As Christians, we never want to get into the legalistic practice of creating “to do lists” that we must follow in order to define ourselves as believers.
But at the same time, there certain things every Christian should do every day in order to stay in faith.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:22 (ESV)
If we merely study the word of God, and don’t put it into practice, then faith is nothing more than an intellectual exercise.
It is what we do every day that defines and demonstrates our faith, and for that reason we need to be intentional about how to go about it.
There’s no 12-step plan when it comes to the Christian faith, but there are certain things every Christian should do every day, and here are some.
Our prayer time is our personal time with God. This is the time when we block out the distractions of the world, and concentrate our attention strictly on our Creator. By connecting with God in this way, every day, we put ourselves in a better frame of mind to deal with everything we will face in our day-to-day lives.
This is something we should look forward to as well. After all, it is the Holy Spirit who equips us and protects us to go out to the world and live our faith. If we miss this step too frequently, our faith can quickly become superficial.
2Read Your Bible
In order to consider ourselves to be “believers”, we have to be absolutely clear on what it is we actually believe in. We can do this through prayer, personal reflection, fellowship, attending church, participating in faith-based activities, and even through supplemental study. But the Bible is the very word of God – the source for everything that we all believe in.
The only way to be clear what it is we should believe in, is to spend time studying the Bible. You should be purposeful about doing this each and every day.
As believers, we have to acknowledge that there are many doctrines and beliefs that exist throughout the faith. For that reason, we need to be certain as to what the Bible says – and what it doesn’t. That’s the only way that we can know if a doctrine or belief truly comes from God.
It’s all too easy to sink into self-pity – in fact, it’s practically the way of the world (just watch TV talk shows if you doubt that). There’s plenty happening in your life and in the world to regret or be bitter about. But it’s important that we understand that as Christians were called to come out and to be different. Rather than immersing ourselves in the negatives that are all around us, it’s far more important that we make it a practice to be thankful each and every day.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. A thankful heart is a changed heart. If forces you to focus your attention on the good things that God has given you in your life (starting with eternal life), rather than on the missed opportunities and unfortunate circumstances that we’ve all been exposed to. A thankful heart also makes it easier to witness to others. The answer to mankind’s problems can be found by seeking out God, that point is best expressed by someone who knows why we should.
Being thankful to God is also a form of positive thinking. It forces you to think about all that’s good in your life, rather than spending time ruminating over your problems. We need to be people of hope, and the only way to do that is by being thankful. And that’s an attitude that is developed on a day by day basis.
One other point: Being thankful is a form of worship – the kind that comes from the heart.
In Matthew 6:14, Jesus tells us “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
If Jesus is truly our savior, than we must be absolutely serious on this practice. A forgiving heart is another of those qualities that doesn’t come to us naturally. It’s something that comes about through practice. And we can practice forgiving people each and every day. Once you get into the habit of doing so, it becomes second nature like any other good habit.
And it’s a habit that we need to develop. In our sinful hearts, we desperately want to see the flaws in others, while expecting complete forgiveness from others for our own shortcomings. But we cannot expect forgiveness from others, until we are ready to freely give it to them. God requires this of us!
5Reflect on Your Own Sinfulness
In order to worship a holy God, even to consider the whole concept, we first have to realize our own inherent sinfulness. That means we need to own up to what we’ve done wrong in the past, and what were doing right now. It’s only when we realize the true depth of our sinfulness that can we truly appreciate the need for a Savior.
When doing this, don’t merely concentrate on specific past sins. Rather, focus on the overall state of your heart. That includes your evil and selfish desires, which reveal the true state of your heart. God sees what’s in your heart, no matter how righteous you or others may think you to be.
Realizing our own sinful nature is probably the start of all forms of worship. It’s a form of coming to the end of yourself, and that sets the table for true worship. It also makes it considerably easier to forgive others, when you realize the depth of your own sin.
6Be Ready to Help Where There’s a Need
While we’re busy being wrapped up in our own lives and problems, there are people with needs all around us. While it is impractical to spend all day every day helping others with their problems, you can easily choose one or two people to help out each day.
Focus on the people around you, and try to be sensitive to any issues that they may be going through. A kind word or helpful gesture from you could be all it takes to get them moving forward. It will also help them to begin seeing you as a follower of Jesus Christ, and not just another insensitive face in the crowd. Opportunities for more direct witnessing can flow from these encounters.
7Be Mindful That Your Behavior Is Your Most Powerful Witness to Others
In all that you do, understand that your behavior is your most powerful witness to others. All of your best words and impressive pronouncements will become meaningless if your actions go in a different direction.
Whether we like it or not, the world will hold us to a higher standard because we are believers. They will be moved when we practice what we preach, but turned away when we do the opposite.
Each day, consider all of your behaviors, and how they might impact others for good or for evil. Put greater emphasis on your more positive behaviors, and eliminate or gradually reduce those that could be perceived as a negative witness.
Do you put any of these into practice on a regular basis? Are there other steps that you would suggest that we help us all to live our faith?
I think number 5 is often overlooked. As people, it is so easy to see and focus on the sins of others. But examining our own hearts can be pretty scary.
I also think numbers 6 and 7 need to be emphasized for Christians today. America has such a self-serving culture (and I’m sure that can be said of other places in the world too). Because of this, we get so caught up in living life just to meet our own needs and wants. Learning to recognize people’s needs that we can meet is so important in living all out for Jesus!
Great list Kevin!
Thanks Sarahbeth! I’ve spent some serious time with #5 and I think it’s life-changing. We all want to believe that we’re “basically good people”, but even if we are by the world’s standards, we’re not even close in the eyes of God. I think it’s a matter of preparing ourselves emotionally to come before the throne of God on bended knee – which is the only way to do it. Also, I think when we come to grips with our own sinfulness, it’s easier to be gracious toward others.
In Mark 10:18, Jesus responded to being called “good teacher”, by saying “Why do you call me good?…No one is good–except God alone.” I think that sums up how we need to see ourselves.
Richard Hawthorne says
Thank you for the reminder. #4 is so hard to do. But it is necessary in order to keep healthy relationships moving forward.
I’m really grateful for this writeup because most times when I rise to pray I get caught up in self guilt but now, after practicing #5 I’m good to go
Thank you !!!!!!
Saundra Macpherson says
I believe all of what you wrote to be true and I thank you for reminding us all. I would like to add that we should praise or Lord God and gloravi his name equally with our savor Jesus Christ or savor as well as render our vassals for his works. Most of all spread the word of salvation in Jesus and what he went through so we may be forgiven Thank you sweet jesus
thanks for the article,God bless you,,,,i’ve got more encouragement
Thank you for the gentle reminders
I really believed in it thanks
Narinder Choranji says
Very simple, practical and to the point. I like points 6 and 7, because being a witness on a one to one / personal level is very effective and hopefully sincere. I’ve never liked the term ‘do witnessing’. We are called to ‘be’ a witness, not ‘do’ witnessing.
Can anyone think of an acronym for the above?
Rachel Tripp says
I think about God continuously throughout the day. I think on His creation, I think of His love, I think about how difficult it would be if there was no loving God. Sometimes I think about deeper things of God, of the mightiness of His being, and have to stop myself or else my brain throbs, lol. I am just very thankful for our Creator’s mercy, kindness, and love.
Brenda Jeffcoat says
I have a friend she tells everybody she is a christain.I tell her she isnt I will explain why.She does hard core drugs,she swears,she lives in sin,she goes to church once maybe every 4 months,and had stolen recently.She tells people she is married but not legally she smokes.she hates her mother,And if she had to protect her kids she will lie for them.I tell her she speaks of God but she isnt a christain.Can you please tell me or explain to me how she can say she is a christain.Or what does she have to change to become a real christain.
Oneida Hodge says
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. We are not to judge we are to pray for unbelievers and believers. Only God knows the person heart to the fullest. Pray for your friend consistently and focus on your own soul and God is only the judge.
michael haire says
Perhaps I missed it but worship is pretty darn important too.
Yuliana Rose says
Thank you for the reminders. I hope I can grow up each and every day.
thank you.. the point you mentioned is very important in Christian life.. as believer we have to put them into practice..