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Living Practically as a Christian

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Practical Christian living is a dynamic and essential aspect of the Christian faith. It involves the intentional application of Christian principles in daily life, transforming beliefs into actions, and embodying the teachings of Jesus Christ. This article seeks to elucidate the key principles that underpin practical Christian living, providing guidance for individuals who aspire to live out their faith in meaningful and tangible ways. Often times when we think of Christian living we think of martyrs or missionaries in places unheard of doing unheard of things for the gospel. However, many of us have homes, families, bills, and jobs and do not have specific callings to abandon everything, but rather are called to serve right where we are at.

1. Love:

The cornerstone of practical Christian living is love. As Jesus stated in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Practical Christian living involves actively demonstrating love for God through worship, prayer, and obedience, as well as extending love to others through acts of kindness, compassion, and selflessness. All of us can show love. Those without a spouse or kid can show love to our family by tending to their needs, or being more involved in the local Church. For those with a spouse and kids we can show love everyday by putting our wives or husbands in a position to be elevated over ourselves, and putting our kids in a position to be cared for. The simple things we do everyday m for years and years show more love than most other things. As Christians love should be the characteristic that defines us (John 13:35). If you wish to find out more, I suggest checking out, "A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God's Love" by Max Lucado

2. Humility:

Humility is another central tenet of Christian living. One of the good things about practical Christian living is that our thoughts follow us everywhere and everyday, so we are always presented with the opportunity to be humble. God’s people are to be clothed with humility (Colossians 3:12). Jesus exemplified humility throughout His earthly ministry, washing the feet of His disciples as a powerful symbol of servanthood. Christian living involves recognizing one’s dependence on God, embracing humility, and putting the needs of others before one’s own. We fail to exercise this when we fail to recognize God’s hand in everything and recognize our need for him, not only as sinners but being in need of sanctification all day. We must be quick to posture ourselves in thought and attitude so that we are truly in need it God. Everyday at work, school, the gym, the car, the backyard during a cookout, or a store is a chance to remind ourselves that all good things come from above (James 1:17) and we are sinner in the hand of a merciful and good God.

3. Forgiveness:

Forgiveness is a vital component of Christian living. As Christians, we are called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32). Everyone has been hurt or offended by someone whether malicious or not. With that we are presented the opportunity to forgive. When we forgive we display Christ to an unbelieving world and that is glorifying to God as our actions should show others the goodness of God (Matthew 5:16). Christian living entails letting go of grudges and resentments, extending forgiveness to those who have wronged us, and seeking reconciliation whenever possible. When we are faced with choices there can sometimes be no better way to glorify God in our lives than to prove that the Lord and his commands are more satisfying to our souls than getting revenge. In Matthew we are reminded of the significance of forgiveness with the parable of the unforgiving servant, so when we are slow to show forgiveness be quick to look into Gods word (Matthew 18:21-35). Forgiveness can be difficult and for a little extra help I would suggest, "Total Forgiveness" by R. T. Kendall which explores forgiveness and discussion its application.

4. Service:

Service is a tangible expression of one’s faith. Jesus taught that serving others is akin to serving Him (Matthew 25:40). Just as forgiveness shows that we value the commands of the Lord over our personal desire, performing acts of service for others does the same thing. We demonstrate that we value others as much as ourselves and the kindness and love displayed more than our own time, energy, and even money. Serving is hard to do. Let’s just be honest. We don’t always know what to do, and we get timid, and become comfortable with our routine. However, God will honor the heart that steps out in faith to serve and love one another, even if we never see the fruits of our labor. We trust that he does something with it. Practical living involves actively seeking opportunities to serve those in need, whether through acts of charity, volunteering, or simply offering a helping hand to those around us. Jesus told us if we want to be great, we must be servants (Matthew 20:26), and when we serve, we become more like Christ himself who was dedicated to service.

5. Community:

Christianity is not meant to be lived in isolation but within a community of believers. Practical Christianity entails active participation in a local church or faith community, where individuals can grow in their faith, receive support, and engage in communal worship, prayer, and fellowship. Our lives our supposed to be built by the body of a Christ, not by ourselves, anyone who tells you they don’t need a church to grow and live is either unaware of what it holds or doesn’t want one to begin with. Romans (12) gives some of the most practical verses in the Bible where we are commanded to not be stuck up, we are to rejoice with our friends who rejoice, share tears with them when they are upset, don’t gossip and get along with people. How can we get much better than that? Everyone can do these things. For the sake of growth a community is important as well. Ecclesiastes (4:9-12) tells us that two are certainly better than one for when one falls the other is there to help. We support one another. There is an additional layer of having new eyes to see ourselves and expose sun for us to become aware of where we fall short. Sometimes we cannot see it in ourselves and we need extra eyes to recognize it. A strong community provides an abundance of wealth for everyone.

6. Prayer and Scripture:

Practical Christian living is grounded in regular prayer and the study of Scripture. These spiritual disciplines foster a deeper connection with God and provide guidance for navigating life’s challenges. Christians are encouraged to seek God’s wisdom and guidance through prayer and the reading of the Bible. Scripture reading and prayer go hand-in-hand for me because I almost always do them together. Of course not always as when I am out and pray I don’t have my Bible, but here I mean intentional time set aside for prayer everyday when waking or sleeping. Scripture to me is taking in God’s word and seeing his will, and prayer is breathing it back out to him as a request that he would work in my heart so that I would come to know him more. The Old Testament prophets warn God’s ancient people to repent, and I pray that God gives me wisdom to repent. Jesus tells us that the greatest command is loving God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40), I pray that I can do that. If we don’t do anything else on this list we much recognize our sin and our weakness and respond by setting aside time for God so that we would submit to His desire and not ours. His word is life, and prayer is communication with the king of the universe. There is no greater thing we can do than to know the Lord. We must not get so focused on doing everything in Jesus’s name that we forget Him. To find out more on prayer you could check out, "Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God" by Timothy Keller.

Practical Christian living is the embodiment of faith in action. It involves living out the principles of love, humility, forgiveness, service, community, and spending time with the Lord in everyday life. By actively applying these principles, individuals can align their lives with Christian values, become more Christ-like, and positively impact the world around them. Practical Christian living is not a passive endeavor but an ongoing commitment to following Jesus’ teachings and making a difference in the world through faith-driven actions. Finally, as we wrap up if you are interested in supporting our ministry then feel free to check out our store!

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