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Here are four most fundamental things that we Christians must do in following the Lord. They are these: reading God’s words, praying to God, performing our duties and practicing God’s words. Our spiritual lives mainly include these four aspects. If we can practice them in our everyday life, we will meet the conditions for being true Christians.
First, we must read God’s words. Since believing in the Lord, we have probably been reading the scriptures for decades, without interruption. Then how do we read God’s words to achieve good results? To achieve this, we need to grasp the truth and seek God’s will from every one of God’s words, pray-read and ponder them carefully rather than read like viewing flowers from horseback or for only memorizing scriptures. We should earnestly read God’s words and seek with sincerity to gain the Holy Spirit’s work. Then we can understand the truth as well as the Lord’s will.
Second, we must pray to God. In John 4:23-24 it says, “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Actually, the process of praying is also the process of worshiping God. But there is a condition: We must worship God in spirit and in truth. If we hope that our prayers can be approved by the Lord, we should quiet our heart before praying and think about what we want to pray and what the Lord’s will is in the situations we encounter every day. After that, we should pray according to the Lord’s will instead of only asking Him for things. Rather than speak repetitious things aimlessly, or just repeat the same prayer, we should accurately know our own difficulties and then seek God’s will earnestly. We should honestly speak what is in our heart to God. We should never talk big or say meaningless things, or make empty promises before God without fulfilling them. What’s more, we should keep God’s place in our heart and exalt Him all the time, seek out God’s will and look toward Him in all matters, seek His guidance and enlightenment, and make prayers of submission. Only by practicing in this way, can our prayers achieve the effect of worshiping God.
Third, we must perform our duties. Mark 10:29-30 records, “And Jesus answered and said, Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come.” In addition, the said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). Every Christian has duties he or she should fulfill. Some Christians offer themselves to God and spread the gospel all around for decades; some give alms to the brothers and sisters who truly believe in the Lord and pursue the truth; some support the brothers and sisters who are negative and weak; some host those who come from far away to spread the gospel, and so on. These things are what we always do in our life, but truly fulfilling our duties is to do something for God. You should do it solely for satisfying the Lord, without adulteration. It is not making a deal with the Lord to gain blessings or a crown, nor is it for earning the praise of others. Only if we fulfill our duties with such a mentality will we please the Lord. Otherwise, our fulfilling duties and expending ourselves are just for our personal schemes, desires and demands, which is not following God’s words or obeying His will, and the Lord Jesus will condemn us by saying, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
Fourth, we must practice the truth. Practicing the truth is actually putting the Lord’s words into practice. The Lord Jesus expressed many teachings. For example, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Practicing the Lord’s words is doing God’s will. To achieve that, we should love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. However we expend ourselves in our duties, we should do it willingly without personal intentions or ambitions. Whatever trials or refinements befall us, we should not complain against God or rebel against Him, or even betray Him. Instead, we should submit to God and love God, be loyal to Him unto death and stand witness for Him. When practicing the Lord’s words, we should not hold on to the literal meaning of His words but should seek the Lord’s will hidden in them as well as the essence and true meaning of the truth. Only then can we truly practice the truth.
These are the four things that we should keep in our belief in God. Only when we grasp these four fundamental things can we please the Lord. Otherwise, we will have no direction or goal in our belief, nor will we make much progress despite many years of following God. So, to succeed in our faith, we have to grasp these key things.
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