JULY 2019 LESSONS IN LIVING
In Romans 12:18 the apostle Paul stated: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Because the Christian’s outlook will inevitably clash with the world, it may not always be possible to live peaceably with all. And yet, every effort of the Christian must be made to get along. Therefore, the Christian cannot be reclusive. Such is not an option to those who want to follow this divine teaching.
Becoming a Christian and living the life of a Christian is not by accident, it is by choice – Joshua 24:15; 1Peter 4:16. The apostle Paul wrote: “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” – Romans 6:16. In the judgement day the Lord will do the choosing of who will be in eternity with Him. His choice then will depend on our choice now!
When the New Testament church was established the members “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” – Acts 2:42. Do we get the idea that prayer was an integral part of the lives of the early Christians? Is that not what the beloved apostle Paul recommended when he told the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Sometimes prayer is characterized by demanding spirit. And as a result, dealing with God tends to revolve around His ability to do whatever will make one feel better. But we must not think of God as Santa Claus. Real prayer has to do with far more than whether He is giving us what we want. To “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” – Matthew 6:33, means among other things, that we lay aside our demands and trust God to give us what we need.
The more diligently we seek God, the more we will understand the importance of praising Him. To praise Him is to acknowledge His greatness, not only by feeling a deep desire to honor His excellence, but also by expressing that desire. Worship is the word that most accurately describes the act of praise of God. Because He is God, He is to be worshipped. Therefore, “let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name”– Hebrews 13:15.