Christian's Spiritual Nature
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29. Christian's Spiritual Nature

Nurtured With Prayer

Sailing Ship When an individual commits to following Christ, it is just as if he or she were setting out on a journey. All of us have spiritual needs. It is the evangelist's job to explain to that new Christian what he or she will require on the route. You might call these the necessities of the Christian Life. "Like our physical body, our spiritual nature needs sustenance too." Saint Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2.2, "Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." Go to the Word of God, the Bible, and read it every day. Meditate upon it and ask God to speak to you through it. Beware of haphazardly picking at verses. Remember the story of the person who looked for guidance this way. The first verse he landed upon was from Matthew 27.5. It read, "Then, Judas went away and hanged himself!" "That can't be right," he said to himself and flicked the pages to another spot. "Go, and do thou likewise," it read to his horror! The Word of God will give you your spiritual needs and refresh you daily as you read it. I have found as my wife and I read the Bible a chapter at a time each morning, that the Lord has the uncanny ability to speak to our specific needs for each day through it!

Jesus' Prayer Habits

Fresh AirWe can practice the Jesus prayer habits by constantly and consistently engaging in prayer and spontaneously praise every day. Saint Luke wrote in Luke 18.1-8, "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: 'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' For some time he refused. But finally, he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!'" And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?'" Here the judge was pestered by the widow and he eventually gave in and gave her what she wanted to keep her quiet! Christ wants us always to be talking to him and never allow ourselves to be discouraged. Persistent prayer does pay off! The Christ prayer habit should be ours wherever we are and whatever we are doing. Let this not be just petition, asking for a shopping list of needful things, but also praise and thankfulness for his gifts to us and our loved ones. In the office, at home or school, when you're out jogging, wherever you may be let prayer and praise spontaneously come to your lips and arise in your heart. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), wrote that as a direct result "Prayer enlarges the heart." She later added, "Ask and seek and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own." Shoot arrows of prayer to God and at those around you as you go along. Be outgoing with your prayer!

Exercise

People exercisingDon't be an onlooker, but actively exercise as a Christian. Jesus said in John 13.34, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Care for those around you and show it by your actions. Witness to them about Christ. Let Jesus' prayer habits be yours too. Tell a member of the family of your new-found faith. As Charles Dickens (1812-1870) the great advocate for the disadvantaged poor said, "Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart."

Christ's Easy Yoke

Leopard restingJesus calls Christians to put on Christ's easy yoke, which means developing a good character and high moral standards. Jesus said in Matthew 11.29-30, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Practice putting on Christ's easy yoke to lead you and rely on God in simple faith at all times. Trust him in all circumstances and you will experience his peace. For his yoke will refresh you. He will wash you and renew you continuously with his living water. The Roman poet Ovid (BC 43-c17 AD) who lived during the reign of Augustine once said, "Take rest, a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." Jesus calls Christians not only to trust in him but also to rest in him!

Clean Surroundings

Dollar Bills and Bible"Do not be fooled," wrote Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.33, "Do not be misled: 'Bad companions corrupts good character.'" This was good advice maybe even borrowed from the Greek poet Menander (342-291 BC) who wrote 108 comedies. Keep away from those who would pull you down. Avoid those places where you would be tempted to sin. Stop buying those magazines which depress you, and don't watch those films or television shows which degrade or undermine your moral standards. Instead, seek out people of good repute who, like yourself, love the Lord. It's like the lady who kept her money in her Bible. She said, "It's a good place to hide things. The ones who do open the Bible wouldn't steal from it, and the ones who would steal never open it." In your home, if you have a leadership role, give a good example and cut out swearing. Instill your Christian standards into your children by example and ask for their cooperation in the maintenance of them. If necessary, turn over a new leaf.

Give Christian Love

Cape Blanco LighthouseWe are called to give Christian love to others in the same way as the Cape Blanco Lighthouse sheds its light on others. The Apostle John in 1 John 1.7 wrote, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." Christians are called upon to walk in the light and when we do so Christ's blood cleanses us from every sin. When I think of giving Christian love I have in my mind a lighthouse or even a searchlight shining behind us to illuminate the path and surroundings in front of us at night. We are then walking in the light as the verse says! To walk in the light means to find a church home if you do not have one or look for one where the Word of God is faithfully preached. Give the fellowship or congregation there your all and honor your pastor or priest with your support and prayers. Learn to truly share with those in need and give Christian love freely in the fellowship and beyond. Do the work of the evangelist in leading others to your Lord.

Regular Checkups

Bread and WineSaint Paul wrote concerning fellowship in the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11.28, "Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat the bread and drink from the cup." It helps us all to attend Holy Communion regularly. Make a confession of your sins to God and a clean break with them before you partake for this is part of giving Christ's love. Be sure to be reconciled with any you may have wronged or may have hurt you before you have fellowship around the Lord's Table. Bess Foster Smith an author, editor and publisher wrote, "Hold your life before you, the empty bowl lift up, let God pour beauty in it and fill the brimming cup." If God pours beauty into your brimming cup, then growth is assured. Saint Paul blessed us in Ephesians 6.23-24, "Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love." The Greek word for brothers and sisters "adelphoi" refers here to believers, both men, and women, as part of God's family. "Grace" may be translated as "Grace and immortality" to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ." What a gift we receive of immortality and grace from our Lord Jesus Christ!

"Christian's Spiritual Nature"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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