HOW TO GROW AS A CHRISTIAN

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the greatest of human follies is to ignore God. God is at the center of the universe, at the center of all that is. To grow as a Christian, we must pay attention to what he says. He commands and instructs us to read his word. To ignore the Bible is, in effect, to ignore God. Most simply put, the Bible is God’s written word to every person. When we read it we find out that God’s will for us is is good. All Sixty six books of the Bible are inspired by God, and given to us that we may know about God, his will and purpose for our lives; how we may have a right relationship with God and how we can live an enjoyable, wholesome and good life.  If God, who created all things, cared enough to inspire and guide men to write the books of the Bible—then it behooves us to pay attention to what God has said!

I trust that the following suggestions will be encouraging and helpful:

1. Read the Bible and pray every day

“O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee and watch.” Psalm 5:3

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure enlightening the eyes.” Psalm 19:7,8

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, and who correctly handles the the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

2. Attend Sunday Church services

“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work…” Exodus 20:8-10

“…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. “ Acts 2:42

3. Obey the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus

“…let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” I Corinthians 7:17

“Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their consciences when it is weak you sin against Christ.” I Corinthians 8:12

“For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” I Thessalonians 4:7,8

4. Participate in group Bible Study

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:12,17

5. Expect that you will grow in God’s grace

“And (Jesus) said, “take heed that you are not led astray, for many will come in my name, saying I am he! And, The time is at hand! Do not go after them. Luke 21:8

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2

6. Engage in being a witness for Christ

“…for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” Luke 21:15

“He who believes in him; he who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believed is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Luke 3:18

“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God, who tests our hearts.” I Thessalonians 2:4

IS THE BIBLE TRUE?

Either the Bible is the the inspired word of God or it is fraudulent. Jesus and the disciples recognized the whole of the Bible as the inspired word of God.  The preponderance of evidence weighs heavily on the side of the Bible as compared with other systems. Many reject the reliability of the scriptures on scanty evidence and faulty impressions. Every person will have some questions about the Bible. Because of the limitations of our knowledge and comprehension, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth as we study God’s word. As we do, and then live by the teachings of scripture, we experience the absolute reliability of the Bible.

Find out for yourself. READ IT!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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