Four Ground Rules

2 Timothy 2:5

No new believer ever progressed to any great extent without paying attention to some basic rules. Years ago a young Christian minister called Timothy was reminded of this. More experienced in the faith than his young friend, the Apostle Paul wrote to him a few basics of the Christian life. He likened it to running as a training athlete in a race: “If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5).

God’s chief way of communicating His will for you is through the Scriptures. A Christian who neglects the Scriptures will soon grow spiritually feeble. The Bible is God’s instrument for speaking truth to you. At the same time, it is a sword in your own hand to use in battle when your soul is besieged by the forces of evil and the world (Ephesians 6:17).

For this reason, carve out time on a regular basis to read it. Read it prayerfully, first asking God to speak to you as you read and to enlighten you by His Holy Spirit. Remember there is a difference between reading the Scriptures for inspiration and studying them for information. Both approaches are valid.

Prayer is exercise for the soul. It keeps you spiritually fit. Neglect it, and you grow flabby and listless. Jesus was a man of prayer. If He needed spiritual exercise through praying, how much more do we! We can approach God at any hour, day or night. The whole tone of a Christian’s life should be a prayerful one.

It is important that you become part of a Christian worshipping community. This gives you a setting for regularly worshipping God, hearing the Scriptures read and explained through the preaching, praying in the company of other believers and drawing strength through good fellowship. It also gives you an opportunity to make a contribution to the life of the church, the body of Christ on earth.

Everyone I have met who has just come into a new knowledge of the Lord has expressed an instinctive desire to do something for Him. Nothing could be more natural. It is a loving and grateful response to the realization of all that Jesus has done for us at Calvary to save us from our sins.

Shaw Clifton, Never the Same Again

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