Christian Challenge: Consistent Lives

by Muriel Larson

Proverbs 20:11 says, "Even a child is known by his actions." So it is that all who profess to be Christians may be judged by others who observe their inconsistent lives. Unfortunately Christianity itself may be judged ineffective because of those who claim to represent it. Only God knows how many souls have been lost or who have fallen by the wayside because of hypocrites!

Our Challenge Today

What is the greatest challenge facing church leaders and other Christians today? It's to live consistently good and holy lives before the increasingly sinful world. How can we do that? By obeying the teachings of God's Word and committing our lives to the Lord. Only by following God's instructions and living for Him can we live in a way that is pleasing to God and a life that will help others come to Christ.

As "Dr. Muriel," I counsel many people by e-mail. One young woman had been a "high-class" call girl in Hollywood. She had professed Christ, told me she wanted to "shine her light for Jesus"-and was still in "relationships" with three men!

Unfortunately, many today claim to be "born-again Christians" while parading sinful, worldly, or unloving lives before others. These present an untrue picture of Christianity. They make it seem as if a person can live any old way he wants and still be a follower of Jesus Christ. Thus many are deceived. When Christ comes again, He will say to them, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity!"

 Following Jesus

 Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice and follow me" (John 10:27). People need to know that true Christianity is a complete way of life. The only way they'll know that is by true Christians living consistently by following Jesus Christ and living according to God's Word. The Bible gives us certain principles to live by, and these work for our good and protection. Jesus said the greatest commandment is that we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matt. 22:37).

A basic principle of science says that two objects can't fill the same place at the same time. If we love God the way Jesus said, He will fill our hearts and minds. We will have no room for the junk of the world or our own selfish desires. Christ will give us His peace, joy, love, and help in times of need. Those are our treasures on earth.

Jesus said the second greatest commandment was that we should love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:38). If we truly obey Him in this, we will not want to cause others to stumble by the way we live, because we will love them. When we truly love, we don't want to hurt the objects of our love in any way. Following this rule will help us to have better relationships with other people.

Biblical Principles for Consistent Living

One of the most important things a Christian can do is to present his body as a living sacrifice to God, as the Apostle Paul urged in Romans 12:1. He further told Christians not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds.

Other principles are 1) doing all to God's glory (1 Cor. 10:31); 2) obeying our Master (John 14:23); 3) trusting God and thinking only on what is good and true (Phil. 4:6-8); and 4) putting on the whole armor of God.

All these principles as well as others are taught in God's Word. We can know and obey God's Word best by reading, hearing, and memorizing what it teaches. Second Timothy 2:15 says, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." As we learn each precious truth, may we practice living it with Christ's help!

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