“How can I live as a Christian in the modern world?”

Posted by Dan Grippo
Wednesday 16, May 2012 | Category:  
Jesus Needs You

That is a question believers of every generation have asked and have had to answer in their lives. If we look at the testimony of nearly 2,000 years, we see that the responses have been varied and many. Some believers lived out their faith in communities of vowed religious or clergy. Some have been missionaries, others monastics or even hermits.

The great majority of Christians since Christ, however, has practiced their faith in what we could call “everyday life,” whether married or single, working in a job, caring for a home and children, or living a life of service in some other way. Those of us who take these paths are challenged by our faith to be “in the world but not of it.”

What does that mean? The words of Jesus and the gospel stories that depict him in action are timeless guides, as relevant today as when they first happened. Jesus lived and taught values and priorities that we can use to guide our own choices today. Here are a few of the most fundamental values:

First things first and eyes on the prize
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33). Here’s all a Christian really needs to remember about following Jesus, today or in any age. We only have so much time and energy to give to the world, and life is indeed short. If we put other goals ahead of our spiritual aspirations, we may find we run out of time before getting around to being the disciple we had always meant to be.

Need further convincing? Try these passages on for size:
Mark 8:36 (There is no profit in gaining the world if you lose your soul along the way)
Mark 4:14-20 (Cultivate the Word carefully so that it can bear fruit in your life. Watch out for distractions!)

Keep it simple: Begin and end with love
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

More?
Matthew 7:12 (Dust off the Golden Rule and practice it.)
Matthew 5:43-44 (Everyone loves their friends, nothing special there. Try loving and blessing your enemies!)

Service is the path to greatness
“Jesus summoned them and said to them, 'You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant' ” (Mark 10:42-43).

Don’t believe you are up to the job? Just ask for help:
Luke 11:9-10 (Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.)

Finally, for further inspiration, check out the biblical prophets. Here’s an example from one who knew how to boil things down to the essentials: “What the Lord requires of us is this: to act with justice, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).

Resource
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis has been inspiring Christians for centuries. Learn more and pick up a copy today.

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