Daily Christianity
For a Christian, being true to God must be our focus everyday. Genuine Christianity cannot be limited to a once a week activity (or less). Disciples of Christ will follow Him daily because the love Jesus demonstrated compels them to do so (cf. II Cor. 5:14,15). In a past lesson we have focused on the importance of daily religion (cf. our lesson from 07/28/09). We will do so again today by considering some other relevant Scriptures.

Psalm 86:3 - "Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long." If praying to God "all day long" is proper for the Psalmist who desired God's mercy, certainly we should petition deity daily as well. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 underscores this thought with several commands - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Continual prayer and offering of thanks to God certainly implies the need for Christians to pray every day. When we study the life of Daniel, we learn that he took his prayer life so seriously that he ended up in a lion's den as a result (cf. Dan. 6). Additionally, one cannot help but be impressed with the prayer life and examples set forth by both Jesus and Paul.

Most people eat several times a day to alleviate feelings of hunger and to provide necessary fuel for their bodies to stay strong and to function properly. Our Lord once told Satan - "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). We need to feed both our bodies and souls daily so we can be sustained. No one needs to be reminded to feed his physical body regularly (in fact, many I know need to be exhorted not to eat so much!). However, sometimes we need to be reminded to diligently feed our souls. We need to imitate the good behavior modeled by the noble Bereans on this point (cf. Acts 17:11).

I Peter 5:8,9 instructs us to "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." We cannot let our guard down for a day (or even a minute!) or the devil will destroy us. How long did it take for David--a man after God's own heart--to fall into terrible sin with Bathsheba (cf. II Sam. 11)? It is imperative that we remain alert and watchful for the devil's many devices of deception (cf. II Cor. 2:11). We must encourage one another daily toward faithful Christian living (cf. Heb. 3:12,13).

Jesus declared in Matthew 16:24 - "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." How many of us have failed to properly life the Christian life in this regard? Jesus gave all for us, but what do we sacrifice for Him? Some are reluctant to even give a little bit of their time, resources, and abilities to the Lord and His work. This should not be! Do they comprehend or appreciate what Christ has done for them? Do they not understand the importance of self-denial? We must follow Jesus and His example of sacrifice daily (cf. Luke 9:23). We who are crucified with Christ should not dwell upon our "rights" and "desires" but upon fulfilling the will of the Father (cf. Gal. 2:20; I Cor. 15:31). Before we can wear the crown of righteousness in the heavenly abode, we must now bear our cross daily in this realm.

Christian living does require many sacrifices, but the benefits far outweigh the costs! James 1:17 - "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." Every good and perfect blessing comes down from God (e.g., material blessings, joy, hope, peace, purpose, forgiveness, etc.), and who would deny that such gifts are received daily from the bountiful hand of the Lord (cf. Matt. 5:45; Psa. 68:19)?

Friends, let us all endeavor to keep "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of the faith" (Heb. 12:2), and may we keep our eyes fixed on the heavenly goal each day of the week!