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As Christians, our sole endeavor is to try and emulate the doings and character of Christ. In all the things we do, we should always aim at being our best selves, both morally and spiritually. This may not always be easy, and it may sometimes seem like the world is specifically designed to be full of obstacles, hard to those trying to be good. After all, we do live in a world dominated by apostasy and immorality.
Jesus himself said that the road to destruction is wide, and the gate to holiness is narrow and hidden, with very few able to find it. Without a doubt, it is an onerous task as any other when you are trying to remain holy and close to God. Sometimes you might not even know what to do to emulate Christ.
However, even though it is an arduous task, remaining virtuous and pious is easy if we simply follow the instructions laid out in the Bible. By adhering to these set guidelines, we can live our lives in a manner that pleases God. The following is what we can do to become closer to Heavenly Father and do His will.
Obey the ten commandments
When the Israelites were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, the Lord gave them a set of rules they needed to abide by earnestly to maintain a healthy relationship with God. These rules would be labeled ‘The Ten Commandments,’ and their relevance still rings as clear today as they did all those years back.
The ten commandments list in Exodus chapter 20, verses 2-17, is a guide on how God wants us to live. The first is to avoid idolatry. In the days of Moses, the false gods were sculptures and physical beings, but today the word ‘idol’ entails numerous things. Anything or anyone that you would do, praise or make mightier than the Lord is an idol. The man who gave you a promotion, the phone you keep using during church service, or even the activity you’d prefer to take part in before serving your God is an idol.
The second is to avoid making a carved image for ourselves in any likeness that is in heaven, earth, or the sea. The Lord says He is jealous and can punish the children of the people who sinned against Him up to the 3rd and 4th generations. However, He shows mercy to those who love and keep His commandments.
The third commandment is to avoid taking the name of the Lord in vain.
The fourth is to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. The Lord commanded His children to labor for six days and rest on the seventh day.
The fifth commandment is to honor and respect our parents. This can be taken both metaphorically and literally. Anyone older than you should get the same respect you would give your biological parents. A promise is even made for those who abide by it; that they will live long, and everything will be well them.
The sixth commandment is to avoid committing murder.
The seventh is to not commit adultery.
The eighth is to not steal.
The penultimate commandment states that no one should give any false witness to their neighbor. The neighbor is a term that entails everyone we associate ourselves with.
The last commandment states that it is a sin to covet the wealth of somebody else, whether it be material wealth, social character, or even his or her wellbeing.
It is essential to living by these commandments to be and remain close to God. The ten commandments are not meant to frustrate us or make life harder for us. God gave them to us so that we can live sin-free lives and eliminate the weaknesses that pull us down.
The Lord’s commandments are given to us for our protection and our good. They are meant to include our joy and peace in the Lord and our spiritual growth.
One of the first things that earthly parents do with all their children as they start to grow is telling them what they can or cannot do. By giving children a fair warning in advance about what they should stay away from, parents know their children can avoid getting hurt, killed, or finding themselves in a difficult situation. This is the same thing God has done with us, except that with God the Father, He knows what we should stay away from in this life because He has perfect knowledge of everything. Therefore, we should carefully listen to what God is telling us in the ten commandments.
Prayer is essential in the everyday life of a Christian. After all, it is only through prayer that we can communicate with God. The Bible is teeming with stories and testimonials showcasing the power of prayer; from when Elijah summoned fire from heaven in 1 Kings 18, to the disciples praying and fasting for the eventual arrival of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2.
Through the letters from Paul to the Christians of Europe, he highlights the need for prayer. In Luke 21:36, Jesus states the fundamentality of prayer when it comes to navigating through the hardships and immoral anarchy of the world we live in and our preparation for his second coming. In Colossians 1:3, Paul and Timothy tell the Christians in Colossae that they are always praying for them and their wellbeing. This theme is also recurrent in another of Paul’s letters Ephesians 6:18. It is only through prayer, and the Bible says that we can be close to Christ.
One of the most powerful virtues is Charity. After all, charity is the physical embodiment of love. Through charity, we can illustrate the love we feel for one another. Donations to the unfortunate are the ultimate endeavor of charity. In Matthew 25:36, Jesus says that by helping the needy, the naked, the hungry, the thirsty, and the homeless, we will be able to enter the pearly gates.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, Paul illustrates that charity is the strongest and most pure form of love. Consequently, it is stronger than almost everything else. Prophesies fail, knowledge vanishes, and even tongues cease to speak. At the end of the chapter, he lists faith, hope, and charity as the virtues we should endeavor to have, and of the three, he says that charity is the strongest.
In every activity that we take part in, we should always apply charity, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:14.
Living in righteousness
In 2nd Timothy 3:1, the Bible says that in the end time, the love of many people will grow cold and that immorality and lawlessness will begin to abound. It also means that people will become lovers of money and self, along with becoming blasphemers, unholy, unthankful, unloving, unforgiving, disobedient to parents, without self-control, lovers of pleasure instead of lovers of God and headstrong.
According to the verse above, the moral state of man will worsen in the coming years. The question we can ask is why humans choose with their free wills to disobey God’s commandments. Why can’t we do the right thing and remain loyal to God? Why can’t we choose to live righteous lives before Him?
God has written His basic laws into the heart of every human. We all know what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, as Christians, let us choose to do the right thing at all times.
Being a real saint or Christian is about a lifestyle. You live it 24/7, for it becomes you to the point one day you will not even have to think about it. You can please both men and God, as Jesus did (Luke 2:52). Perfection is something we should strive for because that is what Jesus told his disciples in Mathew 5:48.
Sharing the Gospel
Irrespective of our social standings, cultural beliefs, or ethnicity, we are all our brothers’ keepers. The wellbeing of our fellow humans should always be at the back of our minds in everything that we do. Not only in the physical sense but also in the emotional and spiritual aspects. It is precise because of this that we should always try and spread the word of God. There are many ways to do so, including face to face conversations, doing good deeds, and through music, or writing articles.
In Matthew 28:19, the last words of Christ before his ascension were instructions to the disciples to share the Gospel to all nations on the face of the earth. In John 14:26, Jesus says that he will send a helper, The Holy Spirit, to help his disciples fulfill this endeavor. This came to pass, in Acts chapter 2, during the Pentecost. After the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, over 3000 people were saved.
Sharing the Gospel is the most vivid illustration of care for another person’s welfare. It is only this way that we will be able to ascertain that others see the truth in the word of God, while also making sure that we fulfill the commandment Jesus left us with.
Our Lord is merciful and loving. To remain close to him, we must make sure that we stay holy and pious. As is so clearly illustrated in Revelation 3:15-16, we shouldn’t be lukewarm, not vacillating between religion and worldly pleasures, or we will face the wrath of God during Christ’s second coming.
Christ has assured us of the love and hope he holds for us. After all, we are all God’s dearly loved children. To stay close to God and the eternal grace and mercy He has towards us, and we must obey His commandments. The rewards of following God’s commandments are many, including staying out of harm’s way, having a long life, receiving eternal life, and being made more prosperous. So, we should do our best to live a righteous life before God. This way, He will be well-pleased with us when we meet Him for our judgment at the judgment seat.