LIVING YOUR FAITH
Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did. – 1 John 2:6

The wonderful gift of the Gospel is that it changes us not only on the inside (our heart), but on the outside as well (our life). In other words, our lives as Christians should be demonstrated in our daily living. Our lives should validate us on the outside what our hearts believe on the inside.

The spiritual path of a believer in Jesus Christ is not a religious experience. It is a life committed to self-discipline, self-denial and self-commitment to the discipleship of Jesus Christ. To be a servant of God, we must give up the pleasures of self-gratification and selfishness, and learn the power of humility, faith, hope, and love to receive the power of God.

But, you may ask, “How do I live my life for God?” Well, God has given us some very clear instructions in His Word as to how we are to live for Him.

These include the command to love one another (John 13:34-35), the call to follow Him at the cost of denying our own desires (Matthew 16:24), the exhortation to care for the poor and needy (James 1:27), and the warning to not fall into sinful behaviors like those who don’t know God (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

Jesus summed up a life lived for God when a teacher of the law asked Him the most important of commandments. Jesus replied, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

It is not possible for those who obey Jesus’ teachings to live lives that are essentially not significantly different than their kind and agnostic neighbors. The life of a Christian should outwardly reflect their inner faith.

APPLY: Look back at the end of each day and ask yourself if your words and actions have mirrored the teachings of Jesus. As you look forward to the day ahead think about what Jesus would say and do in each situation you face and then live a life so that others would know you are a Christian without your having to tell them.

PRAY: Lord, I have given my heart to you. I know I am clean on the inside, but help me to not get caught up in the wicked sin of the world and act like the unsaved. Help me to draw apart from the ways of the world and live a Jesus reflected life.

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SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
NOT ALL THIEVES ARE STUPID:

CELL PHONES: This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen. Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, “I received your text asking about our Pin number and I’ve replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn.

The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account. Moral lesson: a. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc. b. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, confirm by calling back. c. Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet “family and friends” who text you.

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QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Pastor Mike Coppersmith shared an illustration about eternity. He took a tape measure, the kind a carpenter uses, and pulled the tape out only a short length. “The first half-inch is our life in this world,” he said, “and the rest is eternity” as he pulled more and more and more of the tape out. “What we do here, in this first half-inch, is our preparation for all the eternity that is to come.”

The world has it backwards, teaching that peace is the result of having enough money, possessions, insurance, and security systems. Jesus’ peace, however, is such an all-encompassing gift that it is independent of all circumstances. Though you lose everything else, if you gain His peace you are rich indeed.

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Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at www.thoughtsaboutgod.com/blog and Powertochange.com.

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