianity. You are either with Jesus or against him. As Christ said, you can't wear the world's hat and God's hat at the same time. You can't drink out of the cup of the Lord and drink out of the cup of demons at the same time.
23.) Remember, though, do not be mistaken that this means you only have forgiveness if you do it through someone else... No! God knows your heart, and as long as you ask forgiveness for real, you're forgiven. God's always there for you!
24.) There is one advocate like a lawyer as your representative before the judge: There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and human beings--a human, the Messiah--Jesus Christ.(1Timothy 2:5). Trust in Him with all your heart and you will see miracles happen.
25.) Peter reminds us to share the reason for our hope, but with "gentleness and respect". Do not be rude, disrespectful, or violent in spreading the faith.
26.) Never lose faith in God. (There will be times in life where we will be tempted to abandon Him, we are not perfect and not called to be, but always remember that without Him, we are nothing.)
27.) Remember that God loves everybody, and we should too.
28.) You can know a Christian by his fruits, but that is a positive statement not judging ill of another. Do not try to judge others to be unsaveable under any circumstances. There is one judge of all; love others as you love yourself.
29.) Prayer is powerful; never underestimate it.
30.) When you are confused as to how to live right, you can ask God for help. "If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and He will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn't find fault with them." (James 1:5)
31.) You can change a lot through prayer, but do not abuse it. God answers all prayers, and He will not answer any prayers that are unjust or hurtful. Pray that His will be done in you, because He wants the best for all of us, and He changes all bad things in our life to good, if we trust in Him to do so.
32.) In Bible reading there are some parts in the Old Testament that are Israel's genealogy, history or legal system which seem archaic (and uninteresting). The Old Testament books like Isiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Samuel and several others are especially interesting because of prophecies (predicting the future) and stories of miracles. The books of the entire New Testament are very readable, but remember that they would have never existed without the books of the Old.
33.) Forgive and don't bring it up again--although you can not change past events--you can change your views and activities about the past. So pray thankfully and really forgive. God forgives all manner of sin when we repent sincerely:
34.) Realize that one's ill-health or illnesses (like some cancers, diabetes, drunkenness, drug use, extreme obesity, or other physical and emotional suffering) are often related to personal choices that Jesus knew were ill-conducive to health, good morals and character.
35.) Do not bury your talents or exclude your goods from others--share as much as possible--give to those with less than yourself, and serve as a guide giving aide to the less fortunate instead of judging them as lazy or as sinners because of their ill-fortune and poverty. Usually poverty is not a punishment from God, for example an extreme drought or terrible storms may bring starvation, disease and famine when they fall upon all in a state or nation, even upon the good and the wise.
36.) Jesus said "Whatever you do unto the least of my children--you do unto me! Your good or bad deeds are to me." This means that since you are one of Gods very own, if you suffer ridicule and abuse because of insisting on truth, honesty, loving your enemies, and other good works, then God suffers with you.