Friday, April 19, 2013

Typical Christian Behavior

Once we tell someone we're a Christian, at that moment, we put our own selves on notice. It's like announcing we are an ambassador of some country. Well, we are an ambassador when we make that statement - for Christ!  Let's look at some examples of behavior they'll be looking for in us...
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Eph. 6:18) We will be expected to be seen praying. People will ask us to pray for them. While we must remember not to make a practice of praying in large public gatherings to appear religious - "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." (Matt. 6:5 - 8) Nor should we be found praying the same prayers from memory and not from the heart. We will hear of someone in need of prayer, and be expected to jump on the opportunity to pray for them according to their need. I have had fellow believers ask me to pray for them, and I recently asked for prayer for my surgery, and what a wonderful response! I don't know how many churches and family in Christ prayed for me, I only know a whole lotta people gave me love with prayer!

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. 10:9 - 10)   Another thing we are expected as Christians to do is confess Jesus Christ as our Savior raised from the dead by God our Father, and we believe in our heart not only this, but that He will raise us to everlasting life! Every time that we profess this, we outwardly profess faith to salvation, and as we believe in our heart, it is to righteousness.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." (1 Pet. 3:15 - 16) Both believers and unbelievers alike will be asking you why you believe what you do, and they will ask how it is you believe you're going to heaven. A Christian should always be ready to answer many questions. Take my case; I have had many muslims ask hard questions and scoff, but to their frustration, they could not find a question tough enough that I couldn't answer.   As a result, I gained their respect, because I was undefeatable and highly knowledgeable about my belief and what I understood of the holy Bible.

"I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in Thy word." (Psa. 119:147)  As we who are Christians believe in Christ, as we were not born when He walked the earth, yet not only do we believe in Jesus, we also believe in the holy Bible. We hope in all it says, and that there is no error in it. If there were, our salvation would be in question! We hope in it as a guidebook for living our lives, and as a remembrance of all God's promises that we hope in!

"And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;" (Luke 18:1) "
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" (Matt. 7:7 - 11) "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:19 - 20) "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matt. 21:22) "And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it." (John 14:13 - 14) "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples...Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you." (John 15:7 - 8, 16) "And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23 - 24) "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3) Not only are we always praying, but we believe God hears and answers. He has 3 answers every time we pray: yes, no, and wait.  It is easy for us to accept and see His "Yes", but we are typically not happy to receive His "No", or "Wait".  Not everyone asks without asking amiss, and many even ask the wrong person! As anyone can see in all these pieces of scripture, Jesus never said to pray to Mary, nor any dead saint.  He always said to ask our Father in heaven or Him.  When we ask, we also need to be prepared for Him to say "No" or "wait", because what we ask may not be good for someone involved in that which we asked for, or it may not be in His will. Some, out of ignorance, ask after the manner of men, and they truly ask amiss!

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" (Eph. 5:20)  One thing that became more pronounced in me when I became born again was the sensitivity to the fact God was doing so many things for my benefit, and that so many things I had received were by His hand. In realizing this, I came to thanking Him for even what may be considered small things! Prior to eating snacks, before each meal - even in restaurants, we gave thanks as a family. When I receive things I normally look on as bad or negative in my life, I now wait to see if that which was bad I should thank Him for, because even when bad things happen, He may allow us to see later how He meant it for good; even if the bad should come at the hands of family. "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Gen. 50:20) "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thess. 5:18)

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." (Phil. 4:4) "Rejoice evermore." (1 Thess. 5:16) Christians rejoice in the Lord, the gospel, and in others' spiritual growth. We recognize God's blessings and will so much in our lives, and for this reason we come to be known for rejoicing in the Lord. In a sense, we do practice it always, because no day goes by that a true Christian doesn't think of God, and every day, we have something to rejoice about that is connected with Him.  His promises, daily blessings, occurrences to our good - Christians rejoice in the Lord, while unbelievers don't.

"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Col. 4:6) "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 1:13) "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Phil. 4:8)  True Christians tend to demonstrate patience, to speak with kindness, refrain from any obscene speaking, use wholesome language, and have diction devoid of impurity. When a person leaves unbelief, they dismiss worldly verbiage from their day-to-day speaking. No nasty jokes, impatience fades from character, foul language disappears, and we speak with care toward others, with a notable difference of expansion to more than just family and friends, but even toward strangers!

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Cor. 15:58) Christians believe in a birght future. We have faith in a resurrection to everlasting joy in heaven. We readily serve in many capacities, especially in whatever manner we know to be pleasing to God. Whosoever is rich in any kind of gift is without hesitation to serve from it to whosoever we find in need from it.

Christians are not easy to pick out in a lineup; we're known by our fruit! "
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:17-20)  We are given away by what typical Christian behavior we exhibit!

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