7 Keys to Living a Successful Christian Lifestyle
by: Minister Rick Walters
Join us on a journey to unlocking a successful Christian lifestyle. Each month we will be applying one of the 7 Keys to a Successful Christian Life Style by Minister Rick Walters. This month we will be focusing on forgiveness.
Key 1: Forgiveness
Scriptures to refer to:
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”
Why would forgiveness be the first key to a successful Christian life style? Is it safe to say that forgiveness is one of the biggest struggles for a Christian? And yet without forgiveness we couldn't be saved. Is our forgiveness conditional? Why is forgiveness so important? Unforgiveness stands between you and God. Why? Because we are all sinners, and through grace God has forgiven us and sees us as righteous. If God can forgive us of all the awful things we’ve done, we can forgive others.
Forgiveness is good for you. If you harbor unforgiveness you will be holding onto bitterness and thinking badly of others, sinning and opening a door for the enemy to come into your life and cause chaos. Forgiveness is mainly for your benefit, not for the benefit of the person you are forgiving. As long as you are feeling like a victim, you are carrying a heavy burden. Forgiveness allows you to put the burden down, and simply walk away free from it.
Matthew 18:21-22: The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Why do you think Peter had that conversation with Jesus on how much to forgive? Because we as men and women only want to forgive with a condition, that you are not going to keep doing whatever it is that we are forgiving you for. And yet we continue to go to God for the same things we need forgiveness for.
Along with how much we should forgive, Jesus didn't leave it up to us on how to deal with forgiving our brother and sister in Christ. He gave us some very clear instructions on how to deal with a brother or sister that sin against you.
Dealing with a Sinning Brother
Matthew 18: 15-17
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Next month's topic: Be Careful with What You Say
7 KEYS TO LIVING A SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
KEY #2: WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
Key #2: Be careful of what you say!
Now that we’ve talked about forgiveness, let’s talk about something we use everyday of lives; our tongue. If it’s not carefully monitored it will get us in trouble every time. Truth be told the very existence of us all began with God speaking words. Here are some scriptures to about watching the words you say.
Scriptures to refer to:
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
A Tree Known by Its Fruit: Matthew 12:33-37
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
The Untamable Tongue: James 3:1-12
1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Refer to these powerful scriptures during the month of September to help you be careful of what you say!
7 KEYS TO LIVING A SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
KEY #3: Know it's a Spiritual Battle
Key 3: Know it’s a Spiritual Battle
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Often times when someone attacks you or verbally abuse you, it's a spirit which drives them to do so. And it’s really design to get you to act in your flesh and not on a spiritual level. Ok come on church, what’s the first thing we do when someone try us?
For some of us there is a moment when we see ourselves giving them a piece of our mind or doing what we need to do to get even. However, when fighting a spiritual battle we must use spiritual weapons such as the word of God, prayer, and fasting. Romans 8:5-9 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
So what point am I trying to bring out here? We cannot continue to do things from the fleshly perspective of our lives and expect to get a spiritual result. Not going to happen!!!
We really need to look at the way Jesus responded to things in order to get the results that He got… That’s what it's all about. And if done by the flesh it should be Spirit driven, God’s Spirit that is!!! So the next time you are faced with opposition remember you are fighting a spiritual battle and to win you must use your spiritual weapons!