TWENTY THINGS A CHRISTIAN MUST KEEP ON DOING (2)

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MAY 13, 2024

TOPIC: TWENTY THINGS A CHRISTIAN MUST KEEP ON DOING (2)

BY T. O. BANSO

My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight” (Philippians 1:9 Living Bible).

In yesterday’s devotional, I said that after someone’s salvation, God expects him to keep on doing certain things. Giving his life to Jesus is not the only thing he must do. That’s just the beginning of his journey as a Christian.

In the first part of this devotional, I discussed the following things a Christian must keep on doing:

1. Keep on loving God.

2. Keep on obeying God.

3. Keep on following Jesus.

4. Keep on reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God, and obeying it.

5. Keep on having faith in God or trusting God.

6. Keep on believing and doing what he has been taught.

7. Keep on loving others.

I want to discuss five more things a Christian must keep on doing.

8. Keep on praying and thanking God always. A Christian must continue to pray and thank God always. Prayer and thanksgiving can never be enough. Luke 18:1 says, Jesus told his disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up” (Contemporary English Version). Take note of the last part of that scripture. Keep on praying and never give up.

Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, “Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (Living Bible). Keep on praying. It is God’s will for you to be thankful always.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you” (Amplified Bible).

Luke 11:9-10 says a similar thing: And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (New Living Translation). 

Teaching about importunity in prayer, Jesus pointed out that the friend in need in the parable got his request for bread granted by his friend to give his visiting friend because he kept on asking. Luke 11:7-8 says, And suppose your friend answers, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something.’ He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking” (Contemporary English Version). Notice the expression “Keep on asking.” You have read that earlier in Matthew 7:7 and Luke 11:9. It means keep on praying. Keep on praying and thanking God despite any circumstance you may be in. God answers prayers but you must wait for it.

Ephesians 6:18 says, And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (New International Version). A Christian should not pray for himself only; he should continue to pray for others too just as Paul did for the churches. He told the Thessalonians, And so we keep on praying for you, that our God will make you the kind of children he wants to have—will make you as good as you wish you could be!—rewarding your faith with his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11 Living Bible).

A Christian must keep praying for others and thanking God on their behalf. Paul did this for the Ephesian Christians. He said, I never stop thanking God for you. I always remember you in my prayer” (Ephesians 1:16 GOD’S WORD Translation). In the latter part of Psalm 30:12, the psalmist said, O Lord my God, I will keep on thanking you forever!” (Living Bible).

9. Keep on patiently doing the will of God. The will of God for every Christian is written in the Word of God but the will of God for each person on specific things not stated in the Bible is communicated by the Holy Spirit as believers ask God about it in prayer. The will of God is already blessed and whoever does His will will enjoy God’s blessing. Every Christian must keep seeking and doing God’s will written in the Bible and revealed by the Holy Spirit. As Jesus taught His disciples to pray, Christians must strive to see that the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

A Christian must follow the example of Jesus in doing the will of God, not his will (Luke 22:42). The focus of Jesus was doing the will of His Father, not His will. He said in John 4:34 that His food was to do the will of Him who sent Him and finish His work. Jesus also said He could of Himself do nothing but as He judged as He heard, and His judgment was righteous because He did not seek His will but the will of the Father who sent Him.

A Christian must keep on doing the will of God, as Jesus did, not only when it favours him or is convenient for him. Jesus said in John 6:38 that He had come down from heaven, not to do His will, but the will of Him who sent Him. In verse 39, He said the will of the Father who sent Him was that of all He has given Him, He should lose none of all those He had given Him but raise them on the last day. In the next verse, He also said the will of Him who sent Him was that everyone who saw the Son and believed in Him might have everlasting life, adding that He would raise him on the last day.

As Jesus said, not everyone who says to Him “Lord, Lord” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does the will of His Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21). According to Him, whoever does the will of His Father in heaven is His brother, sister, and mother (Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35).

Every Christian must keep on doing the will of God. Hebrews 10:36 says,You need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if you want him to do for you all that he has promised” (Living Bible). Did you see that? Keep on patiently doing God’s will. The will of God is always easy or enjoyable but must be done.

If a Christian suffers while doing what is right, he should not forget that everything does not end here on earth. The reward in eternity is superior to any reward here on earth. Therefore, he should not complain, feel that God has failed Him, or stop doing the will of God. 1 Peter 4:19 says, So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you” (Living Bible).

10. Keep on preaching the Word of God. Every Christian must keep on preaching the Word of God. This is not limited to preaching the Word of God to believers in church gatherings but extends to preaching the Word of God to sinners – evangelism. Jesus told His disciples then and now, And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’” (Mark 16:15 New King James Version). Every Christian must continue to carry out this Great Commission.

In Acts 18:9, Paul had a vision one night, and the Lord told him, Don’t be afraid to keep on preaching. Don’t stop!” (Contemporary English Version). Every Christian, whether a Pastor or not, must keep on preaching and not stop. Paul wrote to Timothy, Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 New King James Version). Earlier in 1 Timothy 4:13, Paul told Timothy, Until I arrive, be sure to keep on reading the Scriptures in worship, and don’t stop preaching and teaching” (Contemporary English Version). Notice the second part of this scripture: don’t stop preaching and teaching. Every Christian must preach the Word of God, especially preaching to sinners.

11. Keep on being careful about how he lives and what he teaches. This affects Church leaders and their followers involved in preaching or teaching the Word of God. A Christian must continually watch his life and teaching. His life must follow the Word of God and his teachings must be consistent with what the Bible says, not a heresy or false doctrine. Paul wrote to Timothy: Be careful about the way you live and about what you teach. Keep on doing this, and you will save not only yourself, but the people who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16 Contemporary English Version). The New King James Version says, Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

As Paul said, a Bishop must, among other things, hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9). Also, Paul told Timothy to, in everything set an example by doing what was good and in his teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that could not be condemned so that those who opposed him might be ashamed because they had nothing bad to say about the Apostles (Titus 2:7-8).

Christians, especially ministers of the gospel or church leaders, must continue to be careful about how they live and what they teach. They must live a holy life and preach sound doctrine.

In addition, their lives must not contradict their teachings. Otherwise, they will be seen as hypocrites. They must do what they teach or preach. Jesus said the scribes and the Pharisees did not practise what they taught (Matthew 23:3). A Christian must practise what he teaches or preaches.

12. Keep on growing spiritually. A Christian must keep on growing spiritually. Every Christian is born a spiritual baby but must not remain so. He must continue to grow until he leaves the earth. Paul told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:1 that he could not speak to them as to spiritual people but carnal, babes in Christ.

Every Christian must settle down in a church to be ministered to by the ministry gifts to grow spiritually. Ephesians 4:10-13 says, He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (New International Version). God wants believers to mature. However, just as no new baby matures on his own but must be taken care of by the mother or parents, the same way the ministry gifts must minister to believers to grow.

Paul continued in verses 14-16: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (New International Version).

A Christian will grow by continually feeding on the Word of God and obeying it. 1 Peter 2:2 says, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word (Word of God) that you may grow thereby. A Christian must keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight. Paul, praying for the Philippian Christians, said, My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight” (Philippians 1:9 Living Bible). Note the expression “Keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight.”

The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote to his Christian audience: “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food” (Hebrews 5:12 New Living Translation). In other words, these Christians were not growing spiritually as they should. A Christian should keep on growing spiritually.

Keep on doing everything I have discussed so far. These are things God expects from you. Don’t just read them; do them. Tomorrow, I will discuss the remaining things a Christian must keep on doing.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to overflow abundantly with love for others and continue growing in spiritual knowledge and insight. Even if Im suffering for doing the right thing, I shall not stop but continue to do the will of God and put my trust in Him.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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