Watch Your "Life" Closely (1st Timothy 4:16). The Bible exhorts all born again believers to maintain an ethical life & be reflectors of the light of the Gospel through Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, Apostle Paul says that God “through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the ones who are perishing we are the aroma of death leading to death, and among those who are saved we are the aroma of life leading to life”. Since God has placed every born-again child of God with so great a responsibility, it is essential that we, as His children, be willing and committed to put into practice our Christian faith on every level of human intervention.
As a member of God's holy nation “called out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), it is essential that every child of God should live a life by a set of principles that define his/her Christian faith. We should watch our life ‘closely’ and demonstrate the love, compassion and wisdom of Christ in practical ways. Since our ‘life’ is all about relationships, there are several relationships in our lives (listed below) that we should carefully watch out for as we live out an exemplary life as children of God in this fallen world:1. Our relationship to God:
The first and foremost relationship that we need to watch out for is our relationship to God who has saved us from the power of darkness and has given us all the privileges of His eternal kingdom. We should enjoy a close personal relationship with Christ and live under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We should devote our life and talents to help the growth and ministry of the body of Christ.
As we enjoy a deep, personal & intimate relationship with God, it goes without saying that we should seek God’s counsel in every decision, His wisdom and strength in all our plans, and lean on His comfort in facing every trial and sorrow that confronts us. Some of the practical ways in which we can maintain our relationship to God are as follows:
2. Our relationship to our family:
- A commitment to daily prayer and to maintaining other spiritual disciplines.
- Reading, meditating and memorizing the scriptures daily by hiding God’s Word in our heart. (Psalms 119:11)
- Seeking earnestly to bring a balance, harmony and a sense of purpose in every area of our life by having a humble, honest and sincere attitude to oneself and to God.
In the midst of our hectic schedules, we should always take time out to spend with our family. After God, the most important relationship we need to nurture is that to our spouse (husband/wife). This should be a solid relationship built on love and trust as well as faithfulness to each other till ‘death-do-us-part’. As parents, we should take the responsibility in raising our children in godly ways. As sons or daughters, we should always honor our parents no matter how old or smart we are (Eph. 6:2-3). Some of the ways by which we can watch out in maintaining our relationship to our family are as follows:
3. Our relationship to our church:
- A continuous loving commitment to our life partner/parents/children.
- Prioritizing family first after God.
- Controlling anger in disciplining children.
- Evaluating oneself as a role model before the family.
- Resolving any family conflicts as soon as possible.
- Having a daily time of family prayer & seeking the face of God.
As a part of God's royal priesthood, we should perform a priestly role in relationship to our church. In this regard, we should act as good examples in leading others to a closer relationship with God. Our effectiveness is dependent on the development of our character and spiritual maturity, and our ability to maintain loving relationship with others through a sincere desire and willingness to serve. We should be trustworthy, sincere and should be able to maintain a high sense of integrity in character, emotion, thinking, behavior, relationships, work & surroundings. We should cooperate with others in our church family and work together for the extension of God’s kingdom here on earth (1 Cor. 3:9).
Some of the ways by which we can watch out for regarding our relationship to our church are as follows:
Watching our life ‘closely’:
- Serving our church humbly using the talents/abilities that God has gifted us.
- Being ‘companion-helper’ to all brothers/sisters in our church.
- Giving great care to maintaining our testimony/witness both inside and outside the church walls.
As God’s children burdened with a responsibility to carry on our earthly ministries as ‘ambassadors of Christ’, there is one particular area where Satan will try to tempt us into backsliding. It is in the matter of sexual purity. As we deal with people of opposite sex both within and outside our church, there is every possibility that temptations may arise in a form least expected, which may compel us to transgress our covenant laws with God and with our life partner. In this regard we should always take preemptive steps to avoid chances of any impropriety by maintaining a very positive and healthy relationship with one another & with our heavenly Father.
In conclusion, we should take great care in watching our life ‘closely’ on a daily basis. This will happen only when we realize and affirm that we are ‘the’ representatives and servants of God working for the glory of God and for the extension of His kingdom here on earth. May God help us in this regard is my hope and prayer!